28 January, 2016

Nerds Rule the World

As I type this I'm sitting on an airplane at CLT while everyone else finishes boarding.  This weekend I'm off on a different kind of adventure: going to PAX South.  If you've been paying attention you'll have noted I'm a huge nerd and a gamer so PAX, a gaming convention, is right in my wheelhouse.

Interestingly enough I find a lot of folks like myself, those interested in the geeked things in life, are also big on the outdoorsy, high-adventure activities that enthrall Derek and me.  Maybe there's some kind of correlation there?  Who knows? What am I, a scientist?

I've been sticking with my once a week climbs for a bit now and I can tell that I'm starting to climb harder.  My love for rope climbing over bouldering is well known, but my friend's being as they are we usually do a healthy amount of both.  One of the best pieces of advice I've heard was from my dad: "A good friend challenges you every day."  Well consider me challenged because now I'm climbing V3's cleanly and getting back up to consistent 5.11's.

Anyway short post because of travelling but here's to the nerds of the world and our adventurelust, both virtual and real.


22 January, 2016

Deep River Scouting

We are already three weeks into the new years and I am feeling pretty good about it so far. No grand adventures have been had, yet. They are coming! Right now I am currently in the planning and conditioning stage. One of the most important things, I have learned, is to be in the best physical conditioning you can be in order to avoid injury. I have been back in the gym and walking/running a lot more often lately. I also have been playing Disc Golf quite a lot, which I have found to be very good for low impact conditioning.

Also, this past weekend I drove down to Cedar Falls, NC to scout out the section of Deep River that runs through there. There was supposedly a very short Class II-III section that runs through there when the water was flowing, which it was that day. I parked my car in a conveniently located empty parking lot and made my way down to the river. Unfortunately, what I found was a lot of privately owned land that I didn’t really want to go tramping through. (I have heard and seen a lot of fisherman and boaters talking about walking along the island that splits the river once I got home, but I felt uncomfortable doing so.)

Walking upstream I eventually made my way to Theater, the lower set of rapids on Deep Creek. I climbed up on a very large boulder in order to get some good shots:

As I continued to make my way upstream I found quite a few small play spots and an insignificant ledge or two before finding where the river opened up a little more. From where I was standing I couldn’t tell exactly which rapid was which; I am unsure if these pictures are of Camel Gate or Southpaw, but they both look like a blast. (At least for as far away from the Mountains as they are.)

Hopefully I will get another chance to scout out this section of river soon, sometime after our next decent rainfall.In the meantime there is some snow on the ground and I am really regretting not bringing my kayak with me, so I will be looking into bringing that up here soon while also taking a look at some of the rock walls in the area.

15 January, 2016

I, too, have some goals!

New year, new schedule!  That's right folks, we here at Creeks and Crags see it necessary to deliver our quality content on a regular basis instead of our previous method of determining when to make a post: throwing a hiking pole javelin-style at a calendar until it sticks.

So you'll be hearing from Derek or I every week, or even more sometimes depending on how quickly our hype train is steaming along.  We're going to alternate weeks, so if I'm your favorite be sure to check in fortnightly!  Also we'll be aiming for a midweek day to post on, in my case Thursdays.  You may have noticed that today is Friday, a whole day after what I just said.  Now before the pitchforks and torches come out there is a very good reason I'm late and it is that I just finished reading The Martian and now I have a burning desire to play Kerbal Space Program all the time.

Okay enough dicking around, time for the real shit.  Here are my resolutions for 2016.
  • Go Running: at least twice a week with a total of 5km per week, increasing by 1km every month.
  • Climb once a week.
    • Climb 3 different 5.12's cleanly.
    • Climb a 5.13.
  • Apply to Grad School.
  • Go to Grad School OR Get a new job.
  • Move (preferably out West).
  • Go Skydiving & Get a tattoo: REDUX.
  • Keep track of every dollar I spend, receive, and save.
  • Go on 2 different weekend backpacking trips.
  • Go skiing or snowboarding.
  • Have 2 Personal First Descents on actual real-life rivers.
  • Run a natural Class IV rapid.
  • Self-Improvements:
    • Get out of the house more.
    • Do exercise stuff.
I feel like most of that is pretty self-explanatory but if it's too long the takeaway is that I want to be the best at everything and will do so by 2017.  In actuality it means that I want to be a better person, do better things with my life, and make myself happy through the things I do, not the things I own.

All-in-all I'm two weeks in and doing pretty well so far!  But January is like a gimme for New Years resolutions anyway so I guess the true test will be this time in about a year, 52+ posts from now.  Anyway, following my trend of doing awesome things, I have tiny green men to crash land on distant virtual rocks.


06 January, 2016

2016 - Looking Forward

My goals more-or-less stayed very similar to my goals from last year. I did edit them in order to both fill in the loopholes I found late in the year, as well as cover up some of the issues I ended up dealing with when I realize I couldn't accomplish them all. I also added some "bonus" goals that I plan attempt, if given the chance, but will not feel disappointed if I am unsuccessful in carrying them out.

I know that many of the things on this list are not High Adventure, I felt it necessary to include my entire set of goals for 2016. Needless to say, there will be no videos of me posted this year attempting to solve Calculus problems or reciting an entire oral essay in German. Though I do believe both of these things may be the most dangerous thing I attempt this year.

Whitewater Kayaking
3 – Personal First Descents
2 – Guide People on Their First Whitewater Kayaking Trip
1 – Whitewater Competition [Bonus]

50 – Miles of backpacking
2 – Guide People on Their First Backpacking Trip
25 – Additional Miles Backpacking [Bonus]

5 – 5 Mile Hikes (Different Locations)
1 – 10 Mile Bike or Canoe Trip

5 – Bouldering Problems
5 – Top Roping Routes
1 – Climbing Competition [Bonus]

Disc Golf
5 – Different Courses Played
10- Rounds of Disc Golf Played
1 – New Course Played
1 – Disc Golf Tournament Played [Bonus]

190 - lbs (Starting at 200 lbs)
15% - Body Fat (Starting at 18.7%)

4 – New Books Read
12 – Books Read
20 – Creeks & Crags Posts
5 – Creeks & Crags Videos [Bonus]

3.0 – Spring Semester GPA
3.0 – Fall Semester GPA
3.0 – Summer Semester GPA [Bonus]

01 January, 2016

2015 in Review – Looking Back

It’s funny that Evan has taken the time to throw down the gauntlet. I have actually had my post ready for almost a week now, but wanted to finish as many goals as I could before the New Year started. Last night around 11:00 I finished my 12th book for the year. Unfortunately, because I have been running around this past week I did have to read some- childish? - books.

2015 was a great year for me. I started the year out with 2 big experiments in mind. The first was a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in the year of 2015. Due to timing and weather I found myself, in the middle of September, coming to the realization that I would be unable to complete 100% of my goals. The temperatures and water levels were dropping around me and I hadn’t run the French Broad for the year. I decided to rededicate myself to these goals in the search for completing 75% of my intended goals.

Even after hitting the new mark I stumbled from time to time, but managed to end the year out with a full 75% of my goals accomplished, as well as one goal I hadn’t measured since March.

Here are my 2015 Goals:

Whitewater Kayaking
25+ / 20 Laps – USNWC Wilderness Channel
13+ / 10 Laps – USNWC Competition Channel
1 / 1 Trip – Green River (Lower Section) [PFD]
3 / 1 Trip – Green River (Upper Section) [PFD]
0 / 1 Trip - French Broad (Section 9)

Backpacking / Hiking
0 / 50 Miles – Backpacking
10+ / 10 Miles – Hiking

6 / 5 – Bouldering Problems
0 / 5 – Top Roping Routes

Disc Golf
10 / 10 – Rounds of Disc Golf Played
6 / 10 – Different Courses Played

198 / 200 –lbs (Started 230 lbs)
18.7% / 15% - Body Fat (Started 25%)

12 / 12 – Books Read

4.0 / 3.0 GPA – Spring Semester
3.325 / 3.0 GPA – Fall Semester

I have a list of 2016 goals I hope to accomplish. I plan on taking some time later today to finish touching them up, at which time I plan to post them in their own separate list.

2015 Resomolution Check

Welp it's a new year for us, 2016 has come despite...well despite nothing.  Apparently time is a pretty predictable thing.  Will this be the year we finally get hoverboards?  Probably not, and don't talk to me about those two-wheeled things.  A hoverboard with wheels is better known as bullshit.

Anyway last year about this time I took part in the time-honored tradition of making myself some resolutions for the year and I think it's about time to take a look and see how much I actually got done.  Here we go, in no particular order:

  • Spend less money on things and spend more on experiences.
We're starting off with a mixed bag here.  I did put more of my paychecks to getting out into the world and living me some life.  I kayaked my first Class III+ and Class IV rapids, climbed my first 5.12, and visited Boston, San Antonio, and Seattle.  These visits were primarily for PAX, but visits nonetheless!  The downside to this traveling is that I spent more money on stuff while I was there on rentals, passes, gear, merch, and collectibles.  But hey, I got out, made friends, did stuff and had a blast.  I'm counting this as a win.
  • Kayak a Class IV rapid.
Suck it, USNWC competition channel.  I guess and artificial river isn't exactly a real Class IV but it's a start and it's what I had in mind when I wrote the goal down.
  • Make plans to move somewhere you've never lived before.
Plans are easy.  I can plan on visiting the center of a black hole but it doesn't mean it will happen.  I wasn't too specific here which means this was a bad goal, however as it stands right now I have a few ideas.  I've been looking at Seattle for a while now as a place to move, one of the other reasons I was so glad to travel there for PAX in 2015, but now I'm adding another possibility: Boulder, CO.  The biggest reason I've been apprehensive about making solid moving plans is my fear of joblessness.  And failure.  And loneliness.  Anyway, I'm looking into the possibility of going to grad school for a Masters or Doctorate related to renewable energy so I can get into solar R&D and save the world.  There's the glue to hold me in a new city, now I just have to actually get into a school.  Gulp.
  • End the year with less possessions than you started the year with.
Another bad goal since it's not very measurable.  (See Derek, I do learn from your camp training!)  But honestly I feel like I failed this one.  I managed to sell some big stuff I had lying around but at the same time I managed to accumulate a bunch of smaller stuff.  Looks like I'm going to dial this one in for 2016.  Moving cross country would help this a lot!

This is getting to be a wall of text, so I'll wrap up with some of the less detailed ones:
  • Get a tattoo.  I know what I want, I know where I want it, I don't have the money to pay for it.
  • Apply to be a substitute teacher.  Something to do in the meantime while I wanted to get out of my job.  Didn't do this because I don't think my life is stable enough to teach yet.
  • Go skydiving.  Again this came down to the cash, one of the experiences I failed to pay for in lieu of more stuff.
  • Find a new job for September.  Boom, knocked this one out.  My current job subcontracting fell into my lap right when I needed it luckily.
  • Get a raise at current job.  Nope, but I left a few months later anyway.
  • Save $5,000.  NOPE.  I did save...but I also spent.  Whomp whomp.
And finally!
  • Have someone to kiss on New Year's Eve.  Nope, let's throw a pity party!

Bah, I'm not salty though, it's been a great year and I'm actually looking forward to getting some new resolutions down for the next one.

Derek: to you I ask, what where your 2015 goals and-slash-or what will your 2016 goals be?  Consider the gauntlet laid down.

Adventure on.  Evan