Wednesday, July 29, 2009

South Africa Part Five: Eland's Bay and Beautiful Blossoms

Since the last update we have taken a few side trips. The first was to Eland's Bay (see video below)... lovely...with Paul, Lyn and Cam. It was an excellent adventure where we stumbled upon an amazing empty beach with shells. We also drove to a point and discovered some tide pools with wall to wall carpet of sea anemones with all colors in the rainbow. I've never seen hot pink sea anemones before!! We also spotted some seals.

We then went back to Rocklands for more climbing...booooorrrrrring. ;)

Then we went to Cape Town, again with Lyn, Paul and Cam and saw whales (one on land and some in water). Apparently a whale had beached itself and a huge procession of sea rescue peeps (Dad... "peeps" is Oakland slang for personnel, people, or homies, if you will) went by in numerous cars followed by the whale him/herself on a truck. The radio was talking about the event and how they were going to release the whale in the next town up...pobre cito(a). Then there were the penguins and the whales (in the ocean). It was a great day.

South Africa Part Five: Eland's Bay from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Friday, July 17, 2009

South Africa Part Four: The Arrival of Friends

So the hinged brace is AMAZING. Thank you Mom, Lyn, Shannon and John for making that happen. The knee continues to get better and better, slowly. I can get to most climbing areas which is challenging but good. Walking on good trail is super easy now... I can almost keep up with the others. However, when I encounter a 3 foot rock I have to treat it like a boulder problem. I quickly assess for good foot holds to break up the steps, plant the crutch with my right hand and carefully mantel up, pressing off of the crutch. It's pretty sweet. Sometimes I need to abandon one crutch to use a hold at the top to help pull myself up. So by the time we reach any of the destination areas I have already had a full day of climbing. Nalle eat your heart out. I've been having a better time getting lots of sweet video of the crew and cheering them along.

Lyn, Paul and Cam are now here and I'm excited that Beth and Randy will be arriving shortly. The five of them are staying in the much cuter/cozier Sassie house. That's right... I'm dissing on our Ernie house. I'll be a fixture in their place for sure, which is only a short walk away. :)

Until next time...

Monday, July 13, 2009

South Africa Part Three: The Recovery

So the knee is slowly but surely getting better. I made it out to some boulders, also slowly but surely, which was wonderful. Lyn is bringing out a hinged brace which will also help the mobility and support of the knee. I think I may be able to get on some easy and low stuff before the end of the trip, which is better than nothing I suppose...but it won't be quite the same as what I was hoping for in this trip.

Alan and Amna have made it out to Rocklands. They have yet to boulder due to the rainy weather since they have arrived. I think they are still jet lagged. The rain pounded on the house last night and when Mike woke Alan and Amna up this morning Alan asked "Where are we going climbing today?" and had no idea it was pouring outside. The two days of rain has been making everyone stir crazy... not me though... it just means music video makin' time. YESSSSssssssss.

Highlights of my trip so far: Deadwood (nuff said), our Toto music video (that's right), and the quiche at Nancy's. I can't wait to show you all the music video... it's worth the wait.

Looking forward to Lyn and Paul's arrival this Tuesday...

Monday, July 6, 2009

South Africa Part Two: The Disaster

So now imagine a rad problem, "Dawn With Words" I believe, with a big dyno going up and left off of some underclings under an archway. Feet are out right and when you pop up and left your feet swing. First go I pop and miss, legs swinging and the right leg lands first off the pad (a double whammy). The pads were placed perfectly and the spotting was wonderful; it was just a weird, unpredictable fall and wasn't preventable. The shrieking and hyperventilating followed. After downing some ibu, Kevin and Mike (thank you so much) piggybacked me out. The OLD-school doc gave the diagnosis (without xray or MRI) of a partially torn MCL and told me to be bedridden for 3 weeks (yeah right) and then to use crutches to get around (still not bearing any weight after that). I've already been hobbling around and today received some crutches. I'm hoping that the crutches will at least enable me to go to the boulders with the guys since most areas involve some sort of a hike. Justin has been very supportive and fetching me things and cooking me food. I'm so bummed... so bummed. I know things could always be worse, and I am grateful that it wasn't worse... but it's hard to stay positive. I'm in Rocklands for 2 months and will have climbed only 1.5 days by the end of it... sucks. Anyhow... video to follow. Stupid internet is too damn slow.

At least I still have Toto.

Friday, July 3, 2009

South Africa Part One: The Arrival

I arrived in Cape Town after 25 hours of air travel time and realized that Kevin (who was supposed to meet me at the airport) was not there. I cabbed it to the Green Elephant and eventually met up with Kevin. Kevin said something to the effect of "blah blah blah Ryan's fault blah blah blah climbing." We picked up Peter, Justin, and Mike the following morning and made our way north to the beautiful Rocklands. My days generally start and end the same way... laying in bed listening to the sounds of Toto's song "Africa" coming from the kitchen provided by Peter and Mike, don't laugh... it's cool, and so far it hasn't gotten old. I think it's our theme song. As we await the arrival of our friends (Beth, Randy, Lyn, Paul, Cam, Amna and Alan) we have been acquainting ourselves with some of the various climbing areas. We have now seen the Sassies and the Roadside. It was nice to see some taller boulder problems there since Rocklands has been rumored to be quite low. There will be lots of killer videos for you all to watch once I find a fast enough internet connect to upload them. I'll try to upload some smaller files of them for you in the meantime.

As for the mosquitos. . . I've been bit once, only while sleeping. There aren't any to speak of at the climbing areas. No deet needed Lyn.

Image to leave you with: The five of us walking in slow motion on the trails carrying crashpads to the beautiful boulders in Rocklands. The sun is shining down and smiles fill our faces as we all look at each other and laugh (slow motion still) and Toto is playing. Toto is cool dammit!