Some New Dream Adventures

Snow came to Richmond a couple days ago; this after several days of balmy, beautifulness in which I biked to work, wore short sleeves, and ran in shorts.  In protest, I grumpily went back to wearing jackets, and also started thinking about what I wanted to do once it becomes warm enough to be outside for longer than 6 minutes without snot icicles starting.

I have a menu over there at the top of the blog called “Dream Adventures.”  I haven’t updated it in a bit, but my mind was wandering a bit during paramedic school today, so at my lunch break I decided to update it with a few new ones I’ve been thinking about lately.

In no particular order…

Do want...

Do want…

Climbing in the Bugaboos:  I’ve been following Mark and Janelle Smiley for the past two years or so.  They are working on being the first married couple to climb all 50 climbs from the famous book 50 Classic Climbs of North America.  You can follow them at their website, and be sure to spend some time watching their films.  Pretty much all of them count as adventures they’d like to have.

At any rate!  Several of their adventures take place in Bugaboo Provincial Park on the South Howser Tower and Bugaboo Spire.  The rock looks amazing.  Tall, clean, alpine granite, with bold lines.  Clear blue skies, with mixed alpine approaches (that is, walking across glaciers and snow, followed by technical rock).  The pictures I’ve seen are stunning, and the routes look amazing (and several come in right at about 5.9, so challenging and sustained, but not impossible).  Plus the name is awesome.  Bugaboo.  Only the Canadians.

The difficulty is getting there.  The largest city close to the Bugaboo’s is Calgary; Banff is the closest town of any size.  That’s way out in western Canada.  So this is a pipe dream at this point.  Still, I can look at pictures, watch the Smileys, and dream…

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I remember this sign very well!

I remember this sign very well!

Backpacking the Wild Oak Trail:  Slightly different from climbing the Bugaboos in several ways.  For one, it’s backpacking instead of alpine climbing.  For two, I may actually be able to accomplish it.

The Wild Oak Trail is located in the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest, near where Mel and I used to live (my parents still live there).  I used to work for the US Forest Service district which runs the trail, and even did trail work on it.  The trail is a 27 mile long loop, which runs along some beautiful ridges and through some of the nicest forested terrain around.

I’ve been thinking of doing this trail for awhile now.  It’s about the perfect length for a hard-pushing two day mini-adventure, or for a leisurely three-day backpacking trip oriented towards family time.  I might actually try to use it as a stress-reliever at some point, when the demands of paramedic school leave me needing some time away from the city.

They hold a trail race at the Wild Oak Trail each year.  What makes me feel like an underachiever is that there are some stalwart overachievers that do 100 miles (basically, the whole loop four time), before nonchalantly sauntering home to eat massive amounts of pasta.

TWOT_Loop

 

He's coming through Hollywood Rapids, just off of Belle's Island.

He’s coming through Hollywood Rapids, just off of Belle’s Island.

Learn a New Skill:  I currently find myself in Richmond, VA which fits The Suburban Mountaineer’s definition of Peaklessburg.  However, it is a river town, and the kayaking is big.  Not Gauley River big, but very respectable.

We spend a lot of time at the river.  Eli loves the water, and the green spaces which surround the river, while not Shenandoah National Park or the George Washington National Forest, at least remind Mel and I of home.  Whenever we go down to the river, I always find myself watching the kayakers.  I learned how to roll a kayak many years ago.  Today, I couldn’t do it to (literally) save my life.

However, there are some good programs around here that I could learn from.  So, I’ve made it my goal to learn how to kayak on whitewater before I leave the RVA.

kayaking

 

There will definitely be more as I come up with them.  These are some of the better ones I could come up with off the top of my head.  HOpefully, as the weather gets better you’ll start seeing more posts about actual adventures, instead of posts about what I’d like to do and pretty videos…

 

 

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About Ethan Zook

I'm 27, and happily married to a pretty girl named Melissa with a little boy named Elijah. From the Shenandoah Valley, currently hanging out in Richmond, VA. I love exploring the wild places around the area. I write two blogs; Mountain Ramblings is about my personal explorations in the mountains and valleys that I live around. In Mountain Rescue Blog, I write about issues faced by rescuers in mountain environments both locally and around the world.
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2 Responses to Some New Dream Adventures

  1. I like your line of thinking…

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