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Vikki

Back to America, Back to Birthday Challenges

By Birthday Challenges, Trip Journal2 Comments

We pulled into our usual campground in Joe’s Valley, Utah in the wee hours on Thursday morning. We ended up staying in Salt Lake City longer than expected to finish some editing, and Katie was sleeping, curled up in the back of her white Scion coupe, when we arrived. “Should we wake her up?” “Absolutely” We knew we couldn’t wait. We ran and pressed our faces against the side window of the small white car. Unable to contain our laughter, we promptly woke Katie up and she squealed with joy as she unlocked her car and jumped out. This reunion was a big moment for all of us. We met Katie and her then-boyfriend, Niko, at the Food Ranch in Joe’s Valley in April of last year. They were in the midst of their year-long road trip and we became fast friends (an understatement, as Katie wrote in her post “suddenly we found ourselves huddled around a fire with strangers who would become family overnight”). They helped us film 5.10 vs. LaSportiva that Spring and we continued to meet up on the road as much as possible for the remainder of their road trip. We desperately wanted them to stay on the road so that we could continue to travel together forever…but, you can’t always get what you want. Katie is now persuing her career in the outdoor industry based in Denver, CO. Niko is managing the local climbing gym in Talahasee, FL. Things change, but our love for these two, together and separate, is…

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Latest Video: Kelowna Boulderfields

By Bouldering, Climbing, Exclude From Site, FilmNo Comments

At the end of June this year, we decided to travel to Kelowna, British Columbia to attend the Rock the Blocs Boulderfest. Outdoor bouldering comps are a guaranteed good time. This one did not disappoint and we decided to shoot a few boulder problems the day after the competition. Kelowna Boulderfields: Ripe for the Picking from The RV Project on Vimeo. I’m especially excited/anxious to release this video- it’s the first edit in a long time that I’ve done the majority of on my own, making it an incredibly personal project. After the initial frustration and exasperation ebbed, I remembered how much I truly enjoy the editing process. It became my “I’m back in the editing game” piece. Although it took an inexcusably long time to complete, I am happy with the finished product. I even got to beef up my After Effects chops and create a map graphic (a full day of work for 9 seconds of video… somehow totally worth it in the end). Next up for me is finishing up a film about Spenser’s first ascent in Bishop, CA this past April. With rain in the forecast after this weekend, we’ll hopefully be getting a lot of editing done in the next week. Quite the line…here’s a screenshot.

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It’s My Birthday & I’ll Abstain from Doing a Birthday Challenge if I Want To

By Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Today is my birthday. And… I’m not doing a birthday challenge. After a summer of challenges, I’m burnt out. For me, the most difficult aspect of Spenser’s challenge was an inability to plan ahead. With the unpredictable weather Squamish is infamous for, plans always hinge upon a smile from up above. I couldn’t stand waking up most mornings not knowing what the day had in store for us. Our plans inevitably fell apart, our back-up plans often had to be reworked. I’m tired of planning. It’s not that I feel burnt out with the birthday challenge idea. I’m still really psyched for you to do a birthday challenge. I also had a great time and learned a lot from mine last year. It’s just not what I want to do this year. Other than not having to plan, I have no clue what I want to do and, since we have to go to Vancouver to take a friend to the airport in the morning, it’s surprise Vikki Vancouver Birthday! (Brought to me by Spenser.) You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t written in a while. Now that Spenser’s challenge has been over for a weeks, I’ve had time to digest what the hell happened this summer. It’s been an incredible whirlwind, with some of the highest highs I’ve ever felt. Usually the highs are complemented by concurrent lows, but for the past few months the scale was tipped. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been fighting and crying. Disappointments, headaches, and times…

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Random Acts of Kindness

By Musings, Trip JournalNo Comments

Today I’m supposed to pick up one of my very best girlfriends from the Vancouver airport late at night. A couple hours ago, Spenser noticed that both headlamps on the truck were not working. When he told me, I chuckled a little. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. EH? Thankfully, the Ford dealership is a stone’s throw away from the coffee shop we are posted up at on this rainy Friday. It’s Friday at 2pm. They’re clearly busy. The service parking lot is completely full so I pull in and park next to the side of the building. I walk in and immediately beg the first person I see for help. Without hesitation, he walks outside with me to see what’s going on. Gawd, I love Canadians. He re-checked the fuses that Spenser had already taken a look at. Nothing blown. Next, the bulbs. It was strange that both had gone out at the same time, but that could be coincidental. Or, more likely, we didn’t notice when only one was working. Bingo! Phew, it’s the bulbs. After figuring out the problem, Greg, the ridiculously kind Ontario native, showed me how to change the bulbs on my own to save us some cash. Then he told me where I could buy a new pair of bulbs for much cheaper than what the Ford dealership would charge us. Gawd, I love Canadians. I’ll be honest. At this point, with the rain and my usual avoidance of dealing with truck issues (Bert is one intimidating beast!), I…

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Kelowna | The Boulderfields

By Climbing, Local Beta, Road Trip Beta2 Comments

Last summer was all about Squamish, but we knew British Columbia had more boulders to offer. When we found out about the 2nd annual Rock the Blocs Boulderfest outdoor bouldering competition in Kelowna, we decided to take a mini road trip East and give’r a go. The town of Kelowna is located on the eastern side of the massive Okanagan Lake. The Boulderfields are just south of town and take about 45 minutes to get to by a windy dirt road. There’s some rocky spots, but we took it nice and slow and were able to make it with the trailer. The Boulderfields have a seemingly endless expanse of gneiss rock (think Chaos Canyon at Rocky Mountain National Park). The area is highly concentrated but some hiking is involved, many choice areas require a bit more of a commitment to get to with some scrambling over talus à la Chaos Canyon. Contrary to Squamish bouldering, there are holds! Tiny crimps, textured slopers, good edges- whatever your heart desires. In previous years, a few sport routes have been put up across the area and now, with the hard work of a few developers, there’s also the up-and-coming bouldering playground. Both Spenser and I had a blast at the comp, quickly forgetting we were running on just an hour of sleep. Spenser got the second and third ascents of a couple spectacular steep lines, while I struggled a bit with some of the top cruxes and fell off more climbs than I finished. Nonetheless, I took in as many easy and moderate climbs as the…

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Top Rope Tough Girl

By Bolt Clipping, Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal5 Comments

Who can forget this amazing climbing classic?! I have a confession to make. I’ve been toproping. Frequently. I feel as though I’m cheating on bouldering. It’s been my obsession for years- unfortunately, my bouldering confidence wanes at times. One day I feel like I can climb to the top of anything I set my mind to. The next day, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I totally suck. How well you climb is directly linked to your confidence level. There’s no way around it. Just like with any other discipline, knowing that you can do it is a vital to success. I’m very aware that everyone has bad days, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my mental (and physical) struggle is not based on probability: it’s my lack of endurance. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been living on the road, rock climbing, for over 2 years and have gained little endurance. I am certainly much stronger than when we began the road trip, but I still get the feeling that one, or both, of my hands will spontaneously open up if I’m on the wall for over 30 seconds [not an experimentally acquired measurement, but a good estimate]. I also do not have a good gauge as to how long I can hold on once that inevitable pump sets in. I’ve never committed to climbing past it. Yep, I’m a sucker for letting go. This is further detrimental to my climbing since I am predominately a static climber who…

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My Granola Holy Grail

By Food, Staying Healthy, Trip Journal2 Comments

The past 2 weeks have been an emotional sine wave. We were in a city neither of us particularly like, but we were there to do a job that we were incredibly excited about, and feel passionate about. We were in Las Vegas primarily to film Alex Johnson for her 25th birthday challenge- our first challenger for our upcoming EpicTV web-series. The first week in Vegas was refreshingly simple compared to previous Vegas trips, as we were fortunate enough to be staying with Liberty and Max. We could cook at their house, and that made sticking to the food challenge rules easy. The second week was not as easy. We moved around multiple times and didn’t have a “home,” or, more importantly, a stable place to cook (setting up the trailer for cooking is tedious when you know you’ll have to tear it down the next morning). I also worked three night shifts in a row, throwing off the early-to-bed|early-to-rise schedule we had grown to rely on to keep some semblance of order to our lives. #RealFood30 has been a difficult challenge. The batch of granola I made over a month ago in Chattanooga has been a crutch, especially during our time in Vegas. This was even more apparent in Vegas as we both half-jokingly threw in the towel countless times. Even though I do feel better – mostly an overall feeling of lightness – I still crave cheese and baked goods (gluten-free never sounded so good). I still want these foods that I know…

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The Week That Was

By Food, Musings, Trip JournalOne Comment

We’re officially in Las Vegas, Nevada. More importantly, this means we made it one week and 900 miles without succumbing to our food demons! We hit a few bumps in the road en route to the West side, and a week ago we would have relied on food to make us feel better about these mishaps. With our 30-day food challenge, we were forced to take solace in salad. Guess what? We survived. Shocking, right? I often tout that the most important thing that we have learned through our travels over the past 2 years is to be open-minded. I feel a bit silly now as I realize I was never open-minded about food. I believed that I needed starchy carbs like rice, gluten-free bread, or pasta to feel full. Well, here’s another shocker: I was wrong. Except for being extremely gassy, I’m doing fine (Spenser, too). Better than fine- I feel pretty darn great. I know my digestive system is still adjusting to all this fiber I’m ingesting, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the passing gas. 😉 Of course, our charge across the country wasn’t all negative happenings… Except for the necessary stops due to the mishaps, we charged across the country only stopping for a few days in New Mexico. We explored the boulders outside of Roy, NM with Eric Bissell and friends last weekend. Eric also showed us around the exquisite granite in La Madera, about an hour north of Santa Fe. Spenser…

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The 30-day Real Food Challenge AKA #RealFood30

By Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, Trip Journal5 Comments

First of all, apologies for not getting this post up sooner. We started our 30-day challenge on March 14, but we’ve been in the no-cell-reception, no-wifi-zone bouldering area outside of Roy, New Mexico (which was AMAZING–more on this sweet spot in a later post). I, of course, should have planned ahead and gotten this post up before we were in the middle-of-nowhere, but…well…still working on that whole planning-ahead thing. Promise. Last week I wrote about why we want to do the challenge, now here are our rules, so y’all can keep us honest. Visit USAToday to learn more about the most healthiest dietary supplements and other treatments for conditions like ringing in ears for example. The Absolutes: –       No gluten: no wheat, barley, or rye. –       No dairy: no cheese, no butter, no whey, no milk chocolate! –       No bread products, not even GF ones: no chips, no crackers, no tortillas, no baked goods. This is mostly because both Spenser and I love bread products and rely too heavily on them. When I buy a loaf of gluten-free bread, I end up eating it in 1-2 days flat. That’s pretty ridiculous. –       No soy: which includes soy byproducts such as soy lecithin, which means chocolate is going to be hard to find, but not impossible! Wondering what the heck soy lecithin is? Read more about the emulsifier that is found everywhere nowadays. –       No energy drinks: no 5-hour energy, no Red Bull, and so on. Yes to coffee & tea. –      …

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Photo credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/shutterstock.com

Inspiration Found

By Climbing, Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal3 Comments

After a week of California vacation binge-mode, we are back in Chattanooga and feeling motivated again.  Sometimes a forced break really helps put things into perspective. Spenser talked a bit about our climbing haps in his last post, and this post is going to about another things we can’t live without: food. [No matter how much traction the Breatharian movement gets! Okay, but seriously, I know food can be an addiction, but this as a long-term sustenance plan is nuts.] While in San Diego, we figured we’d take advantage of our locality and head up to Encinitas to visit a company we were first introduced to at the OR show in January, GoodOnYa. Spenser knows that I am always on the lookout for good gluten-free products, and during the OR show, he happened upon the GoodOnYa booth. We were able to snag a box of bars during the show and devoured them over the next week. They were delicious and, for once, we were pleasantly surprised by each and every ingredient. My stomach is incredibly irritable, even beyond my Celiac Disease. I also don’t do well with soy (read: mad indigestion), so it’s an annoyance to find a gluten-free snack bar that fits the bill. Since we loved the bars and, even more importantly, the company ethics, we decided to pay the GoodOnYa office a visit and see if we could figure out a way to we could work together. They have a small office on the 101, and an…

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