I mean reely dark. Like two days before Halloween dark.
So dark I can smell myself.
And cold. Me and Jr. are rackin' up in the pick-o-nick parking lot under the manure pile buttress. We got big plans today. We been hearin about this route.....The Nutscracker....fer a while now, and seeins how we go by the code-names "Micronut" and "Macronut" on the Supertaco(Thats a website on the world wide web), we figerd that there root had somethin out fer us. Its like the route has a personal aim to hurt us right where it hurts. You know what I mean? Micornut, Macronut, Nutcracker.....coincidence? We thinks not. And by dangit if we're just gonna sit around on our haunches and let that route haunt us, we gots no bizness callin ourselves climbers. We're gunna go up there and show that root who's boss round these parts. We aint backin' down. Thats fer sher.
30 degrees. Six fifty am. We're lockin' and loadin'.
The forest is dark, but I splashed on extra Stetson cologne this mornin to ward off evil spirits. If this root wants a fight, that's what she's gunna git. She ain't gunna crack my nut! You mess with the bull.....you git the horns! I got plenty o tape....and more where that came from!
"You got a toothbrush with you?"
"You know, one of them little brushlike things with a handle....we might need one if there's dert in the cracks. I don't think this root gits dun much."
"I still don't know what yer talkin' bout Cuz..."
We scramble up to the start quicker than a polecat chasin' a stink bug. Jr. takes the sharp end and before you can say "Daryl Waltrip for President" he's 90 feet up starin down the business end of a steep 5.8 lieback.
"I'm kinda whupped Jr.....I shoulda had a couple more donuts this mornin'."
"You'll be fine Cuz! Just follow me...I AM FEELIN IT THIS MORNIN'"
We crank on by the second pitch, and so far nobody's cracked a nut.
"What'd you say Cuz....I kinda wasn't payin attention."
"Never mind Jr......climb on, yer on belay."
WHACK! I give him a stiff set of knuckles right to the belay loop (if ya know what I mean!)
Well, the climb carries on purdy uneventfully. Jr. Stays out on lead, I ride shotgun, lettin' him drive today. By about 9:30, sweat starts drippin' down my pits and Jr. starts complaining sayin...."maybe flannel underwear wasn't the best wardrobe choice today."
Them last two pitches is super fun but in some spots its kinda saucy for 5.8. I mean, its al there, but that little crux roof has me workin' harder than a one legged man in a butt kickin' contest. I git a good jam with my fist and yard up on that thing.....Jr. screams down..."Now that birdl hunt Cuz! Git er dun!....Hooooowweeeee!"
I yard on the last two holds of the route and pull down with the strength of a thousand men. It looks like we're the ones crackin' the Nut!
"How you like me now!!!!!" screams Jr. as I crest the final bulge and give one more gun show.
The summit is amazin! Like better than watchin' WCW with a six pack of Bud and a bag of Funions. Like better than NASCAR on Sunday and Walker Texas Ranger on Monday.
Jr. and I book it down the trail from the top.....
He heads back down HWY 41 to work and I head back to The Ahwahnee. Two men. Two very separate paths. I stink pretty bad so some deodorant is a smart call before headin' over to The Ahwahnee.
OFF w/ DEET.....the smell of a real man.
Teams are enjoyin' big action all over he Big Stone.
Zodiac was goin off!
So were the Fall colors of November.
I had to meet up with some folks for a seminar and dinner....what different worlds....the high lonesome and the high falootin'!
Micronut at 11:00am
Happy Halloween Yall. See ya 'round.