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Somehow you found this link. sorry the address was wrong in some of the letters. the joys of working with computers I suppose.Trips from fall 2001 (and spring 2002)(2-2002)
A lot has happened in the last 2 years in some ways, and not much in others. I have continued to travel and climb a lot. I guess I’ll start with where I have been...
I started 2002 in Cleveland, but returned to the west coast in January. There I managed a lot of climbing in Joshua Tree. In addition I spent some time around San Diego and did a whirlwind tour of the Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion National Parks. I moved on up to Bishop on the east side of the Sierra Nevadas at the end of February for a lot of bouldering and some sport climbing in the Owens River Gorge. In the end of March I continued North to Smith Rock in central Oregon where I tried to keep up with Matt’s fitness and climbing regimen and received a lesson in humility from my project “chain reaction”. Next stop was Flagstaff in May. There I packed up my stuff and prepared for Asia. That’s right, the roadtrip went intercontinental. I left May 29 from PHX for Bangkok. It was a long flight with a stop in Taipei. I arrived about 2 am a few days later quite disoriented.
After a few days in Bangkok I headed down to Krabi where I stayed on Tonsai beach and climbed for about 2 weeks. Then back to Bangkok to meet Jodi and fly to Hanoi. In Vietnam we explored Hanoi and went sea kayaking in Ha Long bay. Then I went up to Sapa in the northern mountains before heading south through Vietnam. I stopped in Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). Lots of interesting things to see along the way. Then on to Cambodia, a country still trying to recover from traumatic recent events. They had some of the dustiest bumpiest roads of my trip. I stayed in Phnom Penh and Siem Riep (by Angkor Wat). The temple complex was rather impressive and cool to see, especially the parts with trees growing on them. I got back to Thailand in the end of June and was travel weary. I headed back down to Tonsai where I knew where to stay and how much things were supposed to cost and didn’t have to travel every day. In the bus (really the back of a pickup truck at the time) I met up with Chris who I shared a bungalow with for most of my time on Tonsai. I stayed in Tonsai for 2 months with a border run for passport maintenance. Lots of climbing and hanging out during the stormy periods.
In the end of August I headed south to Malaysia with some people from Tonsai as well as a rolling group of travelers along the way. We stayed in Georgetown for a bit then headed by ferry over to Sumatra, Indonesia. There I was in smoky dusty Medan before heading up to Bukit Lawang. Here we were on the edge of a river by the Orangutan rehabilitation center. We tubed down the river and watched the orangutans. Then down to Lake Toba for some of the cheapest accommodations I saw on the trip (about 60 cents each a night) and also some of the first cool weather I had felt since Dalat. Then down across the equator to Bukittinggi. From there we headed back to Dumai to get a ferry across the straights of Malacca to Malaysia. Unfortunately our Indonesian money was gone and the Ferry Tickets we had been sold were no good. So we missed the first ferry while trying to get money from a bank... (the joys of third world travel).
In Malaysia I spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur before heading back to Tonsai in Thailand for a few more days of climbing (and sending “hang ten” - one last project). Then on to Bangkok and back to the USA on another disorienting long flight. Back in Flagstaff I was glad to eat non-rice starches and be cool and dry. I did a bit of climbing and then drove up to Cleveland for Thanksgiving and Christmas (in 3 days because that was when my sister could be there). I was in Cleveland until almost the end of the year when I drove back out west.
I spent new years at Joshua Tree and then did a stint in Flagstaff where I house (and Pete cat) sat for Will and Bonny. The weather was very nice for that time of year and I managed to get in a few days of climbing and bouldering in the area including Paradise Forks and The Mace. In the middle of Feb. I left the warm inside and headed back to Joshua Tree to meet Matt, Nandini, and Brandon until the end of March with a short side trip to San Diego to bicycle the railroad grade through the Carrizo Gorge. In Josh I sent 2 significant projects, “Leave it to Beaver” and the boulder problem “Streetcar Named Desire”. Then it was on to the Bishop area for a lot of bouldering and some climbing in the gorge and of course camping in the pit and soaking in hot springs. After Bishop I planned to head to Yosemite. Every weather forecast looked grim in the valley, so I kept pushing back my departure date. Finally May 7 I drove to Yosemite - I should have waited another 2 days. The conditions in the valley rapidly went from cold and wet to hot and buggy, but I still managed to get in a few good climbs including Royal Arches into the direct start of Crest Jewel (some 30 pitches of climbing according to the guidebook). From there it was on to Santa Cruz for my cousin Heather’s wedding and to see various relatives and a few college friends. Then I stayed in Santa Cruz in the gazebo as a houseboy with friends for another week (and an excellent party) before returning to the now mosquito infested Yosemite. In mid June I moved on down to the Needles in the Southern Sierras where I passed my 4 year roadtrip anniversary and got in 2 weeks of spectacular climbing, then on to Lover’s Leap nearer to Lake Tahoe. In early July I zoomed across to Lander Wyoming for the 10th
International Climber’s Festival and a bunch of climbing up at Wild Iris. I finally won a rope in the tug-of-war although I was sore for days afterwards. Then off through Seattle and up to British Columbia in early August. There I went on a quick trip to the Bugaboos (NW ridge of Pigeon Spire, Kain Rte on Bugaboo Spire, McTech Arete, and the Beckey-Chouinard on S Howser Tower). Then lots of climbing in Squamish and a short trip to Skaha. In mid October it was back to the US to Bend and Smith Rock where I finally sent another long standing problem, Chain Reaction. In mid November I blitzed across to Cleveland for Thanksgiving. I had a weather plagued short trip down to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky (it started out cold and raining, then it got colder and started snowing). From there I went with my parents to Philadelphia to see my Aunt and Uncle and my 94 year old Grandmother. Then beating a winter storm up to Boston where I am now visiting my sister Anne and helping to take care of my cute but persistent niece and nephew. I shall remain here through the end of the year, joined by the rest of the Grundy clan, Will and Bonny.
So now you know what I have been up to. As always my travels and adventures have been greatly improved by the many kind, helpful, fascinating, and friendly (not to mention bizarre and decidedly different) people I have met along the way. To all of you whether you let me couch surf for months or just hung out around a fire (especially the ones who I keep running into who don’t hide from me), Thank you very much. Without your help I would surely be even less sane now.