#Vanlife Part 2
Waking up on day #2 after a good night's sleep I was ready to rip! Okay, so maybe I felt more like a sack of hammered assholes than anything, but at least my spirits were up! Haha! We packed the van up and headed back into Mazama to visit the little climbing shop called Goat's Beard. With a snippet of the now out-of-production crag info book we were off to the crags!
I can admit there were lessons learned that day. One, it's simply too hot to climb on the east side of the mountains past about 1pm. We got a late start to the day (no thanks to me), and you could just tell the heat zapped the energy from Auden and Kim. Lesson number two, do NOT try to climb after a day like I had on Lexington. Mentally, I thought I felt great. Physically, it became quickly apparent I was waaaaay low on energy. After taking a lead fall on a 5.7 bolted route it was obvious I needed to chill. I setup a couple top ropes for Kim and Auden that they both did really well on, but after about 2hrs we were all just too hot and sweaty.
Back at the van it was time for family discussion. We had two more days of doing whatever we wanted to do and go wherever we wanted to go. After a failed attempt on Mt. Hood the week before (long story... no blog post on that one, lol) I had came prepared with gear for another attempt, but I was VERY clear with Kim and Auden that one I got Lexington done I was 100% okay with doing whatever they wanted to do. We could head east, west, or south. It really didn't matter to me. We decided we'd head south and just see where the roads took us. If we ended up at Mt. Hood then so be it. If not, then no big deal at all!
We stopped in Winthrop for our traditional ice cream cone, and off southbound we went! I gotta tell ya, the drive from Winthrop to Lake Chelan is just beautiful. I spotted a large group of people river rafting and we quickly pulled over and ran across to the top of a bridge to watch them as they went by. Auden was quite tickled with this, and now apparently we've added rafting to our list of "must do's". Works for me!
So here's where the story takes an interesting twist. We decide to cruise into Chelan, WA and spend some time on the lake soaking up the sun and playing in the water. After pulling off the highway we go by Skydive Chelan and I joked to Kim, "There ya go! Want another birthday present?". She laughed and replied with a casual, "I totally would". I quickly came back with, "Well then lets book it. You can jump tomorrow!". She rebutted with it costing too much, but you see... this is what's amazing about #vanlife. We were spending ZERO money on hotels and lodging. What that does is not only provide the financial freedom to do trips like this more often, but also do some really cool stuff on those trips you might not normally be able to afford. After one quick call to the drop zone she was booked with a 9AM tandem jump, AND they were totally cool with us parking the van there overnight. BAM!!! Just like that my wife (the little miss lives in here own comfort bubble) was going to make a jump and we had our free stay for the night! Summm bitch!
We cruised into Chelan and enjoyed the sun with some lake time, and a ton of frisbee in the park. This was my idea of a vacation. We were doing what we wanted, and when we wanted to do it. After a nice meal at a local restaurant it was time to call it a night at the dropzone.
9AM came fast, and after a nice little tutorial session there she was all suited up hopping into a Turbine Porter for her first skydive! So rad!!! What can I say? She did it! She nailed it! She loved it! Smiles the whole time, and beautiful landing on a beautiful sunny day! I couldn't be any more proud of her! I never in a million years would have thought that the Kimma I knew would jump out of an airplane, and if she did I would have bet money on there being a panic attack involved. Nope! She just rocked it! I was just blown away at how calm and "normal" she was when she got down. I feel like here's the part where I'd normally be inserting some humorous and comical story, but I've got nothing! She just plain did it! Reflecting back in a mildly selfish way I like to think it's all because of the van. We wouldn't have been there in the motor-home, and we never would have gone out of our way or come up with the idea for her to do that. There's something magical that lives in that van. It's got a soul that's vibrant, and with so much energy it just can't help but motivate and excite anyone in it. Call me weird, but... I believe.
With spirits now in the clouds (literally) we were off southbound again. Destination? None yet. Just south. We cruised into the Hood River Gorge and watched the kite surfers for a bit while we got a bite to eat. We also stopped at the Stonehenge Memorial Monument along the way. I felt this was fitting considering it was Memorial Day weekend and all. It was a good chance to enjoy not only a beautiful monument, but to talk to Auden about the importance of Memorial Day and what it means. It was, at that time, officially time to make a decision. Kim and Auden called it. They said lets head to Mt. Hood. I had a little bit of vengeance for that mountain, and with my family behind me how could I say no?
To be continued...