This weekend was my 25th birthday! It was a very busy weekend, but amazing to celebrate with my family, friends, and boyfriend.
Here is proof that I’m not always in hiking/climbing clothes!
On Saturday, Brad and I slept in while Spencer and Ed went to the REI Garage Sale. Spencer will be doing a post on his gear haul from the sale. I will link it here when it’s up!
Ed, Brad, and I went to Adventure Rock to get some climbing in. We start on the systems board. I was drilling drop knees, while Ed worked on high underclings. Brad did a bit of everything,but was anxious to get on ropes. His local gym in Crystal Lake, IL is basically only bouldering. I was climbing really well that day. I sent 2 of the routes I was projecting, which felt really good. Brad did some route doubles to work on endurance. Ed worked on his project for a bit. We left the gym tired, sweaty, and happy!
Ad Rock is very close to REI, so we met up with Spencer there. We all just like to look at gear! It’s kind of an addiction, to be honest. Ed found some sweet ski boots, but didn’t end up getting them.
It was unseasonably nice for February, so we grilled chicken brats for dinner. I flipped through Ed’s book on the Red River Gorge. The boys have all climbed there before; they went a few times in 2015. My first time in the Red will be over Memorial Day Weekend. I’m really excited and wanted to find a project to work on while we’re there. The boys already have theirs picked out. Brad recommended Send Me On My Way at the Bruise Brothers wall. It looks doable for me! It’s a tall-ish route, so I’ll definitely need to work on endurance. And just maybe, I’ll actually lead the route instead of doing clip-to-clip top roping!
We were also able to purchase our plane tickets for our 100 Mile Wilderness backpacking trip in August! I am beyond excited for this trip- possibly more excited than for my trip to Spain. I got some new pieces of gear as birthday gifts too.
My mother made me a gluten free peanut butter pie, complete with polka dot M&M’s.
My parents got me the Marmot PreClip Jacket in the dark raspberry color. This rain jacket is a great upgrade from my old Columbia Arcadia II. The Columbia jacket wasn’t packable, and my Marmot one will pack inside itself. It’s also significantly lighter and has pit zips, which I appreciate. Outdoor Gear Lab rated it as a Best Buy; I’m excited to try it out on the trail.
Being an avid reader, Brad got me a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s only 7.2 ounces, so it is perfect for taking on trips with me. I am currently reading Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn, at the recommendation of Spencer. I’m about halfway through the book and I love it. Hearing about Carrot’s experiences on the trail make me wish it wasn’t winter, so we could just go outside already!!
My sister got me another Class Pack for yoga. I currently take classes at Urban Om. Yoga is a new pursuit for me. I am hoping it will help me with my climbing, make me a less stressed, and more mindful individual. My sister also takes classes at this studio, so it’s been fun to see her there as well.
Lastly, I got a pair of Saloman Speedcross 3’s in Darkness Blue/Boss Blue. I wanted a nice, lightweight trail runner for the 100 Mile Wilderness trip. These can handle sloppy terrain, which should be great because there will be a lot of water! We’ll be fording rivers and scrambling over some wet rocks. They are a little bit warmer of a shoe, but I’m always cold, so I think that should be fine. The quicklace system seems nice, but I’ve heard some people dislike it. My friend Hannah is coming back to Wisconsin (she lives in the PNW) for a visit and I’m planning to break these in during a nice day hike with her.
I was fortunate enough to receive several other non-gear related gifts, as well. My friends and family really spoiled me as I turned 25. What is your favorite thing about birthdays?