Tuesday, July 12th – Wednesday, July 13th: Vedauwoo, WY

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Alex and Dave crawled out of their comfy hotel beds early so Dave could ready himself for his interview while Alex walked over to the main building of the hotel complex to grab coffees and baked goods for breakfast. Dave donned the thrift store shirt, tie, and suit coat he had purchased in Golden a few days earlier. Notice, there was no pants mentioned here. No worries! Dave wasn’t interviewing in his underwear, he was wearing a pair of shorts… no need to buy suit pants for a video chat interview. Alex, Kevin, and Sam vacated the room and headed back over to the main hotel building to check out the gift shop and print some paperwork while Dave interviewed. They also discovered a chess board so Kevin and Sam enjoyed a round of chess while Sam learned how to play. Dave showed up after his interview, and felt like it went well. He wound up having a phone interview, so the thrift store suit wasn’t even needed!

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Dave and Kevin played a round of chess before the group checked out of the hotel and headed to Sierra Trading Post. Alex vowed that she was not going to buy anything, but before long “good deals” wound up in a shopping basket. Sierra Trading Post strikes again. Kevin found an awesome deal on sleeping pads, and Alex and Dave almost wound up buying them as well, but talked themselves out of it, concluding that they were just too heavy to take backpacking.

After making our purchases we found a Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara, for lunch. Our meals we fantastic! We were glad we had opted to order only three meals instead of four. Those three meals were too much food for the four of us… and that is an impressive feat!

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After lunch, we headed towards the pile of rocks along I-80 known as Vedauwoo once again. We wound up driving to the same area we camped earlier this summer, and set up camp. We then proceeded to lounge, relax, nap, flip through the guide book, and take pictures. Eventually, they convinced themselves to drive down to the central area and walk around. Alex knew that if she convinced Dave to do this, they would wind up climbing something, probably Edward’s Crack. And they did! Alex and Dave took a quick run up the two pitches before sunset, while Kevin and Sam hiked around and caught Pokemon.

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After the group of four reconvened in the parking area, it was time to cook up mac-n-cheese for dinner in the gazebo. As dinner was being prepared, Alex walked around to take pictures. She walked by a woman who told her she could go take a picture of a moose nearby. Alex thought the woman was crazy, she had never seen a moose in all her times in Vedauwoo. But whatever, she would walk around and see if there actually is a moose. Low and behold, there WAS a moose! She snapped a bunch of pictures and worked her way towards the gazebo trying to get the attention of her friends without scaring the moose away. Finally, Kevin heard her or saw her waving motions and came her way. By that time, the moose was close enough to the gazebo area that all of them could see it…. From safe distance of course! The moose slowly made its way through the picnic area while its paparazzi watched on. Eventually it wandered far enough away that dinner was able to resume. The group cleaned up dinner dishes and headed back to camp for the night.

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Wednesday morning, we headed to the rest area on the way to Beehive Buttress to make breakfast. We decided Beehive would be a great place to climb with Kevin and Sam, and hopefully get Sam to lead a sport climb for the first time. We cooked up dehydrated potatoes while snacking on oranges, peanuts and coffee. We had remembered to bring the french press, but had neglected to bring any coffee… oops! Fortunately, we had two backpacker coffee packs with us!

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We drove down the bumpy dirt roads to Beehive Buttress, geared up in the parking lot, and soon were standing at the base of the wall. Alex had said she would lead the first climb, a 5.6 she had lead before. When she went to look at the guide to see how many draws she needed, Dave told her to figure it out without checking the route description. His goal was to take her out of her comfort zone and make her grow as a climber, but instead he made her grow grumpy. They bickered back and forth a bit before she grabbed more draws than she knew she needed and made her way up the wall. After returning to the ground, Kevin and Sam climbed the route while she and Dave moved to the next climb, Monkey and the Engineer, another 5.6. After Dave took his turn on the route, the two retreated to the shade of the aspen trees on the right side of the formation. The pair climber a fun arete that Dave lead, Walking the Boards (5.10a). Alex and Dave lead Rip Chords (5.6), and decide this would be a great climb for Sam to lead. Kevin lead the climb while Sam contemplated what she would do. She was tentative at first, understandably nervous to take the sharp end for the first time. She climbed it on top-rope twice, gaining confidence before she did a great job on her first lead! The group also climbed Gypsie Fire (5.6), before Alien Dave (5.10a) caught Dave’s attention. Dave lead the awesomely fun climb up a black water streak, through overhanging sections that was reminiscent of climbing in The Red. Alex followed the route and found it jus as enjoyable. The group headed back to the car, and made there way to the rest area once again to enjoy a late lunch of cheese, hummus, and pepperoni pitas before returning to their camping area for the evening. As bedtime approached, Alex and Dave climbed a top a few boulders to enjoy the setting sun and take pictures.

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