Almost two weeks have gone by since we did our last post… We are kind of got busy I guess… Sorry! As you can imagine time and dates are very different for us now. Day of the week is irrelevant and we have to look at a calendar to know the date for sure. Its really nice to be in some sort of 4th dimension where the clock isn’t ticking.
A few times in the last couple of weeks, we had to put the alarm on (6am) to get an early start. That was a bit of a pain! ELaine had a hard time and didn’t want to get up at all. We’ve been getting up with the sun for so long now, it’s hard to be “forced” to get up and get going so early.
It reminds us too much of the working life we left behind more than 6 months ago!!
We did a couple of trad climbs multi-pitch in Red Rocks National Park. We gave a second shot to Tunnel Vision(5.7+), the one we tried and didn’t finish a week or so ago. That route is different compared to anything we’ve climbed before. For one, the 5th pitch is a dark tunnel about 20m long. We actually brought headlamps to climb that one. Additionally, there was a lot of cheminey climbing/moves on this route. Definitely added some tools/skills to the toolbox. Lots of run out too but that was fine. The biggest thing was making sure I wasn’t leading my way up a cheminey that would have been offroute. When you have to build your own anchors, it’s not always clear where pitches begin and end. I definitely didn’t want to have to down climb what I was just about to go up on.
The second one was another Red Rocks classic called Cat in the Hat(5.6). This one was pretty mellow but still a very nice day on the rock. Kind of nice to have those routes all to yourself. On that route, I managed to free a .4 Black Diamond cam with a 2013 date on the tag. The steel is bent on it from pulling hard to get it out but in my book, it’s definitely fine to use. To make thing better, I didn’t have that size in my rack. Elaine’s patience was tested during that time because I probably hung on that rock face for well over 30 minutes and she was just sitting at the anchor waiting for me.
On the bouldering side, Elaine sent her second V5! An unnamed route in Kraft boulders. She almost sent a V6 too! She just need to work on her explosiveness!! My fingers are still bothering me a bit so I haven’t been bouldering much.
Forgot to tell you that while Elaine was gone, I managed to lock the keys inside the van. I’m clearly useless when she’s not around!! Thankfully, Conrad had a metal clothes hanger and with a little prying of the door and something hard to keep it slightly open, it was quite easy to get the door to unlock. There’s always AAA (same as CAA or AMA) that we could have called but doing it yourself is quicker and rewarding.
We found a second plant in the dumpster. This time around it’s a mint plant. It smells awesome and we for sure will make mojitos at some point. By the way, our basil plant is still alive but not doing too good. I cut a lot of leaves thinking it would give it a second wind but nothing changed. We are giving it a lot of love and hope that it will come back to life soon!!!
After 6 months of the sink’s tap leaking, Elaine finaly got really tired of it and forced us to fix it. We didn’t want to invest a lot of money into that repair. So we went to Lowes and bought some PVC pipe. We created a new “very functional” tap and the whole thing cost less than $5!! You sometime have to be very creative when you live on the cheap!
The street we found to park at night has been working out. Nothing like having a good place to sleep at, without the stress of being waken up in the middle of the night and being asked to move elsewhere. To make things better, there was a Lowes at least a 100m away that we could pick up free wifi from. Free food from the dumpster, free wifi, good place to sleep, Las Vegas was getting really comfortable!
We knew that our time in Vegas was about to end and so we treated ourselves to a free buffet. We used up all the casino points to pay for it. The food was once again pretty good minus the fact that they didn’t have seafood. Elaine found enough vegetarian options to fill up her belly. It was nice to eat food that we didn’t have to prepare and cook for once.
All good things must come to an end.
We hit the road and headed towards Joshua Tree national park. We drove on a part of the famous road, Rte 66. It was a 200km extra but it was on Elaine’s bucket list. Sounds like it’s the first highway of the USA or something like that. Elaine was very disappointed by the lack of scenery but now we can say that we’ve been there. On the other hand, it made for a different route than the one we had been on before that goes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. One super cool thing we saw on the way down was those MASSIVE solar electricity plants. I would be curious to hear how much power these things can produce. It’s just south of the Hoover Dam, which we have once again managed to not go see. That’s after 5 visits to Las Vegas 🙂 Same goes for the Grand Canyon. Maybe next time!
Our plan was to drive to San Bernardino and make a stop at the FiveTen outlet. The store is only open Thursday and Friday. I needed new shoes and so did The McFarlanes. We all slept in the parking lot of the store. We were waiting at the door when they opened it. I got a new pair of climbing shoes($59USD, regular $149), more aggressive this time. Elaine wanted to buy some climbing shoes too and but hers are still decent so she couldn’t justify the expense. I have such a reasonable girlfriend!
After our shopping spree, we all drove to Joshua tree Village to spend the night. While on the freeway, we almost lost our maxi air vent. Conrad and Kristine were driving behind us and were able to alert us. We pulled over and tried to do a quick fix but decided to just take it off. We fixed it the next day. It is a bit of a challenge to repair the roof without a ladder but once again, we are very creative!!!
Later that day, we entered the park to attack the famous monzogranite of Joshua Tree. Wow that rock can be sharp! After only a couple of hours, Elaine’s fingertips were bleeding pretty good. The rock here is very similar to Bishop Buttermilks. It will take us a little to get use to again. The landscape here is pretty unique and beautiful. Like Red Rocks this place is mostly sand and a lot of it! There is also an infinite amount of Joshua trees and Yucca plants!!
There is a few free camping spots in the area but they all are at least 15-20 minutes away from the park. We think free camping in the park will be a bit of an issue but we are pretty smart and ingenious by now!
The weather has been warmish for the last couple of days but the wind kind of ruins it. Hopefully, we’ll get nicer weather soon! It’s raining today so we can catch up with the online world,do some errands( no free food here so far) and laundry. Otherwise, life is good and we haven’t kill each other yet!!!! Elaine is sometimes a little bit anxious about what will happen to us after the trip…then she drink a glass of wine and forget all about it!!!
The budget for last week is a bit over the top due to our tickets to Thailand…but we are trying pretty hard to stay within our budget for the rest of our trip. So far, we didn’t have to reallocate any money to the transport section but we might have to… we will see.
In our last post, I said that we would be increasing our total trip budget by $650 (by the time we redeemed, we actually had $700 to use!) to include the free travel money from the travel credit card. In the end we decided to not add the dollars we had accumulated to the total budget for the same reason that we didn’t add money to the budget when we redeemed the casino points for the free buffet. We’ll justify it by calling that the perks of being a smart spender. Sort of a free lunch for once.
So the total for the flight, for two people, taxes in, minus the $700 from the credit card, to fly from Montreal to Krabi, Thailand: $1131!!!!! Cheap is good!!
Lots of pictures below the budget.. Cheers!
Our budget for this week is now $183.17 CAD for food & fun.
Jan 15 – Jan 21 : Weekly & Totals since we left 30 weeks ago.
Fuel: $199.95 / $4057.19 (includes 2 months of vehicle insurance, 1 x oil change)
Food: $32.17/ $2063.84 (includes $29.77 for propane)
Fun: $1124.50 / $4662.71 (Thailand trip minus some gains at casino!)
Total for the week without fuel: $1156.67
Total with fuel: $1356.62
Total spent since the beginning: $10783.74
Total budget: $15756.21
Budget left: $4972.47
E & M