Another week has gone by and we are so thankful to be here!
We have been here long enough now to be able to settle into a little routine of our own and to feel at home at Hueco Tank Campground. It’s very enjoyable to drink your morning coffee, watching climbing videos or just chatting, on the porch with fellow climbers.We love this place but the wind…it is so freaking windy here!!! Again today, gust winds up to 40 mph, so powerful that the van gets rocked back and forth when we are parked !!! Crazy!! On top of the wind, Mother Nature has been adding some rain here and there for us in the last week and it’s impossible to trust the weather forecast, as it changes every 5 minutes or so.
Elaine has been doing a bit of cleaning around the campground lately on her down time. She likes doing it and considers it like a little workout. She has been raking leaves, picking up trash and broken glass in the yard. The manager of the campground noticed it and was happy to propose to trade her work for free accommodation. We got 3 free nights($8)out of this deal! Way to go girlfriend! Due to the cold weather and the rain that we had this week, we were surprisingly willing to pay for a hot shower. Unfortunately for us, the shower is out of service until they get a new water heater. My guess is that we won’t be around long enough to enjoy a hot shower on site. In the meantime, we purchased a solar heated 5 gallons shower bag. Conrad and Kristine have been using one since the beginning of the trip and they swear by it. It’s too cold and windy right now to enjoy an outdoor shower but we tried it out yesterday by washing each other’s hair. It will do the job for sure and we are looking forward to warmer weather to have a full body shower.
Otherwise, climbing is occupying the biggest part of our schedule right now. We are usually climbing 2 days and resting 1 day. Rotating with Conrad and Kristine, so 3 of us go climbing while someone stays with the dogs. This park is not dog friendly at all, they don’t allow dogs on trails or on the mountain. Dogs can only be on the pavement, not allowed on the grass or in the bushes. We are all happy to spend our rest day with the Bella and Diva anyway.
Having the opportunity to climb here is amazing and meeting strong climbers from all over the world is even more awesome. Elaine has been working hard on a few projects but her skin is still pretty thin. She just cannot push, crimp or throw as much as she would like. She has been feeling frustrated lately and would like to perform better and send harder problems. It’s hard for her to see other girls sending projects that she had been working for couple of days. Patience and perseverance are the keys and she is “kind of” accepting it now. She did send Girls of Texas this week, her third V5 of the trip!! Her leg pain is slowly going away to leave room for new problem like neck and shoulder pain. Nothing serious to worry about for now but it just shows she’s trying hard.
On my side there’s no shortage of projects as the climbs here are just amazing. I have been working hard on the crux of Daily Dick Dose V7 and I finally sent it! Only my second V7 of the trip. It’s a short route while remaining super aesthetic. It’s amazing what putting a little effort into a project will do. It seemed impossible the first time I tried on it and after 3 days of work, it finally went out of nowhere. Baby Martini V6 was also on my list and I happily sent it today. This one is almost a sport climb so long it is. There’s one route I really want to get though and it’s Baby Face V7.
I feel like the way we look at climbing has changed since we first started this trip. We didn’t use to care for gear all that much, especially when it came to buying climbing shoes. We used to buy the cheapest ones for as long as they were comfortable, thinking that it wouldn’t make that much difference anyways. There is a lot to a shoe and with all that realized, it became obvious that Elaine would need new shoes at some point but we never really talked about it. I think we didn’t want to face the truth, couldn’t justify the expense in our budget and kept reminding ourselves that her shoes were still in good condition… hey there wasn’t any holes in the rubber! And this week, we met Jess and Andy from Designegg! These guys are on a year long climbing trip as well and somehow, Jess kindly offered Elaine a brand new pair of climbing shoes, if they fitted her, as she tought the ones she was wearing were quite pathetic and definitely more for beginners. Guess what, they are a perfect fit! Climbers and the whole community around it are so awesome, we just love haning out with those people. Thanks Jess and we will keep paying forward the Karma! So if you readers ever need some design/photo/logo..anything, please visit them at DesignEgg.org and visit Andy’s photo website. They’re also on Instagram if you’re into that. He takes super awesome shots.
Here is a picture that Andy took of Elaine on Girls of Juarez V4.
Other than climbing, our favorite topic of conversation is food… or as we call it: What’s for supper? I’m not sure if you guys are wondering what we are eating but anyway I might as well share it with you. Every day, we need to create meals from whatever we have in the “pantry”. We mentioned before that we became pretty creative about food and stove top cooking but that doesn’t mean that we find it easy. For the last 8 months, we have been using the same 7-8 ingredients for most meals! We play around with spices and switch around the side grain like pasta, quinoa or rice, and Voila! The combinaisons are endless !!!! We only buy vegetables that are on sale, so most of the time it’s tomatoes, potatoes and poblano peppers (Who can afford bell peppers? We have seen those selling for as much as $2 a piece!). Most of our meals are vegetarian so therefore lots of lentils or beans but on random days I’m allowed to buy some meat other than $1 hot dog sausages 🙂 This week was a lucky one as Elaine found raw breaded chicken (like KFC) for $2 in the meat section. We deepfried it and it tasted just as good as it looked! My tastebuds enjoyed every bites.
Here are a few pictures of what our meals look like, Bon Appetit!
Thanks for reading us! Budget below, more pics underneath.. cheers!
Our budget for this week is now $213.13 CAD for food & fun.
Feb 26 –Mar 4 : Weekly & Totals since we left 36 weeks ago.
Fuel: $25 / $4642.10
Food: $125.06 / $2475.59 (includes propane and shower bag)
Fun: $10.16 / $4870.56
Total for the week without fuel: $135.22
Total with fuel: $160.22
Total spent since the beginning: $11988.25
Total budget: $15756.21
Budget left: $3767.96
E & M