Photo Credit Andy Wickstrom

Only a few weeks left in the USA

We can unfortunately already start to feel the end of our trip. There’s still a few months left but we only have 3 weeks left in the USA at most, with 1 month in Thailand, next thing you know we will be driving back towards Alberta and resume working. It’s close enough that we are starting to make plans about what we will do once we get back. While Elaine has about 7 weeks of work lined up over the summer at the Cross Cancer Hospital, it’s a bit up the air for myself. The one thing that has been in the back of my mind for a long time is to become a dealer in a casino. Since I have always liked working with the public, I feel like being a dealer will feel more like a hobby than a job. I have looked online a little and it sounds like it can be as good as it seems when you deal to a great group. Furthermore, the skill is quite transferable if we were to get a job on a cruise ship, as it is something we’ve talked about doing someday. The only uncertain thing about it is if there’s enough  money to be made there to allow saving up in a reasonable amount of time. I have also done my fair share of night shift working and I don’t know if that’s something I would really fancy right now. I’ll definitely look at the JobBank website but so far, for as long as I can get in, I should be dealing somewhere in a casino around Edmonton once we get back.

We sometimes talk about things that we miss, or things that we enjoyed before going on this simple life adventure. I have been saying lately that I’m looking forward to working again to have a greater disposable income. Reason #1: Buy meat! But after some introspection, I’m thinking that what I miss more about our previous life, is the friends of Edmonton. We make good friends along the way here and that’s awesome. But somehow, it’s going to feel good to go back home and hang out with all the people we left behind when we took on this journey. We both also miss going out to the restaurant. I don’t know that we will be going as often as we used to, but going out for breakfast is something we really miss….Urban Dinner, see you soon!!


On the climbing front, Elaine sent two of her projects this week. The first one is a super cool roof route called Girls of Juarez V4. She needed to work different betas than the rest of us because of her height but she worked hard and got it.

There are a lot of problems in Hueco Tanks with knee bar moves and using a Knee Pad makes those move much more enjoyable or simply possible.  We don’t have one but we were able to borrow a Downgrader MINI Strap-On Kneepad from Gabi and Brandon (from It’s made by a local company called Send Climbing. During our stay here, we got to try the kneepad from 5.10 too but so far, the Send one is much more comfortable, not pinching or biting the back of your leg.


Results of climbing without a knee pad!


The second one is called Denizen and it’s a V4/5, a beautiful line. The problem felt  kind of impossible for her at  first but on her second day,  she was able to figure out the crux and made it to the top. It’s always a good feeling when you finally send a problem you have been working on for a few days. It also cheers you up  and give you the motivation to keep working hard.

Personally, I ended up sending two V6 this week, including one of the coolest route in Hueco Tanks. The description from Mountain Project goes like this:

This classic face climb is one of the more notorious highball problems at Hueco. The excellent moves, stellar rock, and memorable finish make this problem a must do for those solid at the grade. Despite the towering height of this problem, the crux is low, and the landing is excellent, so wait for a crowd, layer the pads thick, and go for it! 


See spot run



It’s called See Spot Run V6. It has a low crux and the holds are positive as you make your way up, they’re just not jugs and some move are somewhat committing. Thankfully the top out was easier than expected. Unfortunately, I had to witness a friend fall uncontrolled one foot below the top. She had to be helped down the mountain and we hope she heals up quickly. It was quite scary to see it happen. This climb has claimed many victims and Jess might be the latest one.

The other one is King Cobra V6. After having failed miserably the first week here on this problem, I was given some Beta from the Germans and it went right away.

Financially, we tried to not spend any money this week. We have to pay for additional travel insurance as somehow we had only purchased travel insurance until May 1st. We found a new company to use and it’s about $1.50 pp/day. It’s not always easy to cut down the spending but so far so good!

..because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing..  

                                                                                                        -Dr Seuss

Our  budget for this week is now $222.75 CAD for food & fun.

March 5- March 11 : Weekly & Totals since we left 37 weeks ago.

Fuel: $93.00 / $4735.10
Food: $37.10 / $2512.69
Fun: $31.68 / $4902.24

Total for the week without fuel: $68.78
Total with fuel: $161.78
Total spent since the beginning: $12150.03

Total budget: $15756.21
Budget left: $3606.18

E & M


ELaine seeking shelter during a brief shower


On the way to the New Meadows…pretty narrow approach


Photo Credit Andy Wikstrom

Photo Credit Andy Wikstrom


On my current project.. Baby Face V7


Bat hang starting the best V2 in the world, Nobody Here Gets Out Alive




Testing out the new shower bag.. it works!

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