Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Day at Red Rocks

We had our morning coffee at our usual stop just off Charleston, the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It's not anything special, but the location is right, and it's a decent enough coffee place (and they have tea for Shelley).

We went to buy our annual pass for Red Rocks and found that the USA national parks pass we had just purchased at Yellowstone also covers Red Rocks. If you're touring around visiting national parks, the $80 pass is well worth it.

We stopped at the visitors center and were delighted to find the desert tortoises were out and about. Every other time we've been here it's been winter and they've been sleeping. It was even feeding day. Of course, I hadn't brought my camera, so no photos. The tortoises are in a couple of (low) walled areas adjacent to the visitors center.

We had a good day at a couple of the bolted sport climbing areas at the first pullout. We were just warming up, but considering it was our first time outside this year, we felt pretty good. We were certainly climbing quicker than the other groups around us. We did 5 routes at one wall in the same time that other people did two or three. We were also the only couple where both of us led every route. Good to know we're not totally washed up yet :-)

We plan to follow our usual routine and alternate sport climbing and multi-pitch trad routes. So the plan for tomorrow is to do Tunnel Vision - a fun route we've done before that isn't too long or hard. Given the temperatures today (up to about +30c) we're figuring on an early start.

Of course, it won't be a surprise to people who know me that the one thing I took photos of was a lizard. The wrinkled skin makes me think she lost a little weight over the winter. I also saw a small snake - the first one I've seen here. I only got a quick look as it slithered into the undergrowth. It was about 15" long and about as thick as a pencil. No idea what kind it was. Not sure what kind of lizard it is either.



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