My Jeep isn't the only one crawling these days! I recently learned how to rock climb outdoors doing the whole shabang - climbing, rappelling, and even belaying. This was such a cool experience.
While I was in Portland, one thing I wanted to do was embrace the culture. PDX is a very health-conscious and active community. You can find tons of cool outdoor stores like Next Adventure where you can stock up on all your camping, climbing, and outdoor needs.
One of my main goals while I'm here is to get really comfortable rock climbing. It is such a liberating experience. If you are physically able, I highly suggest trying it with someone who knows what they're doing. (I'm afraid of heights and I loved it!!!)
A few friends from Squamish, BC came to visit and showed us the ropes quite literally. We strapped into our Black Diamond gear and learned our knots. Well, most of us....
Next up after my climb was someone who will be referred to as 'Randy Lahey' on my blog. If you catch the reference you get mad cool points lol. Anyway, I was *belaying him. My job is to keep the rope as tight as the climber prefers to prevent them from falling in case they slip. As a girl who weighs a little more than 100 lbs supporting a man twice her size, it was honestly easy. Just know what you're doing and learn to use to your body weight to your advantage. And yes, the adorable doggo at my feet was totally supporting me the first time belaying.
*belaying refers to the use of a rope system to catch the climber if they fall (see below).
Climbing is super cool if you're a nerd like me because it's all about math. You have to learn the angles and really understand how to use your body weight to your advantage. That being said, I am calling on all my ladies to get out there and try this!!!
As for the person I was belaying, while they were climbing up, Randy Lahey was all good - 'cleaning' the ropes he was good, but tying a figure 8 knot? Well, it was missing a few loops. When you tie the knot above the harness you want to check for three twos, and he only had two twos....(if you look below you can see that two parts of the rope loop over three times). To anyone who has never climbed, you can see what my gibberish means below:
Not to leave you hangin' - but don't worry. He made it down completely safe! To be fair, the sun had set and it was his first time cleaning the ropes, but lesson learned - always practice your knots before climbing 😂
While out in Hood River, we also went downhilling. I haven't been on a mountain bike in years. It was SO much fun! Portland is an excellent biking destination. The mountains here are challenging in a fun way. There is something here for people of all experience levels. You can definitely catch some air and see some great views out in the Mount Hood area.
There is a ton of wildlife in Oregon, so you can definitely be one with nature here. This little Woodpecker was in the tree right above us, with not even the slightest concern of the presence of four humans and a dog. The weather was warm and the sun was out. Spring was truly in the air. Everywhere you look things were blooming.
It has been a completely different experience living in Portland so far, but it's been great. I've been learning to stop to smell the roses, quite literally here in the Rose City. I've been focusing on slowing down and really living my life, and most importantly, traveling. The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is full of amazing destinations so I never get bored here. I can say I am happy to call this place home.
Extra bonus picture from my Hood River Road Trip: