Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Moab Highlining Adventure

For fall break I had been planning on going out to Moab, probably since the beginning of the summer. Well as things panned out, more and more people showed interest in the trip. It was bound to be killer. Along with the ever growing Colorado crew, Andy, Jenna, Scott, Sean, Maria, Libby, Clay and a few others showed up from California, Tia and Becca came in from Wisconsin, Bernhard from Switzerland showed up, and everyone was ready to crush the highlines. The trip began with an eventful start.We spent the first Saturday night at Terry's house, rocking the lowlines and walking the highlines. Everyone was going nuts on the plethora of nylon and within the first half hour I was already injured. In an attempt to show everyone exactly what a horizontal surf looks like, I managed to separate my shoulder and crater my hip into the cold hard ground outside Terry's place. It still hurts, x-rays are pending.

The following morning we all got up and prepared to head out to the fruit bowl in Moab, where our highlining adventure awaited us. About 10 miles down I-70, my oil filter dislodged, and my oil emptied from my engine in a threatening cloud of smoke that ruined all visibility. With no oil in my engine, I was hesitant to start it up again, so we waited about 2 hours for a tow truck to pick us up and tow my jeep the rest of the way to Moab. By the time we got to the fruit bowl, the sun had set, but I walked a few lines anyway.

The next day I spent in Moab getting my car fixed up and it turns out the oil filter seal was put on incorrectly during my oil change the week prior. It was a quick fix, but it ruined another beautiful day of potential highlining. By the time I got back to the fruit bowl, a world record or two had already been broken, and the 130' line had already been sent several times.

The next two days, tuesday and wednesday, had good weather and we got a lot of walking in. Andy managed to walk over a mile on the highlines in one day, while I onsighted the 63' line, the 92' line and the 102' line. It was a great and successful trip for everyone. Many people got their first sends on the appropriately named Cherry Line (22') and Libby walked the 130' highline, the longest highline ever sent by a female, as far as we know. Pretty damn impressive.

Thursday was an interesting day, as we gave thanks for the rain, it kept pouring down on us. We decided to split and head for Terry's place for the next few days because the forecast had nothing but rain until Saturday. However, the rain was so intense that the roads we were trying to get out on were covered in mud and several people got stuck or almost ran off the road. To add to that there was a small river slowly building up through our camping area as the desert sand was quickly saturated. Needless to say, we all made it to Terry's unharmed.

Turkey dinner was fun, we had leftovers, pizza, pasta, and other various edible items we could round up on Thursday night. The next day we slacklined and highlined in Terry's yard and fooled around in Fruita. Terry has this beastly 3/8" chain that covers a 100' span in his yard. The darn thing is almost unwalkable. It takes incredible strength and stamina to walk that chain because it itself weighs more than I do, meaning any reverberations in the chain are incredibly difficult to subdue. I walked about halfway 3 or 4 times, but couldn't get further than that. Mike walked the whole thing, it was pretty rad.

On Saturday we all had a good session in the morning on Terry's lines, and then headed back to Boulder. Unfortunately, the storm that gave us trouble on Thanksgiving day was back again to haunt us. I-70 was closed through several parts, and we had to wait either at various towns along the way, or just in the middle of the road until traffic started moving again. Vail pass was a blizzard and there was about 8 inches of snow at the tunnel, meaning people were driving either very slowly or not at all. We made it back to Boulder after a 10 hour drive and passed out.

Sunday we rigged some long lines in the snow, which was fun. A 180 foot single line and a 220 foot threaded line went up, and were both quite challenging. As they accumulated more moisture, they became looser and therefore more difficult. It was a fun session, and afterward I took my friends back to the airport. I'd say it was a fun 10 days, and despite all the mishaps, misadventures and misfortunes, I still came out with a smile. I'm looking forward to another highline trip in the future with my most excellent highline friends, and the best thing is, the highline community keeps getting bigger and bigger. I think at this time last year, there were probably only 6 or 7 people in Colorado who had walked a highline. I think that number has increased 6 fold by now, and it shows no signs of stopping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! How's your shoulder doing? Did you have any x-rays yet? I forwarded a copy of the article in the Denver paper to lots of people. I found out about it from a friend who lives in Grand Junction and she E-mailed me to see if you were Leslie's kid. She said that she thought that you looked like an Allen. it was in the Grand Junction paper and also the CO Springs one. Kate's pic was in
the Springs paper, but you probably already know that.
You were probably on I-70 about the same time that your Mom and I were. People were driving about 25 mi. an hr.