I think I get more excited to live in a mountain town every day. I've been dreaming about moving west (as every young man does) for wayyy too long now and I see this as a re-focusing of my life. I know the majority of you reading this have seen this blog since inception and watched it turn from a bike blog, to a runner's rantings, to a lazy summer bum's tales to a climber's party tales. This last year in Lawrence I have felt pretty stagnant, no real motivation to ride the same trails over and over again and even Arkansas has started to become redundant in the climbing scene.
But in Flagstaff... I will be living 6 miles away from world class sport climbing. And my local crag has many more 5.12s than 5.9s (and no 5.8-). To put this in perspective, I believe my "local crag" of HCR has about 10 5.9 and under climbs for every 5.12. Which means that if I want to continue climbing it's time for me to either put up or shut up, I can't really sit and stall at a 5.11+ limit anymore and have it be any kind of impressive or even acceptable. Which is pretty rad since I firmly believe once a climber has found their technique climbing in the 5.10-5.11 range it is rarely a challenge to come back to them after time off and becomes more instinct and rock reading, which admittedly accounts for my lack of gym time this year while I am still increasing my onsight level.
I'll also be living in a hot bed of new mtb trails and looking forward to seeing switchbacks, logrides and jumps on the local xc trails again. I have super high hopes that I can land a job that affords me a decent new XC rig this year as that has always been great motivation for me to get out and ride, coupled with the scenery and the town itself. My anticipation for new riding has already kicked in and I have had the roadie out in force the last few weeks attempting to gain the composure back that a year on a motorcycle killed in me. If things go as planned I'll be riding 24hrs of Moab this year and if they don't than I'll still be riding rad trails at home 6 mths. a year and gooseberry/moab the rest of it.
Whitewater Kayaking: This has always been one of those things that I have thought would close my triangle of things I am good at. When I reference "the triangle" I feel like a mid-90's Mountain Dew ad. But the mtb, the climbing and the whitewater have always seemed like the three most extreme outdoor activities to me since I was a kid, the pinnacles of their respective properties (land, water and air). I can hang my hat comfortably on two and apparently Flagstaff has some good stuff in the water and I am pretty stoked to see it. I suck in the water (there's not much reason to be good in it living in KS) but have high hopes that the next year will be good learning regardless.
So I have to get back to attempting to sell the motorcycle, furniture and spare parts now to make this adventure hurt financially as little as possible.
But here's to new trails, new rock, new water, new friends, new local beer and focus.