Saturday, June 20, 2015

Travels: Coopers Rock State Park, WV

So Wednesday was my 27th birthday and I had exactly zero desire to go to work and be a responsible adult. So Matt and I took off after work Tuesday night for a mid-week climbing trip at Coopers Rock in West Virginia! Despite some traffic snarls, the trip itself was pretty easy at right around four hours. We saw a gorgeous sunset...


And got to the campsite just after 10 p.m. Our friend Nick had gotten there just ahead of us, so we built a fire and hung out for a few hours. Matt set an alarm for midnight so as to wish me a happy birthday as soon as possible. Isn't that adorable?

The next morning, we were up bright and early for some quality camping breakfast (bacon and eggs and oatmeal, natch) and we hit the trail! The guys challenged me to get 10 problems that morning, and I was well on my way; I got five or six at the first site alone, including one pretty high route that quite honestly was one of the scariest bouldering problems I've ever done. Not because it was difficult or anything, but I actually am quite afraid of heights and climbing 20-some feet without a rope was a bit horrifying. But I did it, and I didn't fall, and I celebrated with a foot selfie:


Matt and Nick kindly demonstrated proper bouldering and spotting positions:


I also got to try out my birthday present from Matt: A camera pack! I initially didn't intend to bring my camera out to the woods for such a short trip, but Matt insisted on giving me my gift early and I was so excited, I had to haul everything out.


The problems at Coopers Rock are pretty difficult; I was even struggling with some 0s and 1s, even though I can tackle 2s and even some 3s at the gym. But man, everything was so beautiful, and it just felt so great to be back on real rock again!


The forecast that day called for rain, though I had hoped it would hold off until later in the afternoon. Not so; it started pouring around noon or so. We sat under an outcropping for a while to see if it'd let up, but unfortunately it didn't. Still, we had nowhere to be for a while and there was no sense in getting soaked, so we hung out in the woods for a bit. There may or may not have been some flask-passing involved. While we were waiting, the coolest thing happened: A deer ventured out from behind some boulders and just stared at us for a bit before moseying on.


Heading back to the car, I stopped to grab a pretty cool, misty, post-rain shot of the road:


Then we drove into nearby Morgantown for some lunch and a drink. We stopped in at Mountain State Brewing Co., which had awesome wood-fired flatbread pizza — we got the pesto and prosciutto — and okayish beer.


Then Nick had to head back home, but Matt and I went to catch a matinee of Jurassic World in 3D (obvs). It was really entertaining and really cool; everything I could have hoped for from a Jurassic Park reboot...minus the rumored Jeff Goldblum cameo, that is.

Then it was time to drive home, where we had just enough time before bed to watch this week's Game of Thrones. All in all? I'd say it was a pretty damn good birthday :)

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