Climbing in the Red is unique. It’s pumpy. It’s steep. It’s long. Lately it got a bit tiring. Marshal and I made the decision to take a weeklong break from the Red before Pete gets here on Thursday. It was a miserable, rainy climbing day, followed by a miserable, rainy rest day that enticed this decision. Anywhere is better than a chilly, wet camp. So off we went to Atlanta.
Why Atlanta you ask? Why not. The weather was sunnier. What better way to explore Southeastern USA than visiting one of its largest cities? Tall buildings and street rats would bear welcome respite from trees and chipmunks. After an unplanned detour through the back wood roads of Kentucky we were headed south on the I-75. Smooth sailing to Atlanta. We arrived at 11:30PM on Thursday, and were greeted by a vacant down town core. Rolling around the empty streets, we found ourselves in the down town campus area of Georgia state University. Pulling of a few doors, we find an open one, and decide to explore a little bit. Minutes later we are being escorted out the doors by a police officer threatening charges of trespassing. We set our sights on a 24hr Waffle House and decide to re-nourish and regroup.
The plan is to find a public park where we can park the van for the night and catch a few hours of sleep before the morning. North Atlanta is home the city’s wealthy neighborhoods. American suburbia complete with tennis clubs, private drives and home surveillance. We park the van in an empty parking lot adjacent a public park. As Marshal sets up his sleeping gear outside, I push aside the cluster of gear in the back of the van for a space to rest my eyes. Not but 30 minutes later, just as my eyelids are feeling heavy, 2 sets of blinding lights are shone through the windows of the van and we are informed by our 2nd, 3rd and 4th officers of the night that the park closed at 11, three hours earlier. Groggily, we concede. Wal-Mart Supercenter gets plugged in to the GPS, and a half hour later I set my head on my oh-so-comfortable pillow. Marshal is laid out in the space between my van and the parking garage wall, kept company by the faint buzzing of the ever-present overhead lights. These are not your typical parking garage lights, but a hybrid between coast guard searchlights and the light fixed atop the Luxor in Vegas. To say the least, they interrupt Marshal’s beauty sleep. Early the following morning, we wake up and are introduced to a bustling Atlanta. The empty streets have made way for countless suites driving new Beemers and Mercs.
|Good eats. photo credit: Marshal German|
Not wanting to spend another night bumming it in a Wal-Mart lot, we spring for a hotel, and spend the day exploring the urban crag Boat Rock (don’t bother), downtown Atlanta, and eat dinner at Chicken and Waffles. Satisfied with our Atlanta experience, the next day we head off to Rocktown 90 minutes north of the city for some bouldering. Camping, climbing, and chillin’.
|Marshal making quick work of The Orb|
That’s all for now,