A blog about climbing full time on the road.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Joes Valley

Okay so we're really psyched on bouldering. No really, we are really, really, psyched on it. I've pretty much always loved it, but Cassie is getting the bug as well. We haven't really done much roped climbing this year. We're definitely going to get back on a rope soon, but right now we're just enjoying this type of climbing.

Cassie sending Pimpin' Jeans V4

Cassie on Pimpin' Jeans V4

Since I hurt my knee before our backpacking trip I didn't get to take that time off of work, which means with only a few months left in the year I have a bunch of vacation to use, and Cassie doesn't (since she went on the trip). So what to do? Cassie gets Fridays off anyway since she works four ten-hour days. With that in mind we've decided to go on three day weekends pretty much every weekend until the end of the year.

Matthew on Maxipad V6.

The destination last weekend was Joe's Valley. Since it's only a 2.5 hour drive from our house, and since it's a world famous bouldering destination it's a good choice. "World famous" you say? Yes, as in the guy we met this weekend was from Austria and was spending a good bit of his 6 month road trip in Joe's. So, that's how I qualify it as world famous. When people have that much time off of work, and they choose to spend it in the middle of the utah, with basically nothing around, it just goes to show how amazing it is (or how crazy climbers can be).

We got on a little bit of everything this weekend. Cassie sent 2 projects (a V4 called pimpin' jeans, and a V3 hueco problem), as well as a bunch of other climbs. I managed to finish Pocket Rocket V5, Maxipad V6 (sorry that's really the name), and flashed Kellys Arete V5. All in all we were pretty happy with the climbing, though no matter how well we do there is always a bit of saying "i wish I could have gotten x,y,z" but that's part of the game. If we were always content with what we did there wouldn't be much incentive to do it again. Sometimes I think dissatisfaction is the cornerstone of the human race.

Matthew on Maxipad V6.

video of cassie on some recent climbs. teaser for the next video. 

Well next weekend we are going out there to do it again, so new posts and a video will be on their way. I have some pretty sweet video from last weekend, but I need a bit more to make it worth watching. Cassie took these awesome pictures of me sending Maxipad. She's got a great creative eye. Hopefully with her getting more into being artistic you'll see even more pictures of me climbing :)

More pictures from the weekend on our flickr page. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Solar Cooking!

Recently we decided that on The Trip we would like to be able to bake. That was an interesting dilemma as baking and roadtripping doesn't really go together (or so we thought). After doing some research online about solar ovens we decided to go ahead and purchase one. It cost about $250 (with shipping) We bought the most widely used oven available and one that had the most positive reviews. Supposedly this oven could get over 350+ degrees and would cook without burning. We figured it was worth a try. This week the oven arrived completely assembled, and all we had to do to use it the first time was to remove the protective film from the reflectors.

How does it work? It works GREAT! Our burnoff test revealed that the oven could get to boiling in under 10 minutes, over 300 in 20 minutes, and over 365 degrees in 40 minutes! That's definitely hot enough to bake. So, today we threw together a simple no-yeast maple-oatmeal whole wheat bread. After preheating the sun oven we threw the bread mix in and sat back and watched. It cooked in almost the same time the recipe said it would because the recipe called for 350 degrees and that's almost exactly what the oven got to. Homemade bread baked by the sun in about an hour? Yeah!

One of the best benefits of solar ovens is that they can be used in cold weather. A clear cold day is better than a humid hot day because of the light intensity which is the most important part. That means you can cook even below freezing in the winter! Your cooking window is much shorter because of the shorter days, so that just means you need to use your sun time better.

Our hope is that on the trip we will be able to cook our own granola, cookies, bread, and snack bars. We figure not only will it taste better and be better for us than store bought items, but will give us a much different perspective on cooking and eating our own food. In addition to baking the oven can also cook anything else you want. We're going to try slow roasting pork, making rice, and boiling water for coffee. It'll be a cool experience.


Here are some pictures from our first baking.

The recipe.

The oven with reflectors folded up.

Starting temp

25 minutes into preheat.

around 40 minutes of baking.

Crust starting to get golden brown, and smelling great!

Bread in oven.

Checking the bread. Perfectly cooked and ready to come out.

The final product. Check out that crust!!!

So good.