Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I finished two books (and it feels like a miracle)

Lately reading has been difficult. I'm not even positive when this problem began. My whole life I've loved books and stories. But then somewhere in the past two years, whether it's blogger drama or things in the real world, my reading began to slow. When I read, I still read quick. But lately I've found other things to do besides reading (hello podcasts).  I'm working my way out of my rut, requesting library books again and trying to read on most of my lunch breaks. Not today, because I just finished the two library books I had and didn't have anything to follow them with. I don't have an unread book that I want to read in my possession right now. Weird, I know.

But thankfully, the two books I finished were both good and worth reading.

Arclight - 4 Stars (Goodreads | Amazon)
I have to give this book a lot of credit because it's what pulled me out of my reading rut. It's an interesting sci-fi novel with an intriguing mystery. The stories danger lurks in the unseen and the story follows a character who feels like an outsider (but actually for good reason for a change).  The book hinges on her believably, and I bought Marina's story wholeheartedly. This was a good that kept me up at night, in the good I-can't-put-this down-way.

The Hate U Give - 4 Stars (Goodreads | Amazon)
Do I really need to review this book? I feel like everything has been said by someone else because I'm literally a year behind the trend on this book. Timely without feeling preachy because the characters are well-developed and believable. It's just as good as everyone says so you should go ahead and read it.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Backwoods Bouldering

Before I was a climber, I was a hiker. Being from Southeastern KY, there was a lot of ground to explore. I spent most of my childhood running wild in the small forest across the street from my house. At the time it seemed gigantic, a kingdom of my own. On a recent drive through the old neighborhood, I realized when the leaves were down you could see straight through to the open field beyond.

Some places get smaller when you revisit. Others expand with new hidden gems and opportunities. Last summer I went hiking with my brother on one of my favorite short trails, Dog Slaughter Falls near Cumberland Falls.  We always do the short version from FS Road 195, which is a perfect trail that follows a creek to one of the prettiest small waterfalls I’ve visited.

waterfall on a creek

This time was different. Not only did we take two of our family dogs, but I threw my climbing shoes and chalk into the backpack because I’d heard there were boulders in these woods.

I didn’t find the boulders I’d read about on the trail before the waterfall. I found one thing that I could traverse, but the roof problems didn’t jump out to me. Maybe it’s because we could only do so much with our doggie friends, or maybe they’re further off the trail than I expected.

Two leashed dogs on a hiking trail

But past the waterfall and along the Sheltowee Trace, we started to find ample boulders to explore.  According to the Kentucky Bouldering wordpress, most of them were down a sidepath to the river. Because the water looked swift and Hank the dog loves water we avoided getting close to the river. And because I didn’t have a bouldering pad, I didn’t try much of anything.  I did a couple of V0-V1ish problems.

girl climbs boulder in woods

girl climbs boulder in the woods

Normally when I climb I have a guidebook, pictures and do a lot of research ahead of time. This was different.  I’d done a little research but without pictures and a guidebook, it wasn’t like any climbing I’d ever done before. It was a small adventure, exploring this little boulder field more than a mile away from any parking. The woods were full of the unknown and possibilities, a beautiful peaceful place where it was just me, my brother and our dogs. It was perfect. Only thing I’d change? Next time I’m bringing a pad.