Monday, March 9, 2015

Vanventurers Venture to Vegas:)

It has been a little while since I had time to sit down and write! Our February ended in Las Vegas with my parents coming to hang out with us! We got to stay in the hotel with them in Henderson, NV and enjoy breakfast each morning made and eaten inside. It was pretty epic:) Our first night together, we enjoyed a pizza at a pizzaria. When my dad ordered two large pizzas, the waiter wasn't sure we would be able to eat that much. We proved him wrong when Zach and I polished off the last slices... I think we eat a lot.
My new favorite picture!
The next morning, we packed up and headed to Red Rock's Park to take my parents on a hike and rock climb.  We passed all the tourists picnicking and trotted upwards towards the climbing. It was a beautiful canyon to hike in, but the approach to the climbing was in the moderate-strenuous range according to the hiking guide. They were rock stars, making it up a pretty steep hike!
Dad enjoying the scenery.
Zach did the first climb and set up the rope for my parents. With a little pre-coaching, my mom set out first! She did amazing and climbed up to a sit down rest on a shelf. It proved to be easier to get into the rest spot then it was getting out, but she worked her way out and on to complete the climb! I was so impressed and so excited she liked it! My dad was next and he took off up the climb like a pro! He had the technique to making the moves down pat! It was so fun watching him climb:) He made it to the shelf, but decided not to sit down and posed for a picture instead. Mom wanted to climb again so we got another climb set up for her. She was making some impressive moves. Zach and I agreed we would have to find something a little more challenging for them next time;)

After a PB&J lunch by the climbing, we set about heading back to the car. We were all pretty beat when we got back to the car, but still managed to find energy to go out to eat. It was a fun night at an Italian restaurant near our hotel. In the morning, we did a quick tour of the strip. Mom and I were excited to see the Bellagio since our previous Vegas experience had only been through Ocean's Eleven. We got to stay for the fountain show and pretend to walk away with millions of dollars:) A quick walk through Cesar's Palace and a few dollars spent on slots, we headed back to the parking garage. My parents had to head out to the airport. It was sad to see them go, but we really enjoyed having them there for a little while! I really enjoy being on the road, but I get homesick sometimes and seeing them made me feel a lot better!
Inside the Bellagio

Ocean's Eleven pose;)

The fountains!

Zach and I decided to try and find lunch off the strip because there would be less people and hopefully cost a little less. We had done our laundry a few days before in an area with a lot of Asian restaurants and thought that sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, that area of town was celebrating Chinese New Year and every parking spot was taken! So much for losing the crowd:) We kept going a little further and saw a tiny Chinese place with parking in front of it! It was amazing and we were the only customers! Zach tried a new spicy dish recommended by our waitress and I got my normal sweet and sour chicken. It was the best sweet and sour chicken I have ever had! I still crave it! Zach really liked his too and we celebrated the New Year a little off the beaten path.
We worked on addressing wedding invitations for the rest of the afternoon in the van. I decided it was best not to try and take them into a restaurant where I would inevitably spill something on them! It was then time to head back to our campsite. On our way back, it started raining. We looked at the weather and realized we were not going to have good climbing weather for the next few days, but it didn't seem too bad. Then a weather alert came through saying higher elevations in Nevada should expect snow overnight. We figured we were low enough and headed to our campsite.

The next morning, we found out we were at a higher elevation then we thought! We were in side a snowball:) It was beautiful and not even very cold. The snow packed so well, we built the biggest snowman in no time flat! That would have taken me hours as a kid. We then dug our van out of the snow and moved back to sunny California!
Based on the weather forecasts, we picked a little climbing area near Barstow, CA. It had sport routes and free camping! The camp hosts who live at the campground were very nice and we enjoyed chatting with them when they were out and about. They were trying to cover up some graffiti that had been done on some rocks higher up. They armed Zach and I with the proper tools and we climbed up and covered some up on the rocks above our campsite. I'm glad we got to help out:) We also met some of the other campers including our awesome neighbors, Jackson and Sanja. They were from Australia and were touring the country just like us. It was fun swapping stories and road tripping tips. Safe travels to you two!!
The climbing was really fun! Zach and I both pushed ourselves on climbs and were able to both send our projects by the time we left! Zach climbed "Lost in the Middle" 5.12b and I took on "She Packed Her Bags for Outer Space" 5.11b. We were both able to climb to the top with no falls! It was a really fun place for us to spend the week. It was a productive stop as well and we even got our wedding invitations sent out!!
The weather finally started to improve in other areas of the country and we set out towards Utah to climb near Moab. We took our time and stopped in St. George. Unfortunately, it had rained and all the rock we wanted to climb was wet. We moved on to Moab and finally arrived in Indian Creek.
As drove through the camping, we ran into our friends Taylor and Kaitlyn. We have seen them in Arizona, California, and now here! They are living on the road and climbing as well. It was so exciting to see them and they showed us the open campsite next to them! We had a great time climbing with them the first day and can't wait to hang out more. The vanventure is so much fun:)

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