I recently returned from a climbing trip with my husband, two good friends, and our (combined) four dogs. None of us had climbed at Wild Iris before (gasp!) so we figured it was about time. Here are some photos of the area--it is beautiful. Wyoming has so much space, and the climbing is predominantly limestone with neat fossils, pockets for sticking a toe into, and aspen trees for chasing shade.
After five days of daily climbing, we were in major need of rest days and work was calling, so it was time to come home. Usually as a trip comes to a close, I'm ready to come home to the life I've crafted here- I am a lucky lady. But this time, I struggled. I was emotional and didn't want to leave the part of myself I had rediscovered. Not to mention, the climbing was fantastic...
Upon further reflection, I began to realize why it was so hard for me to leave. These climbing trips connect us to ourselves, to nature, and to each other in unique ways. We car camp, limited to bringing only what is needed and maybe a few "luxury" items (basically food, water, shelter, climbing gear, dog stuff, chocolate!). During the day, we let our curiosity and desire to challenge ourselves guide us as we select routes to try. I've always thought climbing is a great metaphor for life--and sometimes there are strong, solid days, and sometimes there are weak days that make me feel defeated. Regardless, a day of climbing is always worth it, and after a satisfying day by the rocks, we walk back to camp, and talk and laugh around a campfire (hoping Waffles the grizzly bear doesn't join). When our bodies tell us it's time for sleep, we make our way into our Subaru with seats folded down, then wake up with the sun and do it all over again. At the crag, we meet other climbers who gift us with beta, good stories, and the sharing of gear (the climbing community is, more often than not, very embracing!). A final note, there was no reliable cell phone service, so my phone stayed off or in airplane mode. There's a simplicity to all of this that is deeply fulfilling.
Now that I am home, I'm trying to remember the lessons our trip to Wild Iris taught me, and reminding myself that there is a season for play, a season for work, and a season for rest days. Nature shows us this all year long!