Climbing and pizza go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like climbing and beer really.
And let me tell you, we definitely had our fill of beer and pizza and climbing on our cross country climbing road trip.
In the last post, I shared my miserable climbing fails in the New, bailing off 5.8s, and being scared of everything. Definitely needed to drown my sorrows in a six-pack and large pizza. We didn’t exactly get to that level of making a large pizza into a personal pizza, but it felt close a few times.
I’ll back up a bit so it doesn’t sound like I’m just randomly rambling on, although I have a feeling I am.
Dan (the boyfriend), Benny (the dog), and I left West Virginia early in the morning before the sun came up. We left the AAC campground before coffee and before breakfast, and before the sun came up. There was frost on the windshield and it took a few tries to get Dan’s key to work before we actually left, but we were headed to Kentucky.
For climbing. Or attempting to climb.
We headed to Lexington for a quick drive-by of all the Thoroughbred horse farms which seem to stretch on for miles and miles. White fence after white fence only broken by massively ornate gates marking each entrance to each billion-dollar farm. The amount of money horse people have is crazy, and to think I want to be one of them again. I’m sure Dan had a great time as it’s probably as exciting as watching paint dry for a non-horse person.
After swinging through Lexington, we headed to Louisville for a stop by the Jim Beam factory hoping for a tour. Unfortunately, they were all sold out for the day, so we walked around checking out anything that looked free and ended up buying a bottle of smoked maple bourbon. I almost bought an armful of candles but restrained myself to just the alcohol.
We finally made it to Slade, the “adventure capital of Kentucky.” Which is probably true since it’s got everything horseback riding, hiking, camping, four wheeling, and even underground kayaking. All of which sounds amazing, but we were here for the rocks and only the rocks.
Okay, maybe some of the pizza too.
Ever since first getting into climbing I have seen the iconic logo on just about everything from shirts to bumper stickers to chalk bags. And I couldn’t understand why a pizza place would be so popular.
I mean sure, climbers like pizza, who in their right mind doesn’t? But why did so many climbers have Miguel’s apparel?
And when we got there it made sense.
Miguel’s Pizza is not just a pizza place, but a dirtbag climber heaven.
At 3 bucks a night per person it’s hard to pass up such a great deal. We arrived at a field of tents, parking lot packed with dirtbag vehicles and a wafting scent of fresh pizza.
Their gear shop is amazing, more climbing stuff than my local gear shop back home. Stacks and stacks of shoes, ropes of every color, draws, Clif bars, water bottles, stickers, you name it, they probably had it.
We spent the first evening boiling water and making instant noodles then jumped into the tent as temperatures continued to drop. It was going to be a cold one and proved to be a very cold one.
When we woke up the tent was sheathed in frost and our breath hung in the air.
Thankfully it warmed up and we headed off to climb. Or attempted to climb in my case.
The first crag we hit was called Chaos Wall in the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve. There were some lovely 5.6s and 7s that I felt like I might actually be able to lead. Which I did. Shockingly.
It took me a few goes on one somewhat committing move on the 5.7, but I did get it clean on lead eventually. And top roped a pretty sweet 5.10a called Lithuanian Princess. Once you got past the overhang first move, it was pretty much a pumpy jug haul to the top.
Might be one I have to lead when we inevitably come back.
Spent the day building up small amounts of lead courage and headed back to Miguel’s for pizza and beer.
Fun fact, you cannot buy beer on Sundays. Perks of a dry country, or state, I can’t remember which.
Pizza and beer after a day of climbing is probably the best way to end the day. What do you think?