Yesterday Carolyn and I went to the Pretty Boulders in Leavenworth. We left at around 7:45am after getting Caffe Vita (I got a matcha latte with oat milk, my latest go-to drink) and took probably two and a half hours to get there 1) Because I was driving and 2) because we made a quick stop at the Nason Creek Rest Area. God, nothing like a good rest area. This is a wonderful country, right? Wonderful interstate system. Wonderful rest stops. Now, let me let you in a a little secret: Other countries have rest stops too. Except they’re usually more in the line of restaurants, i.e. they have a parking lot for lots of cars and things like buses and trucks. They’re usually somewhat beautiful because they’re in the middle of nowhere, but they also have a restaurant geared primarily at people on the road. And I honestly don’t know which set-up is better. For example, I have glorious memories of hot food at an Austrian rest stop just south of Salzburg on my way to Slovenia, but I also have glorious memories of rest stops in the US, more for their solitude (mixed with the camaraderie of being around fellow travelers?) and relative quiet.
After the rest stop we made yet ANOTHER stop. I know: It’s like we weren’t even in a rush. It’s like we weren’t frothing. It’s like my blood wasn’t boiling with the prospect of sampling tasty new Central Cascade granite pearls. The place we made a stop at is called Argonaut, and even though I find it a bit overpriced it’s still my favorite café in Leavenworth, partly because it’s tasteful, partly because it’s the first café you come to, and partly because it has about as much square footage as the closet on my boat. The one thing I DON’T like about it is that they verbally ask you if you want to leave a tip. I much prefer when tipping is something you can do or not do discreetly without having to voice out over the six-foot chasm between you and the ordering window. What am I supposed to say if I don’t want to leave a tip because their product is already expensive as balls? No, thanks? Sorry, no? I’m not thankful, and I’m not sorry.
Anyway, Carolyn got hipster toast (fancy avocado toast) and I got yet another matcha latte. God, I am obsessed with matcha lattes lately. With oat milk!!! If I had a bathtub on my boat I would bathe in them. I would lather the beautiful matcha onto my supple dermis. I would inhale the matcha steam rising from said bathtub. I would slip a few inches under the water and see how long I could hold my breath.
But now onto the Pretty Boulders! This was my first time at the Pretty Boulders and as usual I had massive expectations. First impressions: They weren’t as hard to find as I thought. The guidebook shows how to arrive perfectly. Secondly, I was expecting a longer approach. I have no idea why. Third, I was expecting (again I have no idea why) that Pretty Girl V3 would be south facing. But it’s not; it’s east facing (k maybe southeast). I did (and still do) find this somewhat disconcerting. I also expected Pretty Girl to be more of a highball, and though people said repeatedly it was bit of a sandbag, I expected it to be easier. And I know it’s highly beta dependent, but I couldn’t get past the first couple moves. I couldn’t get my hand up to the fin. I couldn’t send the boulder. And all I wanted to do was weep by it and have someone console me, but instead I mustered what was left of my dignity and sent Pretty Easy V0 in good fashion, and also sent Noland V1, which for some reason has zero stars despite not being that fun at all. Oh, and of course we warmed up on the sumptuous Alexis C. Jolly, a two star V0 capable of bringing you to your knees and begging for mercy just because all you want to do is fondle her beautiful granite hips and she spits you off like an Arabian show horse to punish you for your gall. Just kidding. Alexis C. Jolly was really easy. It’s insane how much of a difference there is between V0’s. Alexis C. Jolly: easy as fuck. Pretty easy: Not actually that easy. Noland V1: actually pretty easy (though that might’ve just been cuz I’m tall).
The worst part of the Pretty Boulders was getting completely owned by Ms. Pac Man V2. If you’ve sent it and have the beta please leave a comment. If you have video please leave me a link. If you have words of wisdom please also leave a comment. If you have words of hate please don’t leave a comment. If you know some kind of beautiful saying in Spanish please leave it in the comments. French and German work, too. Russian also works but I won’t be able to understand without the aid of Google Translate. I will be sort of able to sound it out, though.
After the Pretty Boulders we had lunch at South, a Mexican Restaurant, which is overpriced but good and it’s nice not to be surrounded by anti-maskers at the various Biergartens. Then we went to the Beach Forest, where I had a semi-erotic experience with the slopers of Fountainblues V0 (video to come?????) and Carolyn I think wanted to strap some explosives to the slopers because she didn’t find them quite as alluring. Carolyn absolutely THRASHED Brickwork V0, a V0 whose top-out is not exactly easy. I tried U2 V3 a couple times for posterity, got kind close and then gave up. Then after chilling at the Beach a bit we got in the car and drove back to Seattle.
All in all a tough-on-the-ego day at Leavenworth but good to get lots of climbing in and rough up the skin a bit. When I got back to my boat I even did my pushups! Fuck yeah antagonist exercises!!! And today my shoulder doesn’t even feel THAT bad. And my fingers don’t feel that bad either. And I’m listening to Eric Satie and it’s dreamy.