That’s Life in the City

The end of another perfect day in the City. Photo courtesy of Angela Hawse.

After the Outdoor Retailer summer show, we were invited to a press trip at City of Rocks, hosted by Scarpa, Outdoor Research and Edelrid. Going into it, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as I only knew a handful of the 18 or so folks who would be there. What we found was that we all loved climbing: to hang with new friends, share experiences, whine about stiff grades and long runouts, revel in our successes, these are the things that bring us together.

Sitting around a camp fire, oohing and aahing at huge fireballs streaking through the sky. Marveling at how clear the Milky Way is in this isolated corner of Idaho. Stars that look like glowing specs of dust tossed upwards into a black bowl, where they stuck to the invisible thing that holds it all together.

Repeating old favorites and discovering some new ones. The joy of watching first timers discover the magic of the place. The coarse granite and the swelling feet from standing too long in shoes that are used to much steeper terrain.

Learning about the Edelrid Mega Jul. Photo courtesy of Angela Hawse.

We were there to try out some new shoes and other product, but of course that takes a back seat to everything else that happens. The ties that bind us as people, it gives you hope for ourselves. If all these strangers can come together and share this magical experience, can we extrapolate that out to the world at large?

Would the crooks on Wall Street repent of their ways if they got to spend a night under the Milky Way, surrounded by towering rocks formed deep in the earth? Would the dictators who seek power at the expense of all others go back to their countries and give away all their possessions if they could marvel at a sunset of innumerable colors washing over the yellow, grey and brown patina of granite spires too numerous to count? Would they feel a connection to something deeper, more ancient than they, and feel the truth of the world, perhaps for the first time?

Two of us are tied to ropes, one is not. Photo courtesy of Angela Hawse.

We go to these places for different reasons, but the effect is often the same. We long to go back, to experience incredible scenery, to push ourselves mentally and physically and to connect in meaningful ways to others who are sharing this journey with us.

Climbing is an incredible medium for experiencing the world, and while I don’t know how much good it can do in the greater scheme of things, I remain hopeful. Hopeful that a sunset or day well spent could be enough to change the course of someone’s life and point it on a more meaningful path. Amidst the chaos of a world gone off the tracks, there is truth and beauty and peace and calm if we choose to find it. And we can bring it back with us to those who may not yet know what lurks just beyond the place where the horizon meets the sky.

Group site at the Breadloves. Photo courtesy of Angela Hawse.

3 Responses to That’s Life in the City

  1. Great review BJ. COR is one of my favorite places. That place it pure magic.

    Cackalacky August 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm
  2. A wonderful message beautifully written…

    Josie August 27, 2013 at 11:14 am
    • Thanks Josie!

      BJ Sbarra August 27, 2013 at 11:20 am
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