I think Ashley may have done more tea drinking than climbing; nonetheless, we were happy to have her along 

For the past seven years, I have spent my Thanksgiving morning climbing.  While the location has changed year to year, and so have the participants, the one thing that has remained constant is that Doug and I have met somewhere to spend a few hours on the rock before heading off to our separate family functions.  Leading up to Thanksgiving this year, I was surprised to learn that Ashley had never partook in our tradition–thinking it a “boys only” type of event–and was planning on participating in a Turkey Trot instead.  After a little convincing, she acquiesced and decided to come along.

Mickey Spades working the Dam Arete

It was excellent having Ashley participate in an activity that probably means more to me than Easter ham, Fourth of July fireworks, or the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve.  More so, Ashley picked the right year to join in the tradition.  Many of these morning have previously been spent fighting off wet rock, frigid temperatures, and frozen digits.  This year, we thankful for warm temps, sunshine, and dry rock…a notable difference this year as, for the first time in memory, I found stripped layers piling up next to our packs.  In past years, you were happy when someone got up to climb because it meant you could spend a few moments with their coat on in addition to your own.

Ashley on the Dam Traverse 

We spent a few hours bouldering at the Dam Boulder in Lincoln Woods, and while nothing impressive or noteworthy was sent, I believe everyone had a great time getting outside and getting a little exercise before the official beginning of the holidays.  I love the tradition that Doug and I began seven years ago, and am anxious to see who joins our group in the years to come.  

Tired and ready for turkey