Exit 38, Seattle, Washington

You’ve probably never heard of it if you don’t live in Seattle, but believe me, Exit 38 is one little spot a visiting climber should check out. The approach alone is worth it.  You step out from your car, cross the highway and step into a prehistoric-looking rainforest. It would be no surprise if a pterodactyl flew over my head.

The rock here is comfortable for someone who comes from the Salt Lake area (that’s me) and is used to granite. It’s a bit easier than our granite back home and the routes in this area go from extreme beginner (I think there was a 5.4) to advanced (5.12ish if I remember right).  The last of the five routes I tried was a 10c and I couldn’t complete it as the beginning move required longer legs or mega-muscles in the upper body… neither of which I have. I was happy to have just tried the route and have people around me that were willing to let me give it a go for as long as I liked (and make me feel like I actually could complete it and then console me when I couldn’t with comments about how difficult it is).

It's fuzzy, but you get the idea. Challenging first move.

We were famished by the time we got back to their place, so Ben snipped some fresh rosemary from the garden and whipped up some of the best spaghetti I’ve had since being at my Aunt’s house in Maine. I’m not a bad cook, but working with canned food is difficult and this food made me realize how much I’m missing cooking a real dinner every night.

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