Sometimes you just don’t get along all the time when you’re stuck together 24/7 and today was one of those days. We pretty much didn’t talk to each other which can put a damper on bouldering- of which we did little. Steve went off into the woods for a break, but I wasn’t aware of it. I thought he was behind me on the trail back to the car. I waited for about ½ hour figuring he’d return before allowing myself to get really worried. Maybe he had gone bouldering by himself and fallen? What if a bear had gotten him since he was hiking by himself? I walked back into the bouldering area, calling his name and going as quickly as I could. I was a little creeped out about being in the woods when it was so deserted and unknown to me. No sign.
I got back to my car, but saw no sign of him, so I stopped the first car that passed, asking them if they had seen a guy with a crash pad walking down the road. Nope. I decided I would wait another half an hour and head down to the police station. Meanwhile, I was in the process of texting his friend to see if this was common behavior and he showed up. In spite of feeling angry, I also felt a rush of relief. He went down to the river and sat by the edge, cleaning his feet and I started the car to leave.
We pretty much didn’t talk to each other the rest of the night either. We went to dinner at the Church of the Nazarene again (it was absolutely delicious! Baked salmon, homemade lasagna, huge salad with NO iceberg lettuce in it, and all kinds of desserts). We stayed for a part of the worship service, thanked them and then took off to find a camp spot (oh yeah… we had been told that the offer for the free camping at the campground was only supposed to be for one night; if we had wanted to stay, it would cost an additional $30/ night or so. We thanked him for the free camping and packed up our things.).
As we were searching, we met Kendra and Tennessee from Squamish, Canada who were also looking for free camping. We decided to become a search team and scout out camping together. With our combined efforts, we finally found the free climber camping area in Icicle Creek which had a semi-established population of traveling climbers there already in place. That was the best way to end a very un-good day. Met a bunch of cool climbers in the area in addition to our Canadian friends. We heard a story about a climber, Tom, from Salt Lake City who had just left a couple of nights ago. He is on sabbatical from work at Black Diamond which made me wonder if my friend Joe knows him. Ah. I kinda miss home.