“Kaci , I’m headed to Indian Creek today. Call me if you are close.” –Text from C
No way! I am headed to Indian Creek today! I haven’t spoken with C for a couple of months, yet here we are going to the same place on the same day. I call C. We briefly discuss logistics since there is no cell service in Indian Creek.
Indian Creek is a Mecca for crack climbers. C & her partner, B, are avid rock climbers who love this area. It is a lovely experience to watch either of them talk about Indian Creek. Their stoke is wild, free and highly contagious.
After a short game of note passing on the message board at Bridger Jacks, the four of us connect. E is with C & B. I’ve never met E before. She no longer lives in Estes Park, but her memory does. I’ve heard several fondly told stories of her general coolness. E does not disappoint. After a few minutes, I easily fall into a quiet appreciation for her presence. As we talk, E’s two dogs lean their warm bodies against my cold legs.
After we exchange hellos and hugs, we throw chairs, beers and a hatchet into the back of B’s truck. We hop in and ride to their campsite a mile away. When we arrive, C jumps out of the truck and wanders over to the fire pit. She shreds dried juniper bark and starts the tiniest fire I have ever seen. C patiently shreds bark and adds it to the fire. Fifteen minutes later, we pile on logs and the fire roars to life.
Once coals have formed, E sports vice grips like Edward Scissorhands to make veggie stir-fry over the fire. We have a homegrown happy hour and then J and I walk back to our camp.
In the morning, E heads to Estes Park and the rest of us go climbing. B leads the way up a 5.11+. He shrugs off the tape gloves most wear here and cruises up the route. C helps me tape on J’s gloves and then zips up the route after B. I’m next. I’m not much of a climber. I get 1/3 of the way up the route. I come down panting and pumped. J climbs up next, liebacking his way up the thinnest part of the crack.
We hang out at the crag for a few more hours. At the end of the day, B and C have to head back to their newfound home in Durango. We hug and wish each other well.