Just 5 1/2 months ago we left Denver and embarked on our great adventure. The summer flew by so quickly and we wonder where the time has gone. It has probably been one of the best summers in memory. We accomplished our goals of spending the summer climbing in Rifle and rebuilding lost climbing fitness. We made new friends and learned much about ourselves.
We have met wonderful people from Australia, Canada, Germany (via Turkey), Greece, Spain, Switzerland and the US. By being in the canyon during the week we had the opportunity to meet the mid-week climbers who are rarely present during the weekends. Rifle Mountain Park lures those from all walks of climbing life to test and prove their climbing prowess. We have mingled with some very famous rock climbers and those that are not so famous.
We have met some fabulous local people and travelers who are in the park to camp. If we had not been the camp host, we would have never met or even spoken with these non-climbing users.
Not everyone we met was nice or polite and not every encounter with park users was positive. There were those who didn't want to pay for day use or camping. Some felt that being able to climb in the canyon was an entitlement not a privilege. Some flaunted the rules of the park and pushed the limits of what we would tolerate. We had to ask some to leave the park because of their behavior. When I filter out the negative encounters I am left with a very satisfied feeling about how I spent my summer.
The summer enabled us to decompress, rejuvenate and adjust. Now we are anxious to continue our adventure by visiting climbing areas in the southeastern US.