Our local climbing gym was recently featured on The Travel Channel as one of the World’s Coolest Climbing Gyms.

There are many reasons that it would have gotten this particular accolade. One is that it is going to be the host of the upcoming USA Climbing regionals. These ain’t regionals for, you know, grown-ups. These are regionals for, like, teenagers. Young ones. Not the 18s and 19s. I expressed some amount of excitement that the routes that the setters are putting up will remain up for a while and the guy behind the counter told me “Jaybird, I don’t want to burst your bubble but these kids are the ones who are going to be in the Olympics in a few years. You know those kids in the kung-fu movies who do stuff like carry buckets of water on a yoke up a thousand stone steps to the temple? The kids climbing this weekend are like that. Just for climbing.”

Anyway, since the route setters were putting up routes, we couldn’t do the climbing that we wanted to do. Luckily, the folks running City Rock anticipated our disappointment and offered free trips through The Cave to help mitigate the whole “yeah, you’re members but part of the gym is closed” thing.

The Cave is really pretty dang special.


The first thing they do is give you a little movie to watch about the rules of the cave. It’s a pretty decent simulation of For Real Caving. Like, you’re going to get on your hands and knees. You’re going to have to get on your stomach at some points and slither like a snake. They have fake little rock formations that, if you bump them, will trigger an announcement explaining that you’ve just broken a piece of Soda Straw formation that took tens of thousands of years to form and you just bumped it with your butt. Like a clod.

It teaches that there are stalagmites that hold on to the ceiling with all of their *MIGHT* (that’s a mnemonic) and that there are stalactites that also hold on to the ceiling really *TIGHT* (also a mnemonic). And when you bump one of the artificial one of those, they tell you that you just hit one of those with your butt. Like a clod.

The easy way to go has you crawling around for 200ish feet, on your hands and knees or slithering like a snake and bumping things with your butt with only your helmet light to show your way and, when I finished, I had sweat dripping off of me and I had very little energy left. Certainly not enough to climb one of the walls on the floor that were denied me. It’s not something that I would have done if I could have climbed the big wall… but I’m so very glad that I did it once. Once. I pretty much need never go in there again.

All that to say: if anybody is ever in Colorado Springs, you *SERIOUSLY* need to come on down to City Rock and check out the cave.

As such, this weekend will be spent in somewhat open spaces.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)

Home Page Twitter 

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

Please do be so kind as to share this post.

22 thoughts on “Weekend!

    • I’m not sure how might / tight are supposed to help remember floor / ceiling.

      The mnemonic that helps me remember is in French: “Les stalagmites montent, les stalactites tombent.”


    • Yeah, that was his point, that the mnemonic is not in itself helpful to distinguish between them since the two words are interchangeable w/in it. So I’m glad someone noticed, it hurt me to leave it in as a copy editor even though I knew he did it on purpose :D.


  1. Or, from an online comic strip I remember: “When the ‘mites crawl up, the ‘tights’ come down”

    (it was positioned as an all-ages comic and I remember one character looking shocked at the other after he said that)


    Graduation is this weekend. I hope this is the last Saturday for a while that my time is committed. I’m required to go – in the grand tradition of “every bizarre rule stems from a more-bizarre situation,” apparently there was a graduation years and years back where very few faculty showed up and we now have to actually formally ask to be excused if we’re not going to be there. (This has been the case as long as I’ve been here: 19 years) Like, with a deadline and everything. I’ve often wondered what would happen if I woke up that day with a migraine (graduation is loud) and just skipped it.


  2. Just finished White Plume Mountain with my D&D group and next we’re on to Against the Giants.

    Also, I hope this discussion of the post-apocalyptic fantasies in classic RPGs (Gamma World and Paranoia) doesn’t run afoul of the “no politics” thing, because it’s extremely worth reading despite the way some leftist shibboleths creep in, and I can’t think of a better place to link it.


  3. The caving idea is great. We had some small caves on my grandfathers property we would slither into, probably not the safest thing to do looking back on it. The joke in my family growing up was whenever we travelled the two things we always stopped and did were battlefields and caves. Mammoth, Luray, Organ, all the tourist-y ones were done, but never being much of a rock climber (despite having excellent rock climbing literally right behind my childhood home) never did any real spelunking. What a cool concept. When I come to the area for a wedding in Oct might have to check it out.

    As is our tradition, our weekend will be dominated by the Mothers day beach trip as a family, including the first Mothers day for one of my “not-children children” and her daughter that we have dubbed the “practice grandbaby”. Combine with one of the last weekends that has good weather but before the tourist descends its always a good time for the ocean.


  4. Child the elder’s 8th birthday party is tomorrow. We have absolutely no idea how many will be there, because seemingly nobody RSVPs to the phone number on the invitation, or something. It’ll be fun whether there are 15 guests or 50.

    So, tonight and tomorrow morning will be a panic of cleaning and cooking, mostly.


    • It was a lot of fun. More in the direction of 50 guests. So no pulled pork leftovers for breakfast.

      If we didn’t throw parties I don’t think we’d know what our house looks like when it’s clean…


        • About half and half, yeah; probably at most about 35 people at one time. It was pretty chill, really. Parents mostly sat under the shade tent thing, ate veggies & pulled pork & drank beer. Kids mostly ran about in the sun like maniacs & filled themselves with everything sugary. There was a pinata and a cake, that was about as organized as we got.


  5. Worked a 12 yesterday. Meant to be doing nothing but relaxing today but our nutty cat who has separation anxiety due to neglect in a past life (not the owner’s fault per se, long long story, but whatever, it’s really hard for the poor bloke) freaked out that he hadn’t seen me in some time, and the routine was All Disrupted, and Jay wasn’t home either, and perhaps he might be LEFT ALONE for days at a time without enough food or water!!!! (this is something that has actually happened to him) …. and he messed the bed. So now I’m doing laundry all day.

    Jay came home at lunch with donuts just because though, so that helped.

    Tomorrow I work 7.5 hours, then to sister-in-law’s for mother’s day thing. (We don’t ask we just show up.) Sunday I think is when we do all the stuff we would normally do on Saturday.

    I’d like to do some Hugo reading at some point. But right now I do not have 2 brain cells to rub together in the reading department, so I’m catching up on Jane the Virgin instead.


  6. I’m just going to a little museum called the Uffizi tomorrow. So I am Italy obviously. One thing I have noticed. Italian culture favors looking elegant. There are stores selling men’s blazers at all price points. Sometimes as low as 20 Euro. These probably look bad after a few washes or wears but were stylish on the mannequin at least.

    In contrast I saw a grown American man wear a t-shirt they said “I pooped today” two weeks ago. How can someone around my age wear a t-shirt like that in public? Possibly thinking it is hillarious.


    • Fwiw, the graffitti in Pompeii is even raunchier.

      I think the only museum we went to in Florence was the one where David is. (Last summer my wife and I did a two week bus tour of Italy, a day or two in all the usual places. Florence was toward the tail end of the trip, so all the museums, piazzas, and duomos kind of run together in my memory)

      Eta – but my wife did take the opportunity to dress me up a bit, particularly from the shops of the Amalfi coast – very nice linen, which is also useful for DC area summer weather.


    • From what I remember from Italy was that there were plenty of shlubby Italians. They might not have worn something like the described t-shirt but they weren’t slender people of great elegance either.


  7. I think the technically correct term for caving is spelunking. One of my favorite activities at summer camp was when they took us spelunking. The caves in upstate New York are neat. White Water Rafting was also fun. I didn’t enjoy rock climbing that much though.


  8. Aj, aj, aj! Mi estas tro dika por la kaverno! Mi kaj mia grandega pugo kune!

    I am going to recharge my current wife’s car’s A/C, have an awkward but necessary conversation, then update The Anomalist. It will be late, but I will update the site.

    Beyond that? Peponta en Esperanton kaj pensi multaj da aferoj temi de mi malgranda vivo. Bonvolu, pregxi por min.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *