What the title of this blog post should really say is “instead of having a quarter-life identity crisis and major meltdown, I’ve decided to climb 25 boulder problems in the southeast, stuff my face at an all-you-can-eat southern buffet, and spend an evening at my favorite Chattanooga digs” – but that seemed a little too long.
In some crazy twist of events, I’m turning 25 tomorrow, October 16th. Not exactly sure how that happened, since I still feel like a kid most of the time, but apparently, I’m a real grown-up now. All around me, my peers are having babies, getting married, working full-time desk jobs – and I’m over here living in a van, climbing all day in the woods, and feeling pretty proud if I manage to shower once a week. Oops!
I’ll be honest, there were a few moments of “oh my god, this is it, I need to stop adventuring right now and rejoin the real world and start painting my nails and brushing my hair again – but let’s mull on that for a minute, it’s so not what’s going to happen. If anything, turning 25 is a milestone to celebrate with even more adventures. Thus, I’ve decided to trade my quarter-life crisis for a 25th birthday celebration worthy of reaching my quarter-life.
Here’s the plan:
I’m going to climb 25 boulder problems to commemorate 25 years of a wonderful life (inspired by my buddy Spenser who did 29 Squamish classics for his 29th this summer). I originally wanted to do this at Stone Fort in Tennessee, where I went on my first outdoor climbing trip, but a rainy forecast put a literal damper on my plans – so we’re relocating to Rocktown. There’s still a 30% chance of rain there in Georgia, but I’ll rough it on some moist sandstone if I have to! I’ll post the official tick list once the challenge is completed.
After shredding my skin on sandstone, I’ll refuel at my favorite new eatery, Wally’s Restaurant – an all-you-can-eat southern food buffet loaded with all my favorite fixings, including collard greens, mac-n-cheese, mashed potatoes, breaded catfish, fried chicken, homemade banana pudding, and sweet tea.
The evening will be completed at one of my favorite Chattanooga spots, The Crash Pad. The fellas generously offered to put Niko and I up in one of their sweet private rooms, so we’ll get to shower (see, I’m totally a grown-up!) and relax before heading over to their new on-site restaurant, The Flying Squirrel, for some celebratory drinks.
But it doesn’t stop there – on Thursday, we’re headed out to Waxhaw, North Carolina, to meet up with my family and two of my favorite fellas for a weekend of pumpkin-picking, brewery-hopping, merry-making, and general wonderfulness. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday – I’m a lucky gal.
Who needs a quarter-life meltdown when you can just have an epic adventure instead?