Friday, September 30, 2016

10 Days at Indian Creek // The scabbiest climbing trip

I had my first visit to Indian Creek, splitter crack climbing paradise, back in April. During those 10 days, I scraped myself up more than during any other climbing trip. I sustained a giant scab on my ankle that took about two months to heal and fall off.

I loved it.

The struggle, the athleticism, the 100+ foot pitches, the campground that felt like a neighborhood by the time I left. I can't wait to get back. I don't know if Creeksgiving is in my future, but next April, perhaps? 

When I got my windows tinted, the "Justice for Oscar Grant" sticker was removed-- accidentally? Somehow my Black & Pink and NOLS Wilderness Medicine stickers remained intact. Odd.  I replaced it with this intersectional Black Lives Matter sticker (designed by Matice Moore) I got at Queer Magic Makers last year. 

Gorgeous crags, gorgeous high desert skies.


I questioned the wisdom of having my manual typewriter with me while living out of my car for the summer, but it was worth it to sit and tap with this view. I finished this page right as rain began falling. I'm grateful that afternoon thunderstorms forced me to take rest days, otherwise I would probably have wrecked my body even worse.

Hammocks are wonderful. 

The 10a warm up pitch was not too bad at all. I led it after this couple climbed. 

These two gearing up for Pente (5.11) on Reservoir Wall. I toproped this in an incredibly ugly and painful fashion. I'd like to think that next time it will go better now that I sort of know how to jam. Note to self: probably not a good first-day-at-the-creek climb. 

Gloomy skies, bloomy cacti.

I brought my poetry and pottery with me, and left some copies of my chapbook on the message board with a note looking for climbing partners. I wasn't sure it would work, if anyone would read it, and then one morning Emmanuelle (far left) came up to my campsite and invited me to join her, Cylvie (far right) and Peter (the photo-taker) in their climbing. They were a wonderful crew to hang out with. To my right in the photo is Anh from Denmark, another solo traveler we met at the campground. In their hands are pieces of my pottery that they bought/bartered from me.

I was nervous about sharing my poetry, but I'm so glad I did. And I can't wait 'til the next time I get out to Indian Creek.

Location: Creek Pasture Campground, Indian Creek, Utah
Cost: At the time it was free, but as of September 2016, it's $5/night
Amenities: Pit toilets, fire rings.
Note: Must bring in all water and firewood. No wood collecting!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Violence-Free Begins With Me

Last month, before heading out to instruct GirlVentures' Transitions course, I was a guest speaker at Violence-Free Begins With Me, an API Youth Forum held by the Center for the Pacific Asian Family.

I spoke about my experience growing up queer and Khmer American, what it was like coming into my identities, and talked about becoming an outdoor educator and explaining the work to refugee parents.

To stand in front of a group of Southeast Asian youth who were from the same places I'm from and tell my story to them was an incredible opportunity.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dayshots: Catalina Island Aquaponics and Poppies

I spent a couple of days at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies in March. On this visit, I got to check out the new(-ish) aquaponics system in the greenhouse. 

These goldfish shall be switched out for tilapia at some point.

We ate that head of lettuce for dinner. It was glorious. 

Such pretty roots.

The sun was strong in the green house. 

Rainwater catchment and filtration system. 

I took a stroll in the hills surrounding campus and noticed island poppies for the first time.

They were a pleasure to see after a disappointing bloom at the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve.

Didn't get in the water very much on this trip, but did walk down the ramp for a quick dip before getting on the boat back to the mainland. I dream of a writing residency on the island someday.