The Hueco Hacienda

This is just a brief post to share some photos of the beautiful Hueco Hacienda, where we’ve been staying. It’s fully equipped (including a washing machine, which is key when you’re traveling with an infant), just 10 minutes from the boulders and run by the awesome hosts and Hueco veterans Rocco and Mary. We’ve really enjoyed our stay here!

Hueco so far…

One of the best aspects of being on the (climbing) road is the amazing scenery! Hueco’s desert landscape is truly stunning and Mig and I both are inspired every day to take pics. Another fabulous part of being on the road is the people you meet. Climbing destinations like Hueco attract climbers from all over the world and from all walks of life and we’ve been fortunate to meet a handful of awesome folks already. We’ve also noticed that there is a special community here – people who come back year after year as much for the climbing as for the extended family. That said, though it’s our first time here, we have felt quite welcome. Even having a baby hasn’t scared people away (as far as we know anyway)! In fact, we’ve met two other traveling climber families, which is really nice because (a) it’s a clear indication of the growth of the sport, and (b) it confirms for us that we’re not insane to bring our daughter on the road (or at least we’re not alone in our insanity)!

The Hueco Tanks park from the Ranch.

So we’ve decided not to camp on this leg of the journey after all and rather split our time between The Rock Ranch and The Hueco Hacienda. Apparently the Ranch can get pretty rowdy during peak season, which wouldn’t have been super good for us, but it was perfectly chill when we were there. Not only did we enjoy hangin’ with the employees and other residents there, we were treated to a quint-essential Texan brisket, dutifully watched over by Brett (a.k.a. Mogli) as it smoked for 14 hours. It was fantastic! The owners of the Hacienda are awesome, too, and we’re psyched to be staying here for the next 2 weeks. This auberge is really gorgeous, clean and spacious! And while it’s a more pricey accommodation than we would normally stay in on a long climbing trip, it’s seriously hard to move to a campground once you’ve spent a night here!

climbing

We’ve had some somewhat humbling climbing days since we last posted: falling off the top of problems and feeling our lack of Heuco-style fitness. This is what we were expecting actually, but we had a false sense of confidence because of Mig’s strong send on day 2 and my pseudo-send on day 3 (turns out King Cobra starts one move lower than where I started it; what I did is known as “Queen Cobra,” and goes at V5). It’s all good, though. We are getting in shape, slowly but surely. And with our remaining 2 weeks, we hope to go back and finish some of the fun problems we’ve been playing on and maybe get on some harder stuff if we have time! So most of our climbing shots are of other people, but there’s one of me on Jigsaw Puzzle (sent 2nd try) that I did at the East Spur yesterday!

Alex working the moves of ‘Too many martinis’ V14/15. Not too shabby!

Left: Bonnie crushing ‘Jigsaw Puzzle’ V5.
Right: Rocco working ‘Sub-zero’ V11/12.

Video

Here is a quick video of Dom cruising ‘Choir Boys’ (V7) on his first try of the day. He had worked his beta previously. Dom left Hueco today with a very proud tick list, including Fern Roof V9 (see pic below) – way to crush buddy!

More photos…

* click an image for larger size (cliqué sur une image pour la voir en grand format).

Arriving in Hueco Tanks

Driving

10 days on the road so far. We took 5.5 days to get to Hueco Tanks (4000 kms, 7 states, 35 hrs) – casual timing, we know, but shorter days of driving are easier with a baby. Our little girl mostly slept but took in some of the landscape here and there too. The drive included: Visits with friends and good eats in Columbus and Nashville (highlights for sure); Accidental tours of 2 sketch towns in Arkansas (the opposite of a highlight); ‘Whataburger'; ‘Pappy’s BBQ’ in Monahans, Texas (photo below); 80 mph speed limit (in Texas); 22 different state license plates; The alphabet game and similar car-ride pass-the-time activities. What we have learned so far: we have an awesome car and we packed way too much stuff!

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Hueco Tanks 2012

Bonnie on 'Mexican Chicken'

We went to Hueco as part of our 2012 Baby Road Trip. We had a blast, working on a ton of classic problems and figuring out how things work in Hueco. It’s quite simple actually, and we are already planning another trip there next year.

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