Friday, May 20, 2011

All you could want in Leavenworth

Leavenworth is an adorable Bavarian town that attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists in the warmer months. People flock for the festivals, the authentic food and the quaint structures that are reminiscent of another time and place. I, however, bypass all this without blinking an eye and head for the crags just outside of town.

The rock climbing here is boulders, and that means crack climbing. I spent several hours belaying and shimmying up the granite before calling it quits and heading for Eight Mile Camp just up the road. From there, we threw up the tent next to the river and went in search of a decent hike. After picking our way over mud pits and boulders the size of small cars (a mudslide closed the road somewhat recently), we found a dirt road that angled left into the hills.

Since we had no idea where we were, it’s hard to say how far or high we climbed but the roundtrip was probably just over eight miles. It climbed at a decent rate, bringing us closer to the mountains where fog was settling in. We decided to push on a few more miles in hopes of reaching a nearby lake, but we made it maybe halfway before the sky opened up and instantly drenched us. That’s all we needed to hightail it back to camp.

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