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TDY in Walnut Creek, CA


sobo

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Castle Rock and the Pinnacles (San Jose area) and Indian Rock (Berkeley) are close by. Prepare not to be impressed, except by the crowds, but its what they got.

 

Lover's Leap (Tahoe) and Yosemite (duh) if you're jonesin for the real thing.

 

For alpine rock, the Ritter/Banner area of the Yosemite backcountry has some great routes.

 

Mt. Shasta if you really miss the NW.

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There's a rock Gym just up the road which would be the easiest after work:

http://touchstoneclimbing.com/cd.html

 

The Pinnacles are like 2.5-3 hrs from Walnut Creek. Castle Rock is 1.5hrs or so and not worth it when Lovers Leap is ~3hrs and Yosemite ~3.5 hrs you'd be insane if climbing is your focus. Especially since it's summer and the Pinnacles get hot. Well, if summer ever comes - there's more rain forecast this weekend. In June. WTF.

 

In the Bay Area take a beer road trip - Lagunitas (petaluma), Russian River (Santa Rosa), Bear Republic (Healdsburg), Moylan's (Novato), Anderson Valley (Boonville) are all pretty close to the North Bay.

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  • 1 month later...

I spent a half a year working in Dickerville. The local sports are light beer (yes, that's a sport) darts, and shit talking anyone that doesn't look like you (white, xian) There's a local biker gang. They call themselves the fat bastards or something. If you are into guns you could easily outfit your self for the apocalypse (or a black man getting elected president) at the local farm and ranch store. You can't miss it. It's right across the street from the busiest Wal Mart in the world.

 

I don't believe there is any climbing in the entire state outside a rock gym in Fargo but that might be because no body has spent the time to bother and look for it.

 

My refuge was Teddy Roosevelt National Park and the Ma Da Hey Trail (take a good mountain bike). TRNP has hundreds of miles of trails that no one ever hikes on. The park staff encouraged me to just wander off trail and were way stoked that someone was back packing out there.

 

More wild life in one place than I've ever seen. It was like walking through a zoo. Of course that's because the whole damn park (both N and S unit) is completely fenced in owing to the fact that any critters that step off the park boundary are pretty much immediately mowed down promptly stuffed and mounted over someones fireplace. Not that I have anything against hunting but they're not into hunting...they're into killin.

 

The Ma Da Hey is trail that connects the S and N units of TRNP. It covers nearly 100 miles of the little missouri grasslands. I did mostly day rides on it and I didn't ride every section but you could do the whole thing in a few days if you were motivated and in good shape on a bike. It wasn't bad but it was burlier than I was expecting. I took my hardtail and several times would have been having a lot more fun on my full suspension.

 

Water is a problem. Hiking or biking you won't believe how much fucking water you drink and there is virtually none out there anywhere on the prairie. When you do find water it's usually got a dead buffalo in it or it's so muddy from all the bentonite that you can't even filter it.

 

I have very fond memories of the hiking,biking and wild life viewing that I did. Having to endure the rest of my time working was not nearly worth the money that I made. And yes... the weather is as bad as they say. Worse actually. They tend to down play how bad the weather is. Everyone in ND thinks they're a bad ass.

 

May I extend to you my deepest sympathies if you have to spend any amount of time there. Hope you enjoy darts.

 

 

 

 

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May I extend to you my deepest sympathies if you have to spend any amount of time there. Hope you enjoy darts.
Wow... what a testimonial, Kirk! :laf:

 

Thankfully for me, this gig is only a "scoping mission" of two weeks in preparation for a larger engineering contract with my firm, of which I will likely not be a part of the resource pool that gets stationed in banished to the Bakken Field.

 

And I paid for my beer through college by playing darts, so I should be fine. Unless I try to hustle them and get busted. Then they might shoot me, promptly stuff me, and mount me over someone's fireplace... :whistle:

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I will likely not be a part of the resource pool that gets stationed in banished to the Bakken Field.

 

 

You are a lucky man. Two weeks is long enough to make you want to leave but not long enough for the locals to turn completely against you. They'll be super nice in that fake mid western way when they first meet you and it takes at least a few weeks for them to decide that you are a sinner and going to hell. My buddy that lives there tells me that the natives are beginning to turn on anyone from out of state though, because the housing market and general economy is finally starting to tank there too. So, of course, anyone from out of state is to blame.

 

Everyone in town used to love the oil rigs. Now they're dealing with the mess and the screwed up economy of a boom town and the realization that ND is not immune to the problems they've been hearing about on Faux News. They are not happy about it.

 

I don't know if ND is still offering free land but a couple years ago they were offering land and sometimes a home to people from out of state to settle in ND. They were having trouble finding people to take them up on the offer and several people who did ended up giving everything back and leaving the state. I can totally understand why someone would do this. I'd much rather be unemployed in OR than rich in Dickinson, ND.

 

Also...if you need beer (I mean real beer) the only place in town that I found that carried anything worth drinking was the liquor store right next to the hardware store off the interstate. I seem to remember a Subway a couple doors down as well. Can't remember the name but it's not a big town so you'll find it. I just drank a lot of whiskey and tried to mind my own business while I was there.

 

 

I was serious about TRNP and the Grasslands being kickass though. I pretty much make it a point to stop there on my way back to MN every time now. The place was incredible and no more than 45 minutes outside Dickerville.

 

Have fun!

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
...If you are into guns you could easily outfit your self for the apocalypse (or a black man getting elected president) at the local farm and ranch store. You can't miss it. It's right across the street from the busiest Wal Mart in the world.
Runnings Fleet and Farm - good stuff!

 

My refuge was Teddy Roosevelt National Park...
+1 on this. Spent this past weekend in there. Bison (or is it buffalo?? I don't remember which one is extinct...) all over the goddamned place, whitetails, a few bighorn sheep, a bazillion little snaffley critters (prairie dogs), cool hiking trails, the Little Missouri River. A great time - thanks for the rec, Kirk!

 

...if you need beer (I mean real beer) the only place in town that I found that carried anything worth drinking was the liquor store right next to the hardware store off the interstate. I seem to remember a Subway a couple doors down as well. Can't remember the name but it's not a big town so you'll find it.
Found it! The House of Booze, right next to the ACE hardware store! :brew: :brew: :brew:

Subway around the corner of the building. :hcluv:

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That was pretty funny. Nice find, Kurt!

 

FYI, I did actually bring my passport this trip. Three weeks ago, my last flight out of SFO (a non-stop to my hometown) was cancelled. It took me a night on the airport floor, 3 different flights, and over 24 hours to get home. If I had had my passport with me, then I could have been re-booked through Vancouver, BC and been home the first night. So the take-away lesson here is to take my passport with me on any trip to a state that borders either Mexico or Canada. I'm ready now, Jack!

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Sounds like you're doing fine. If you have time before you flee the state the North Unit of TRNP is worth the drive to check it out. I've never seen that many wild animals in one place before. The little Missouri river and the Grasslands are truly awesome. Did you run into the herd of wild horses in the South Unit? I got to within about 25 yards of this big ol' stallion. I was thinking that the horses were either accustomed to people and they would let me pass or he would just move as I approached. Wrong. He decided that I was close enough and made it clear that he was a "wild" horse and that I should go around him. Humbling to have a horse dictate your route.

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My two week "expedition" is up and I just fled back home to WA last night. Just coming around now from the whirlwind tour... :crazy:

 

I did indeed make it to the North Unit - twice (once for work, the other for playtime). That place is even more awesomer than the South Unit. And yes I did encounter the band of wild horses and ponies in the South Unit last weekend. I didn't know about them ahead of time, and was surprised as all hell to run into such a thing. Truly majestic.

 

Something else that I found pretty cool. You can buy beer (Fat Tire, no less!) from the store in the Bismarck Airport. And you can take it with you to the gate while you wait for your plane! Kinda nice surfing teh internets at the free WiFi stations with an ice cold brew in your hand. :brew: :brew:

 

Me: "You mean I don't have to drink it here? I can take it to go?"

Cashier: "Ee-yup! I just sell it. I'm not the Beer Police." :rocken:

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If buying beer and wandering around an airport makes you stoked, I, again, suggest a climbing trip to Thailand. The airport convenience stores sell beer every hour, every day (except for Buddhist holidays), and the scenery is much better than North Dakota. The climbing's better too. And the plane tickets don't cost much more and the the season is a couple months away.

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Not saying it stoked me, Carl, but rather that it was completely unexpected. I mean, this is 'Merica after all...

 

Once I finish paying out the equity in the house to the ex by early next year, I will have much more disposable income available for such trips you suggest.

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If you heave to head back to WC, there is a crag that is actually worth a half day or so on Diablo. Needs to be cool though and there is a raptor closure a good portion of the year.

 

Trail running is really quite good on Diablo and there's a good chance you won't see anyone else on any weekday evening. Doubt you'd have a bike either, but the road biking is quite good as well.

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