One of these things...

... is not like the other.

And it was after 4 glasses of $95-a-bottle wine that I had this point driven home to me yet again, this time by the crunching sound coming from my pocket. But let me start properly...
Pulling rope for our 4th trip down the Vertigo Rappels

My wife Allison and I share a car, an arrangement that works out well since her university, my restaurant of employment, and the university's library, computer labs, printers, and gym are all within 2 miles of our home. However, as Allison is doing a clinical rotation for her physical therapy program, she commutes daily to a hospital which is ten miles (and hence about 45 minutes in Denver traffic) across town from our home. Bereft of car, I've been biking, busing, and relying on generous climbing partners in order to hit up the local crags this fall.

And so it was yesterday, when Allison dropped me off at the downtown Denver bus station so I could catch the 7:37 towards Boulder. Three thermos caps of coffee, $5 (note to self: bring exact bus fare or suffer the indignity of overpaying) and 20 pages later, the bus dropped me off in Superior, CO, where my friend Scott Bennett lives. We quickly sorted gear and packed some food. I badly burned a bagel in Scott's toaster, a situation which we temporarily remedied via copious amounts of butter. But with just a couple candy bars between us for the day, I decided to save half that bagel for snacking at an upcoming belay.

We wanted to climb a lot of pitches, and Eldorado Canyon on a weekday is a great place to do it. With one 60m rope, a single set of cams to #3, and palpable enthusiasm, we climbed Le Toit to Rosy Crucifixion, The Naked Edge, the Doub-Griffith, Vertigo, and The Yellow Spur, topping out at dusk and getting back to the car 8 hours after leaving it. I broke out the quickly-turning-stale bagel at a blustery hanging belay halfway up the Doub-Griffith.

"Want some Bagel Scott? That lint and fuzzy pocket detritus onlys add to the food value!"
"Uhhh, yeah. I'll stick with the Snickers right now."

After racing darkness down the descent trail, we sped out of the canyon and back to hwy 93. Here I caught a southbound bus at 5:40, had a quick dinner with Allison, and went to work for a pre-scheduled wine tasting. Surrounded by maps of Italy and charts denoting grape varietals, the mathematics of 23 windy pitches + just 8oz of water began to result in instant tipsyness. The differences between one wine's "earthy nose" and another's "hints of iron at the start" all blended together until I shifted in my chair and was awakened by the CRUNCH of the burnt and stale bagel, crumbling into dozens of charred bits, and filtering through the hole in the bottom of my pocket and onto the restaurant floor. And I looked up, grateful that nobody noticed so I wouldn't have to explain the sordid story to a group of people who were actually used to drinking $95 wine, and not carrying bagels/pizza/sandwiches in the side-zip pockets of their softshell pants.

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