Adventures in Rock-Climbing

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch

Style first. Safety second.

Or so my husband and I joke about while we’re climbing. Even if the technique is wrong, just ensure it looks stellar…

I assure you. Being as safe as possible while climbing is our number one priority. Or as we like to say, we implement a lot of high-risk mitigation strategies. Which is incredibly important ALL the time, but ESPECIALLY when you’re 7 months pregnant.




Naturally, being a 32-week pregnant gal, I thought that taking a 7-hour long road trip to go camping in the woods and do some light rock-climbing was a great idea. Sustained injury and poor sleep aside, we had a pretty darn good time.


Horseshoe Canyon is pretty well known to the climbers around here. It is basically one of the few places that are within a day’s drive for some solid outdoor climbing. From what I have been told, they have a 


vast variety of routes that suit both first-timers and seasoned climbers. My 5.11-climber husband and I (now downgraded to 5.9 or less) were able to find several routes in the same location. And thanks to some of our climbing friends, we had a couple of really solid tour guides to make our first experience at HCR one to remember.  The rock at HCR is sandstone which I much preferred to the granite found during our last climbing excursion. The routes were super fun, yet challenging. I finally started to feel more comfortable navigating the rock to find suitable hand holds, which has proven quite a challenge moving from designated gym routes to actual rock.


I couldn’t do all of the climbing I would have liked, but being off the grid and spending the entire weekend outdoors, back in nature, made the drive worth it. Granted, I am now covered in mosquito bites, finding new ones approximately every 5 minutes, sustained a minor injury and gouged a small hole in my finger, but our weather was gorgeous, we got to take Baby O. for his or her first camping trip and got to spend one last weekend away together before the babe makes his or her presence in the outside world.



Being in nature is something I really miss about the west coast. We haven’t done much of it since moving back to Iowa and I think it is a necessity in life. We spend so much time attached to our electronic devices, following a to-do list or working toward something. What happened to enjoying our lives? Having conversations with friends? Making new friends? Just being present in this very moment in our lives before everything passes us by? Trips like this one remind me that all of these things are possible and should be present in my life every day. Time passes too quickly for joy to not be sought out.


As one of my favorite singers, Macklemore, has been telling me,

“I wish somebody would have told me babe, someday these would be the good old days”.

This is so true. We can’t let these days pass us by any faster than they already do. We must do what we love and cherish every moment.


HCR has a lot to offer for a really decent price. We paid $15/day each to camp and climb. They have warm running water and proper restrooms. The only downside was needed to pay for a shower, but we chose to be grubs anyway and showered when we got home. For those who want ritzier accommodations, they do have cabins available for about $100/night, but they are often saved for individuals participating in horseback riding.


You are sure to see goats and horses roaming free and if you’re lucky to go at the right time of year, you see so so many teeny tiny baby goats. The camp shop offers a full coffee bar, snacks, first aid essentials, ice, firewood and a small amount of gear. There is also a variety of other activities in the nearby town including kayaking the Buffalo River and horseback riding.

HCR gave us an incredible experience and we can’t wait to get back after the baby is born!IMG_20180512_065709

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