We wake up slowly in our tent, groggy from the late night drive. It’s good to be back at Indian Cove, though, for the first time since our wedding. We are in campsite #7 with Ann’s parents, right below Dark Shadows Rock, so after breakfast I wander up and rig a toprope on it. We play on Forgotten Variation (5.9+) and Nail ‘N Gravel (5.10d). Both have thin, fun lieback starts. Nail ‘N Gravel has a slab topout with three bolts that have been chopped. That part has a move that throws me once – one of those classic JTree tenuous steep friction moves. I wonder what prompted the demise of the bolts.
After lunch Ann’s parents have visitors who bring their three boys. I decide to lead a moderate climb they can play on. Swishbah (5.7) is the nearest candidate. Everybody watches, having fun commenting when I get symied at the crux – a steep, thin, tilted crack. I get a tiny #1 stopper in, then go up and down a few times trying to get something more substantial in, to the entertainment of all. I try not to take too much satisfaction when no one can follow that section. A cold wind at the belay helps me resist too much smugness. Ann manages to lower and clean it, declaring that my tiny stopper would have held a school bus. James, Mark, and Daniel all enjoy climbing and lowering, and even give me a bag of delectable oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in thanks (with encouragement from Mom & Dad).