Manchester Bridge Rock Climb

Saturday night, my band, the Dirty Robots, played a show at the Indian Chief Tavern in Medford.  It was remarkably unspectacular, and I was actually planning on sleeping in until noon when I finally got home at nearly 3 am.

Nevertheless, and bursting with ambition, and after only 3 or so hours of sleep a piece, Monika woke me up at 6:30, demanded I get dressed in the clothes she had already picked out for me, get in the car and go to our friend Cory and Erica’s place.  In a completely un-prepared manner, and in a spontaneous moment, we were headed to Richmond, Virginia to hang out here.

This is the main wall of an old train trellis bridge.

the entire bridge is basically in ruins and has fallen into the river and along the banks.

but, someone got permission to put climbing hooks all over the walls and old standards so people could climb here.

this is looking in the other direction. Richmond is on the other bank. I'm standing under the newer car bridge, and you can see the old, abandoned one over on the left.

there, that's a better shot.

the main wall again, from the entrance to the climbing area. There is a lookout at the top of the wall that looks out over the valley. probably about 40 feet tall or so.

later, we went to try and climb one of the standards, which has slanted walls, but is still pretty difficult to climb. That girl on top was the lead climber, and she was awesome. There wasn't anything she couldn't do.

did I mention how hot it was. All of us were drenched in sweat, even those of us who didn't climb at all. Just standing made you sweat. The top of this standard, I was told, burned your hands and radiate like an oven. I wouldn't know, though.

it was pretty dry and I guess there was a drought. the river bed was exposed and you could walk all the way across the river if you were careful and found a good path.

this is about a third of the way across. we didn't go all the way, but it was damn cool anyway. we wanted to cool off in the water but it looked and smelled kinda nasty.

We had a hell of a road trip with Cory and Erica, and met some really cool people.

Afterwards, even though we were tired, and I was completely soaked, we headed to the local brewpub, a place called Legends!  I had a golden IPA, of course, but it wasn’t hoppy enough for me, but tasty nonetheless.  Then I found their Belgian Quad, which of course was the highest alcohol content on their menu.  That was indeed very tasty.

Since we left in hast that morning, my phone was not charged, and by this point, was dead.  I would have liked to grab a few more pictures, but alas, you’ll have to trust me that it was a beautiful view across the river of downtown Richmond from the back deck of Legends.

I’m not a very experienced climber at all, but a day like this one makes me want to try.  We may start going to the local climbing gym that is in these pictures to strengthen up and get more practice.

Nevertheless, we had a great day and met some very good people and dined with our new friends, got some great exercise and saw some always fascinating, Mayan-like ruins, and didn’t waste our Sunday mowing the lawn and doing laundry.  Not too bad at all.

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