Abby Smith: November 2010
As I sat in the audience at the Boulder Adventure Film Festival's
Filmmaker Workshop listening to the German actor Marcus Lucas talk about selling all his possessions to travel across the States in his Lance truck camper to have dinner with strangers in all fifty states and capture the heart and soul of America on camera, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to jump on the road again. One-month prior I had returned from India and was already on the edge, wavering whether or not to leave my Eldorado Springs’ sanctuary once again. I needed to decompress, desired to play outside and craved a change of perspective, but didn’t want to leave my comfy bed, dependable wireless Internet and warm shower.
Inspired by the vision of founder Jonny Copp, Marcus, along with the other filmmakers on the panel Michael Brown, Michael Ramsey and Jeff Orlowski, shared their personal story of following their passion and pursuing their dreams to initiate change in this diverse world we live in. As always, this three-day festival featuring two dozen independent adventure films and presentations by seasoned professionals made a significant impression on me. The following day, I packed my bags for Hueco Tanks and purchased two plane tickets -- one to Los Angeles and one to Oahu. That evening, Jason Kehl, Pete Takeda, Mick Follari and I gathered on the Boulder Theater’s stage to accept the first annual Johnny Copp Award
. Standing on stage reminded me of Jonny’s absolute dedication to his loved ones, adventures in the unexplored mountains, and his artistic craft of photography, writing and film. This great honor instilled me with the drive to go after my wildest dreams too.
That Sunday following the festival, Jason and I loaded up my car and drove south for 10 hours to my home away from home Hueco Tanks for a week of climbing in the sun. I knew I had made the right decision when I heard snowy storm clouds rolled over Colorado just as we left.
The week of Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year to be in Hueco Tanks.
There are friendly and motivated climbers, eager poker players, ripe avocados and pleasant weather. We made it down just in time for my friend Ty Foose’s annual birthday challenge. This year he needed 39 points and had three spectacular projects on the list. With supportive spots, positive energy and a whole lot of desire, Ty succeeded and we had another memorable day in the park.
For the rest of the week, I got reacquainted to Hueco’s powerful and dynamic style, scouted new lines and revisited old projects. Just as my mind slowed down, my thoughts became clear and skin accustomed to the rough rock, I had to leave again. On the following Sunday, I swapped out my chalky climbing bag for rolling luggage packed with skirts and boots and traveled to Los Angeles to collaborate with my talented partners on a potential television project. Four days in Santa Monica flew by in the blink of an eye. Now it’s onto the next adventure: bouldering in Oahu!