Raleigh Trip with AD Staff

by Jenny Lovell

A few of us from the AD office went to Raleigh last weekend to give Erik a send-off after 5 years of loyal service. It was a good time to be had by all, truly a team building experience, and we will all miss Erik very much! I have to thank him for being the reason I visited the most amazing place…

I had the most surreal boat ride the night I arrived, laying on my belly on the bow the whole way. The moon was bright and the cliffs were glowing next tot he calm sea. I swung my hand over the front and felt the spray on my fingertips, letting the cloth banner tied to the front of the bow lightly whip me in the face as it blew in the wind. I could barely hear the conversation in the boat behind me, mostly just the light wooshing sound as the hull glided over the water. Balmy.

We spent the days laying in the sun, hiking, and taking lazy naps. At night you could hear the monkeys jumping through the trees an into the living room, looking for a midnight snack.

I had my first outdoor rock climbing experience with a Swedish man named Richard and my guide from Hot Rocks, Jay. Thus far I had only climbed indoors at Mission Cliffs in San Francisco. What a sweet deal to be able to call Raleigh my first climb. Funny enough, at the top of a nearby hike the day before, I met a young man that lived only 8 blocks from me in SF and climbs at the same gym!

I timidly scaled the 156-foot wall and loved every second. The rocks were smooth and solid, with chalk marks dotting the course, like a trail of bread crumbs showing me the way. The view from the top was a reward I did not deserve: an unobstructed panoramic of Raleigh, east and west. Beautiful. I would say it was my favorite place in Thailand, but I’ve officially wracked up about 10 of those.

I will definitely be returning.