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New River Rendezvous: the Journey

New River Rendezvous: the Journey
May 20, 2011 -  Brion Voges    

A small reflection on our journey to the New River Rendezvous.

I met up with Ronnie Jenkins in the parking lot of the SOON-TO-BE-FAMOUS-AMONG-CLIMBERS-EVERYWHERE Greenlife Grocery at 3 PM today and piled A TON OF STUFF THAT WILL NEVER MAKE IT BACK HOME ON A PLANE/ALL MY WORLDLY BELONGINGS into the 5.10 van. For the next week or so I’ll be making my best attempt at capturing the world of climbing in words and photos as Ronnie and I tour around the U.S. doing shoe demos and climbing rocks. It’s now 11:36 PM on May 18 and I’m lying in Johnson City on the couch of a man I met only hours ago.


The man’s name is Mike Thomas. He manages a ski shop in town, has a nasty fetish for bicycles, and, along with his wife Nicole, is one of the NICEST PEOPLE I’VE MET. It’s was great talking with Mike for a couple reasons which I will mention despite the fact that climbing is perhaps not the best context for a business discussion. First, he has a REAL PASSION for his job. Second, Mike’s stories have opened my eyes to the importance of small businesses in towns like Johnson City. Everyone here either owns a shop or works for an independent business owner. Being an entrepreneurship major and an obsessed rock climber, I find it inspiring the level commitment these people have to following a specific passion. I would just like to SAY THANKS to Mike and Nicole for their hospitality and the inspiration. Ronnie and I are heading out in the morning and we should be in West Virginia in the early afternoon. I should have some photos up soon so stay tuned!


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