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July 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World - Will Roderick

July 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World - Will Roderick
July 2013: Summer Adventures Around the World - Will Roderick
August 03, 2013 -  Will Roderick    

Summer has brought both an abundance of adventures as well as time to relax. At the beginning of July, I was still working at UC Berkeley and mostly training indoors. A week or two later, my brother, Mel, and I headed to Maine to visit family. For the most part, we stayed with our grandparents in Bar Harbor, Maine. The town is especially famous for its lobster. I tried some lobster ice cream actually, and while it certainly was not my favorite ice cream (it tasted exactly as one might expect if lobster were added to vanilla ice cream), it wasn’t at all terrible. Bar Harbor is also well known because of Acadia National Park, which surrounds the small town. The cliffs over the ocean attract climbers from all over the world. The only issue was that Mel and I had not brought with us ropes nor carabiners. We came up with another solution accidentally. We had been kayaking nearby our grandparents’ house and Mel spotted some cliffs that looked cool to climb. We paddled over to them and found the ocean below them was deeper than we could reach with the paddles. So we began exploring the faces and found a bunch of boulder-length, fun routes. However, the spot required high tide so that the barnacles weren’t exposed, which meant that we were only able to have one solid session there before we left. I’m hoping to explore the area much more in the future!

When our week in Maine ended, we came back to Berkeley for a week, which gave me time to recuperate, work, see friends, and climb before heading to the UK. That expedition started just a few days ago in London where we met up with our cousins. Mel and I have both been to London a few times and so didn’t feel the need to see all of the tourist sights in just a couple days. So, we adventured around the city during the day while everyone was at work and spent as much time with our cousins as we could in the evenings. During the day, we would go to climbing gyms, museums, and other famous areas around the city. And actually, while walking around the Natural History Museum, we found that there was a conference on biomimetics and biohybrid robotics, which is similar to what we’ve been working on at home. We were about to go in when we realized that everyone there was in very formal clothing and looked as if they had been invited because of their work in that field. But we did pass by the conference again, and to our surprise, we saw the head of the lab that we’re working in at UC Berkeley! It was funny to think, what are the chances of that?! And during the evenings, we had loads of fun with our cousins going to dinner, seeing films, and playing football.

I have had a great trip so far! I am currently in the train headed for Scotland and have plans to climb around Oxford in the next couple weeks.


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