Archive for the ‘Living Locally Resources’ Category

Mission Beach Run south parking lot sunset

I run for fitness, but also because it just feels awesome. When I do it often enough it feels like I could run forever with very little effort. I don’t always do it regularly though. When I tried to run more often a few years ago I had issues with tightness that led to frequent injuries after running. So I’ve added plenty of stretching my training plan. So far this has worked and since we got a jetted tub in our new house, my tightness and soreness has been almost completely under control. About a year ago I decided that I wanted to work up to being able to run a marathon. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, when 40 passed me by I thought I had missed my opportunity, but I’ve found that with just a little more work (and care) I can do many of the things I did before I turned 40 even though I’m now over 50. At this point I don’t think I’ll need to think about slowing down until I pass 70. I guess we’ll see.

Favorite running spots in San Diego.

Mission Beach Sunset Run

Mission/Pacific Beach. I work in Point Loma so it is easy for me to do a Mission/Pacific Beach run before or after work. In the winter I prefer the evening as I’m able to see the sunset during my run. I have a 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 mile course that are easy to remember here. If I add in Mission Bay I can make the run as long as I would like. I prefer to start at Mission Beach or Crown Point Park because there is less traffic to deal with on the way in and out, than Pacific Beach, and there is plenty of parking. I run from Belmont Park to the restrooms just past Grand Avenue and back for a 3+ mile run (actually around 3.15 miles). I continue to the end of the running path where the path meets Law Street/Ocean Blvd and back for a 4.25 mile run, and I add in the little stretch to the end of the beach and back to the Mission Beach.

Mission Beach Run at Sunset

View of Coronado Bridge from Harbor Area Seaport Village

The Harbor. The harbor is a flat run, like running at the beach, but the atmosphere is much different. I love the harbor because I sail there, have done a couple harbor cruise/concerts there, and there are lots of memories of walks, dinners, and events with friends and family to think about as I run there. The scenery is also great. Some of the best views of the San Diego skyline can be seen from Harbor Island. Running along the harbor is also nice because you don’t have to cross very many roads, and the sidewalks are wide and in good shape.

Running on Harbor Island March 2012

Lake Murray (actually part of Mission Trails Regional Park) – I also enjoy running at Lake Murray (or walking the dog). It is closer to home, so it is a good place for me to run on the weekends and later on summer evenings. The trail is wide and level, there are usually quite a few walkers/runners/bikers on the trail which makes it more interesting. I usually start by parking along Baltimore drive as it is closer to my house than the parking lot and faster. If you’ve never walked, bike, or ran at Lake Murray be aware that you can’t get all the way around the reservoir. There is a gate at the Dam and you have to turn around. If you run from the parking lot to the dam gate it is 3.2 miles one way. The full run will be useful as I get closer to running a half marathon, but I usually run between 3-5 miles when not training for a longer run.

Running at Lake Murray - La Mesa CA

Running at Lake Murray – La Mesa CA

Balboa Park. This is a great place to run, both because it is a peaceful and beautiful place, but also because it has both flat running areas and plenty of hills if you want them. I have run here several times, but need to make this a more regular running location!

Botanical Building and Lily Pond Balboa Park Dec 2012

Ocean Beach Bike trail. This trail starts at the Ocean Beach, dogs beach and will take you to the Mission Valley North road, by the time you reach that road you are at 6.25 miles and have only crossed one street. To that point it is flat, but it is easy to add a big hill to the run at that point by running up Bachman Place to Hillcrest, from there you can run back toward downtown and the harbor, or you can head further east and find your way to North Park. I like this route when training for San Diego area half marathons because they all seem to head up a hill similar to this at some point.

Near east end of Ocean Beach Bike Trail

Although I’ve been running for a few years in San Diego, I know I’ve just scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to finding more terrific places to run. Coronado and Mission Trails Regional Park are a couple places I would like to run through/around. If I run out of ideas I can always go to, there are over 2000 routes (some may be nearly the same) listed for San Diego. Pick an area and see the routes for that area. I looked today and found an interesting route that appears to go by many of the museums and attractions in Balboa Park. I need to add that area to my, “on the way home” run list.

Other posts and pages on running.

My Training Log for the Marine Corps Marathon 2013
My Post in the Running Category


Standup Paddle Boarding on Mission Bay in San Diego
A couple of years ago I wrote a post on Local Living Email Deals when there seemed to be a new competitor starting up in the niche every month. I signed up for GoldStar,, Groupon, Living Social, Yelp Deals, Google Offers, Travel Zoo Local Deals, and Facebook Deals. Amazon started sending me the deals even though I didn’t sign up for them. A few companies in the original post have pulled out of the market (Yelp and Facebook), and one company, voucher resellor Lifesta, folded. I started getting “Deals for the Cure” about the same time as Facebook Deals went away, again without really signing up for it.

I was in the market for a deal, and I guess so were a lot of other people as the number of people receiving these emails swelled. Then the buyout offers, and public offerings came along. The “paper value” of some of these companies swelled to match the number of emails they were sending out. I have to admit that I actually still look at these offer emails, but I’m growing very tired of it. If you throw in the offer emails from all the online companies that I have bought something from and never bothered to “opt out” of their email deals… companies like TigerDirect, CompUSA (actually the same company as TigerDirect and the email will go away soon), Overstock, Newegg, Amazon (the fact that I had bought anything from them automatically put my name in the local email deal bag too), and the list could go on and on. Every travel site I ever booked a plane ticket, hotel, or rental car on… resulted in another email deal and these guys rarely send me an email offering anything less than an “amazing” deal. Want an email receipt in Macy’s or another department store… here comes another daily sale email! This stuff isn’t SPAM, I invited all these people to email me I’m sure as part of the terms of service of my purchases.

To be honest I have gotten some good deals by looking at these emails, I mean I am positive that I would have never done Standup Paddle Boarding if it was not $11 for an all day board rental! However, the other 99.999% of these emails don’t benefit me. One of the other benefits in the beginning for me was inspiration to try new things and places, but the repetition has made my inbox a place of monotony not inspiration.

The emails have also become a distraction and are in the way of me noticing useful information in my inbox. The deluge of emails has even changed my email habits. I used to keep all my emails, not most, all! I have emails from the early 90’s on backups around here somewhere. At some point about a year ago I decided to start clearing out my inbox. I search for these deal email senders first and deleted all the deal emails. That got me started… then I cleared out other junk, things I will never look at again. Now I’m delete happy every day. It is a rare email that escapes the chopping block! If in doubt about ever looking at the email again, it is gone! I’ve become delete happy!

I’m ready for the next phase. I’m ready to start opting out of these emails. I’ll start with the emails from companies that usually get deleted based on title alone. Online companies that I once bought something from can quit sending me deal emails and I’ll still be able to find a great deal online when I need something. I mean how many Black Fridays are there really! Get deal/sale emails from enough companies and I bet there are 52 of them. There are a few that I just won’t want to stop. Of course, once I prune the daily jungle of email traffic down to a “formal garden” I’ll be less likely to delete the ones I really want to see in a daily machete swinging email deletion frenzy. I’m eager to get started, where are those “opt out now” pruning shears…

Seaport Village March 2012
A little over a year ago we were curious about a local living email deal for (Fill a Seat San Diego). They were just getting started, and we were willing to try it out for the reasonable fee being charged. So we went into it with a hopeful attitude, and just in case, not too much money sunk into it. I checked the site daily for months, but it went from not much available at first, which was somewhat understandable, to a large number of offerings, they were almost all the same type of event – Comedy. If you love comedy shows, get a membership to If not, then save your money and your time. I’m writing this in November 2012, if you see a review written after this that appears to be honest and positive, then maybe they have been more successful at getting other types of shows. Of course reviews of any kind are hard to come by as they cancel your membership without refund if you write a review they don’t like. I don’t have to worry about that as I don’t plan to ever get another membership regardless of any future reviews.

I don’t have any complaints about the process of selecting seats, and had no problems with getting in to the show for the one comedy show we decided to see. We enjoyed it, but never made the time to do another and never saw a different type of show with available tickets. It was a very disappointing experience logging in and seeing the same type of shows almost exclusively. There were a few other types of shows listed. Since I checked the site very frequently I can say that there were not many of those tickets available relative to the number of members as they were always “Sold Out” before I even saw them. I’m not saying I know this, but I do suspect that these events were “ringers”, as they were more frequent before new daily local living email deals were published offering bargain membership prices to the site. If the company simply bought 2-4 tickets to these “ringer” type events they would be able to list them as past events, but they would be “Sold Out” immediately. There is no information on the number of seats filled for past events, and I don’t expect them to provide that information publicly as the event managers would probably not want that information provided. So all there is to go on is personal experience. Based on my personal experience: Don’t buy a membership to unless you totally love comedy shows and will go to several of them a year.

Anyone have a different opinion based on their experience? Feel to share it with a comment. Please do not discuss the actual shows or venues, but feel free to agree with or dispute my opinion based on your experience.

Note: Scroll down to see the comments (including one from FillASeat).

A couple years of fun
Jenny and I are driving up to Big Sur this Sunday. The planning for the first couple days was simple and pretty straight forward. Drive, take a tour, arrive at Big Sur, and get married. We plan to be on the road by 9 am, right after picking up the rental car. We’re renting a convertible in San Diego, driving up the 15 to Riverside to see some family, then we’ll take a diagonal route to the 10 and we’ll end up in Santa Monica hopefully in time for a late lunch, a quick walk on the pier, and a few deep breaths of fresh air. Then back into the car and along Highway 1 to Santa Barbara. I’d love to go to Solvang for dinner and some wine tastings, but I don’t think we will be able to get there in time. We’ll save that for another trip. From Santa Barbara we’ll continue up the coast until Highway 1 turns inland, then follow it to Vandenberg Air Force Base. We’ll be staying there for one night. On Day 2 we have a mid-afternoon tour scheduled at Hearst Castle, so we won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. We’ll probably just have coffee when we get up and shoot for a brunch in Pismo Beach. A quick search found The Honeymoon Cafe which sounded fitting but a day and a half early, plus the reviews were less than enticing. If we feel like lunch we’ll park by the pier and walk up Pomeroy Avenue; it looks like there are a lot of choices here. If we feel like breakfast/brunch I think we’ll try out The Cliffs Resort. It is a little over an hour to Hearst Castle We have to be at the Hearst Castle visitors center by 1:30pm, and it is about a 90 minute drive from Pismo Beach so we will have plenty of time to eat before we have to head north again.

After the Hearst Castle Tour we’ll head north from San Simeon toward Big Sur. Almost everyone we talked to who had spent time in Big Sur recommended eating at Nepenthe. So we may eat dinner there before heading to Big Sur Lodge and settling in for the night. It is about a 90 minute drive from Hearst Castle so we should have a couple of hours to use to stop along the coast, take some short hikes/walks on some of the cliff/beach trails in southern Big Sur. The Jade Cove Trail looks like the most “typical Big Sur” coastal hike on this stretch of Highway 1.

On Day two we’ll be heading to Carmel to get married. It’s been a wonderful two and a half years, and Jenny’s agreed to make me an honest man! We’ve been working with a very helpful lady, Kathee, from Carmel Weddings to arrange everything. It will just be the two of us, a very well planned elopement! Once Kathee let us know the options, and we made our choices, we didn’t have to worry about the rest of it. Show up – look good – and say “I Do”! She is arranging everything else, the official, the photographer – including a video, flowers, and she helped us find a terrific place to make this a terrific day during a very busy week. Once the Honeymoon starts it is the end of what is “well planned out”. We have our rooms and a basic plan, but I’ll be more comfortable once I have at least a list a list of things we’d like to do.

In Big Sur: Eat at Post Ranch Inn and Nepenthe, and hike Oak Grove Trail, Pfeiffer Falls and Valley View Trails. the short McWay Falls Trail, and the longer – covers all the bases – Andrew Molera Loop.

In SF – Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ride a trolley, cable car, sailing, Presidio including a jaunt down the Lyon Street Steps, Batteries to Bluff’s walking Trail, Golden Gate Park, Bay Bridge, and Grant Street in China town (and side streets…), if we can fit it in – take a bike across the Golden Gate bridge and take the ferry back. OK, we might have to go back for some of this. We’ll have an afternoon, a full day and a morning in San Francisco, and we’ll probably feel like sleeping in. We will be on our Honeymoon!

First of three posts for the trip: Road Trip – San Diego to Big Sur (July 2012)

Enjoying some good food with friends

I rarely, if ever, buy local email deals from Groupon, Living Social, or others for dining out. This isn’t because I don’t enjoy dining out, it is because I can get a very similar deal without committing my money in advance. With the local email deals, you usually pay half price, but you have to give them the money at the time you buy the deal, even though you may not use the deal for months. I much prefer the way works. You buy a certificate for 10, 25, 50 dollars, or more off a meal, but only pay a few dollars up front. Don’t pay full price for the gift certificate, which is usually $10 for a $25 dollar gift certificate; there is always a discount code. You’ll have access to these discount codes if you sign up and are receiving the emails. I rarely pay more than $2 for a $25 gift certificate. The catch is that you have to order more than the value of the gift certificate, usually a minimum of $35 for a $25 dollar gift certificate, and you have to pay 18% gratuity on the full bill. If you stick to the minimums the savings are better than Groupon, or the other daily meal deals. I rarely stick exactly to the minimums, but still love saving around $23 or more off my bill. There are frequently other restrictions for each restaurant for example they may not include alcohol, or they may not accept the gift certificates on the weekends, but every restaurant is different.

I’m not sure which cities works for, but just type in your zip code and search to see if there are any participating restaurants in your area. I live in San Diego and as of today there are 36 restaurants within 5 miles of my zip code and 169 within 15 miles. is a great way to find and try out new places. My favorite new places so far have been KNB wine Cellars in Del Cerro and Wine Cabana in Old Town San Diego.

When you make your reservations be sure to ask if they are still honoring the gift certificates and let your server know when you order so you are sure to avoid a conflict with any restrictions. If a restaurant drops out of the program you will get a credit so you can trade your certificate for another one. It is very low risk to try this out. If you don’t know a restaurant I still recommend checking on Yelp to be sure it is a good place to try out. You are saving money, but some restaurants are not worth eating at, regardless of how much you save.

There are other ways to save when dining out besides that are also better the local email deals. These are generally not as widely available as I’ll work on a future post for San Diego locals. But there are new nationally available offerings cropping up so I may look at those too in a future post. If you know of a good way to save money dining out, let me know in a comment. I’d love to hear of other ways to be able to dine out without breaking the banks. Of course never forget the old faithful… happy hour. However, if is available for your area I definitely recommend trying it out.

Mission Beach after a run February 2012The past few years we’ve had better summer days in January/February than in June-August in San Diego. The calendar summer months have been overcast and not that warm, but each winter we’ve had a week or two of really warm, sunny, clear days that have been the best summer weather of the year.

In 2011 we bought season tickets to the Green Flash concert series at the Birch Aquarium, hoping to see some terrific sunsets, and hear some great music. The music was awesome, but not one sunset! We’re hoping for better luck with the sunset and cloud cover for the Green Flash concerts in 2012. In the past few weeks there have been some great sunsets, terrific beach weather, and sunny warm days in San Diego. It is easy to think “Oh there will be plenty of summer days in a few months” and let the terrific weather go to waste, but I would recommend not letting one great day slip by without getting out for a day a the beach, some kayaking, a hike, a run, a day in the park or zoo, or even doing a project in the yard.

Another good reason to get out on a nice summer day in the winter is that San Diego will not be overrun by tourist. There will be bigger local crowds than usual in the winter, but you will have less traffic, smaller crowds, and better bargains. There have been some really good bargains for kayak and stand up paddle boards this winter on Groupon and other daily deal sites. But you have to wait for a good faux summer day to really enjoy these deals.

There are always excuses… mine this year is yet another move. This will be my 8th house in 6 years! However, I definitely plan to take advantage of some of this winter’s faux summer in San Diego. So put some Jack Johnson on, feel the sun on your face, and enjoy the summer weather regardless of what month it is.

View of Downtown San Diego from the harborWhen you’re looking for things to do in San Diego, there are several online resources. These are great when you are looking for something to do on a particular day, especially as the day approaches. San Diego is a great place to live but if you sit at home every day you are definitely going to be missing out.

The San Diego Reader is available in tons of locations as a weekly print magazine, but I like the online version even better.  I like The Reader when I’m looking for something to do on a particular date.  In order to find an event for a particular date go to the Events menu selection. Then find the date on the Events Calendar to see a list of local events on that day. The lists default to All Categories and can be quite long; however, you can filter them by a specific category. Just select a category, like music, you can adjust the date range if you want to search a range of dates (like a weekend), and then click the search link. The list will update for your new search criteria. The criteria list is multi-select, so just hold the CTRL key to select multiple categories (just be sure not to hold it for your first selection or the All Categories selection will remain active). This is another opportunity to try something new, just pick a category for something you’ve never tried before, say lectures, and before you know it you could be learning about crop circles and UFOs (actually on the list they day I searched).

The SignOnSanDiego website is owned by the San Diego Union Tribune. (Note the SignOnSanDiego URL takes you to the Union Tribune site now) They have a things to do page that is also a good place to find things to do in San Diego today or in the near future. I don’t like their search capability as much as The Reader, but they have things that aren’t listed on The Reader, plus they highlight major events (the Parade of Lights in the Harbor was highlighted the day I searched) that you may miss in the long list on The Reader’s site. SignOnSanDiego also provides links to sites to buy tickets for many of the events, although for many of these events I recommend you check a site like GoldStar San Diego for bargain tickets before paying full price. SignOnSanDiego also has a lot of content from the San Diego Union Tribune, but if all you want is the events list, their events list is driven by (this site no longer exists) and you can get access to the events without any distractions directly on their site.

City Beat – San Diego is another local printed weekly magazine, that also has a fairly decent online presence. They have an event search capability that is similar to The Reader. The Reader seems to have a more comprehensive list of events including more small/local interest events. So I prefer The Reader to City Beat.

The San Diegan is the self-proclaimed “Original Guide to San Diego” and has been around for 44 years. So in addition to a good list of event the San Diegan website is a good guide to attractions, restaurant, and other venues. They also have a good coupon page if you can’t find the copy of your “Get1Free” coupon book, of course that is also available online at

Looking for a restaurant near an event, check out Yelp for suggestions. The reviews are priceless, but not always completely trustworthy (check out my Yelp post). There is also a section called Talk San Diego where you may find some ideas or some weird conversations… One good conversation thread for ideas is: Yelp topic – 100 Things To Do In San Diego.

Don’t forget we live in a vacation destination. The site is the official travel resource for the San Diego region. It is run by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. The function of the site is to lure tourists in with the attractions and big draw events, but it also list some of the other fun activities in San Diego on the 25 Fun & Free Things to Do in San Diego page. This site can definitely be used as a resource by locals too!

Like this post check out my other posts on living locally in San Diego, on planning for a full life, or on living locally in general.


I’m a citizen of the procrasti-nation.  Based on life-long observation of my family I believe I must be a native born citizen.  In the absence of firm plans I routinely find myself putzing around the house, surfing the internet, or (gasp) blogging.  It is too easy to allow loose, flexible plans slide to the right.  So if I want to stay active, I have to make firm, well thought out, and possibly even publicly published plans.  It is also better if I make those plans “with other people”.  If a firm plan only includes me, who really knows if I blew the plan off!  So for me living a full life requires planning a full life first.

Planning isn’t difficult unless you have a larger group of people who are all trying to fit a plan into their busy schedules.  There are normally 5 W’s but in this case the why is for fun, or a challenge, etc. so it really is just the 4W’s: who’s going, what are you going to do and what to bring, where to go, and when.  Often you know everything except the what and where.  You know you want to get together with a group of friends or you have a special date to celebrate, and you need to figure out what to do.  Having resources that give you ideas for things to do  on a particular date are priceless.  Whether it is the local paper or weekly magazine, their website, or some other online resource you should have those types of resources handy for planning. I plan to collect a list for San Diego and post it here.

Then there are the Bucket List events/adventures. For me these generally involve setting up backpacking permits, lodging, campgrounds, and hopefully getting a few family and friends to come along. I have several left on my list and try to get out at least once a year to one of them. In 2012 I’m planning to hike the Zion Narrows. I’ve been working on that for a month or so, but need to finish that up in the next month. In 2013 I’m hoping to hike near Mount Rainier or possibly do some mountain biking. I hope the Marine Corps Marathon is on for 2014, but that will take a long-term plan, and a lot of shorter runs between now and then. I love the internet, you can always find someone how has done it, tells you about it, and usually they have some great pictures too. I personally like the ones that have plans that you can use. Camping checklists, information for a particular place that they found by doing lots of research, or by going there over and over again. Hints and tips from people who have been there are priceless when you are planning.

Want to see some of my planning posts? Check out the tag – Planning.

Padres Game 2011Although is available in 17 cities, I’m only familiar with the San Diego Offerings. Goldstar is different from other daily email deals in several ways. Although many of their offers are for 50% or more off, they always have more than one deal per day. Today their site is listing 44 deals for things to do in the local area. This is about normal. So far Goldstar isn’t about restaurants, Brazillian Blowout, or whiter teeth, it is completely focused on entertainment. I receive several daily deal emails, and they usually get deleted pretty quickly, because I know I’m likely to get a similar offer again soon. However, there are unique “see it now or you’ll miss your chance” offerings on Goldstar regularly, so I look over their email more closely than the rest. My favorite thing to buy on the site is theater tickets. I don’t go to plays every weekend, but I would love to get to one every couple months. I prefer small theaters, but I’ve seen some great shows in the larger theaters around town like the Civic Theater or the Lyceum. More than half the offerings on Goldstar are tickets to live shows. I’ve found Goldstar to be a great way to get to know different theaters, and to get out and about more often. By combining the savings of this site with a deal for eating out you can easily save 40-80 dollars on a night out. This can help if you’re trying to stick to your budget but want to live a full life! There are also some good offers for harbor cruises, sporting events (Padres), and tours. These are handy when you have company coming to town. I recommend signing up for the Goldstar site to give it a try. It’s free to check it out. They usually charge a small service fee per ticket, but the savings make it worth the fee.

Rock Climbers viewed from the climbers loop trail - Mission Trails Park San DiegoI had received the offers many times from the daily deal websites, “Learn to rock climb”, “beginning rock climbing”… but I had always passed on those offers. I had also seen groups of climbers while hiking in San Diego. So one day last year I got a wild hair, decided to try something new, and bought a couple Groupon vouchers. The class was with The Southern Terrain company. They do everything from beginning classes to major adventure trips around the world. Jenny Starting her chimney climbThe class was in Mission Trails Regional Park on the east side of San Diego. There are permanent climbing points in the park that make it quick to set up the equipment so you can experience several different climbs with increasing levels of difficulty in a 4 hour class. The instructors bring all the equipment (although if you have larger than size 10 feet you may want to bring your own climbing shoes. They also bring the experience necessary for a safe climb even for beginners. This particular class was for people with no experience. We started with a chimney climb that was physically challenging, but not technically difficult. By the time I finished the first climb they had set up the other climbing routes. One was fairly easy until you got to the top, the other was more advanced… a nice way to say, no way I was ready for that! The ropes you see in the pictures are really safety equipment and made coming down much easier. It was reassuring when the foot or finger holds were small to know that you weren’t going anywhere.
Me near the top of the chimney climb
The chimney only required keeping pressure against your hands and more importantly your feet by pushing with your back. This allowed me to feel pretty secure as I moved a hand or a foot to the next plant point as I went up the chimney. It is hard on your shirt though so don’t wear your favorite clothes to this class. Me near the top of the second climb.The second climb was up a fairly large crack in the rock. There were good hand and feet holds for most of the way up, but for me it was difficult to maintain balance. I had to focus on staying close to the rock face. To get up the last few feet required placing a foot on a very small knob out on the face of the rock on the right and using a pressure hold on the left. With running shoes instead of climbing shoes I could not get enough grip on the foot hold to move myself up. There was also a cheater rope, but I didn’t see the point in using that. Jenny standing at the top of the second climb.So I didn’t make it all the way to the top of the second climb, but felt OK about how far I did get. On the other hand, Jenny made it to the top 3 times, the third time without using the rope! I was very impressed. There were a couple of people who were able to get most of the way up the third climb. I couldn’t get past the hand transverse near the bottom of the climb. I think climbing shoes would have helped here too. There were no foot holds, but those who made it still pressed their shoes against the granite to help climb. Of course after the 3 earlier climbs (I tried the second one twice) I was pretty tired too. At the top of the third climb there was a round rock outcropping that you had to pull yourself to the top of, then press yourself up to get a foot on top of it. No one made it past that point.
I would try this again sometime, but I doubt I’ll become a “rock climber”. If an opportunity comes up to try this in a different location I will probably give it a try. If I was 20 years younger and 40 pounds lighter (which I was 20 years ago) I would be willing to put more effort into getting better at this. I didn’t go into this to become a rock climber, just to have a new experience. It was definitely a fun time and a great confidence builder. I would recommend giving this a try if you are in fairly good shape.