Church on a Tuesday?

Church of the Lost and Found that is! Sitting high above the Owens River Gorge is one of my very favorite bouldering spots, The Catacombs. Not only is this a favorite go-to spot for it’s spectacular views and easy to moderate bouldering, but it also has some really fun caverns to walk, crawl, climb and squeeze through. Hence it’s name- The Catacombs.

The Catacombs are particularly special to me because this is the very place where I fell in love with my husband. Every time we are here I find myself reminiscing on the night we ran together like children through the caverns in the blackness of the night. We were wearing headlamps and laughing hysterically as we ran, crawled, climbed and stemmed our way through the catacombs. I will never forget it.

Yesterday, I was looking through California Climbing magazine and saw The Catacombs and a particularly beautiful photo of The Church of the Lost and Found by Ken Etzel. Suddenly, I had the itch to go. Right that second. So we packed up the baby and our gear and we left. Living practically right across the highway from this place makes it really easy to just pack up and go.

We came across a back road we had always wondered about that took us right up to The Church. The Church of the Lost and Found is the name of a very beautiful boulder here at the Catacombs. It sits almost directly on the edge of the Owens River Gorge giving it the most spectacular views of the of the gorge and the surrounding Sierras. Unlike the other rock at the catacombs which is volcanic, sharp, and pockety like honeycomb, The Church of the Lost and Found is unusually smooth making it a desirable climb.  Plus, it just looks really cool.

We climbed, we played, I shot some photos, and we left.  I am so used to taking our 1.5 year old son with us everywhere we go that I didn’t fully appreciate the reality of what was actually happening at that moment; but as I flipped through my photos yesterday evening, I found myself very happy when reality hit me head on…

There we were- a family at Church of the Lost and Found on a Tuesday.  Finding ourselves so grateful for the place that brought us together.  The very place that made us a family.  The place that we now all enjoy together.  As I watched Bodhi watch his dad in awe as he climbed that boulder, I knew that this right here is what life is all about.  I have so many thanks to this Church and to nature for giving me one of the raddest families I could have ever hoped for!  



3 thoughts on “Church on a Tuesday?

  1. Hello there! I am so amazed by your family and what you all are able to do, I LOVE your blog too. Thank you for sharing your life with the world. I have a question…it’s quite a personal question, but how are you guys able to do all that traveling? …I’m 19 and in college right now and my passion is hiking, exploring, and climbing like you. I wanted to know what type of job would allow me to travel and have the family lifestyle like yours! You are an inspiration to me and many others! Thank you so much again. God bless! 🙂 have safe travels with your little one and your husband.

    1. Hi Nadiah,

      Thank you very much for your lovely words! We have based our life and jobs around what our hobbies are and what we love to do.. and sometimes that has meant big sacrifices for us. I actually wrote a blog about this recently, you should check it out 🙂 Well, to answer your question, when my husband and I first met we were both working in the service industry. We both managed local restaurants and had very flexible schedules. It also helps living exactly where you play. Most of our adventures are right here in our backyard. However, when it came time to starting a family, we knew we were going to have to make huge changes. My husband got a job in the oil industry in Southern California and has to drive 400 miles to work once a week. There are positives and negatives with this, but mainly it has been positives. He works a week, comes home for a week, and I am here alone (part time), raising our family. When he comes home from work we try to get as much in as we can. Hiking, climbing, backpacking, visiting our distant families, etc. We don’t shop for clothes, go out drinking, go to the movies, etc. We save and spend our money on climbing gear, new guide books, and new adventures.
      I have many friends that live a similar lifestyle by being professional photographers. Several live out of their vans and travel (frugally) around, climbing, hiking, and taking photos. There isn’t a specific “how-to”, but I am a firm believer that with a will there is a way! If you are passionate about what you do everything else will follow 🙂

      I hope that helps.


      1. Thank you so much Shannon! That helped me so much. I am going to follow my passion and make my dreams a reality, I know I can do it… I’ll definitely read that blog 🙂

        Best regards,

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