melissa i strong

rock climber, writer, photographer, working on life daily


Piedmont, Italy our Wine Vacation (from our vacation)

March & April 2015

In the back of my mind, our dream climbing trip to Switzerland was always laced with the notions of seeing more than just the boulders.  Once I realized how close to Piedmont we were our vacation from our vacation began to blossom.

Taking Pictures, Estes Park Museum's Bouldering Exhibit & Fall in the Rockies


September 30, 2014


I have always enjoyed taking pictures.  I think it must have come from my father.  He always had a camera ready to capture special moments, the brilliant New England scenery, skiing and other family adventures.  He undauntedly lugged around bulky camera and/or video equipment on our family vacations--usually cursing at the weight of the latest contraption or when it would not function.

August 10, 2014 My First Triathlon and a Mouth Full of Lake Catamount My first triathlon went well.  Not as good as I had hoped and not as bad as it could have gone.  I finished in 1 hour and 47 minutes, 5th for my age group.  I was hoping for anywhere from 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 50 so I cannot complain but here is the story of what did go wrong.


April 13, 2014


Some unsolicited advice on finger tweaks, Crimp Oil and resting...




I have always struggled with listening to my body and knowing when to hold back from climbing hard, rest completely or push though.  I am a very determined person and have a hard time not focusing my attention on what I love--climbing. With most of my injuries I have pushed through--I have been lucky using this tactic in some situations and in others, like my shoulder, I believe I prolonged recovery.


21st Hueco Rock Rodeo Round Up!!!2/19/14The 21st Hueco Rock Rodeo, HRR, once again has lived up to its iconic status and has proven that the Rodeo has grown into a fantastic three day climbing festival in the desert southwest!  Hueco Tanks State Historic Site allowed 10 extra spots in the backcountry and 5 on North Mountain making it the biggest Rock Rodeo with 175 competitors and registration was full the week before comp!


January 11, 2013

Chattanooga and back…


We got a little taste of the south—just a little and now we are bailing on our trip ten days early due to the weather.  We took three rest days hoping to wait out the doom and gloom forecast but it only got worse.  It’s not so bad, we are just going back to Hueco!  We had a great trip–just wish we had more time...


Wagon Wheel Daze--Winter in Hueco 2011-12


The warm weather came with the people this season.  Right around Christmas the days got warmer and have continued to be so throughout January so far…

Coping with Bear Lake Road Construction


Summer 2011


I feel like I have finally started to climb again ironically when the snow covers the peaks.  I cannot say I quit climbing all together it was just the least amount I have charged up to the mountain that I love....A hurt shoulder meant that a 20-mile hike was in order...

Pork Enchiladas



12 Anaheim peppers

1 head of garlic with the top chopped off

1 package of queso fresco aka queso blanco

12 pork chops with out the bone

2 onion chopped (keep separate)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 32 oz. packages of chicken or vegetable broth