Rock Fall Incident and Vegan Refried Black Beans

Sometimes I wish I could just transfer a feeling to you through the screen, share an emotion, a thought, a feeling. Maybe someday we will get there…. Well, for now, I will just try to describe it to you. Maybe I can share it in a way that you could relate. Have you ever had a day that was as if you were riding a full blown roller-coaster, ups and downs and twists and turns, your head is spinning and you’re not quite sure how you feel. Well, my friend today was one of those. Not all of it was good, not all of it was bad. In fact, I feel strangely neutral ab,out it all. Maybe at the end of one of those days, you sat back and had the emotion that I am feeling right now.

A few months ago, we were rock climbing in boulder canyon. It was a normal day, a fairly relaxed day though we did have some high climbing ambitions. We were at a popular area, some of you may know it if you climb in boulder, I wouldn’t be surprised if you climbed the route I am about to speak of. We were off to a good start, two routes down and another group had joined us. We chose two routes right next to each other and began to make our way up. My husband was already ¾ of the way through before the accident happened. The pair next to me was quite, until I heard one of them yell “rock.” I looked over toward the direction I heard him call out. I saw a waterfall of microwave sized rocks, and a big red shirt coming at me. I looked back down at the belay device in my hand, making sure my hand was on the brake. I braced myself, but it didn’t matter. I was surprised that everything happened so smoothly. I felt his weight on my back, and then sharp heavy weight on my leg. I heard rocks falling around us, and then more rolling down the hill. The rest of the group was calling out to warn the crag below. We all prayed that none of them hit the road below. I sat there, under him, and under the rocks for a moment, checking in. Everything felt totally fine, and a huge rush of gratitude rushed over me. I looked up at Ian and asked him if he was okay. He had clipped himself into a bolt, but I had never let go of the break strand. I looked over and my new friend was apologetically getting up. We had to move the boulders out of the way first, before either of us could move. Some others came to help lift one off of me, and then off of our rope. We all examined the damage, one guy from the group came over to whip the blood off of my leg as I continued to belay my husband. Blisters from rope burn, a few scars, bruising and a little bit of limping was all that we physically took from that experience but I will remember a lot more.

The feeling of complete awe that encompassed me and the surrender and the gratitude that can come from the events of the wilderness was overflowing from my stomach through my arms and out my head. Overwhelmed with appreciation for my life and how everything had happened, I happily cleaned up my legs, admiring the scar from my calf to my thigh that I would take with me.

So what do you do after a day like that? Or a day like today when your ordinary day becomes whirlwind? You go get Mexican food of course! And at least two margaritas…

Well, in tonight’s case, I made homemade Mexican, and some really good refried beans. Just to appreciate life a little bit more.


Creamy Vegan Refried Beans

2-3 Tbsp. coconut oil
½ medium white onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups cooked black beans
2 cups cooked pinto beans
½ cup water
1 Tbsp. cumin (my husband likes more)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional: ¼ cup of cheese


1)       Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat
2)       Crush and peal garlic, then dice.
3)       Dice the onion and add to the pan
4)       Cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic
5)       Continue to cook until onions are translucent.
6)       Add pinto beans and mash with a fork until smooth, then add the black beans and mash until about 85% are smooth.
7)       Add ½ cup water and stir until combined, it will look thin at first, but it will thicken.
8)       Season with cumin, salt and pepper. And if adding cheese, push beans to one side of the pan, add cheese and let it warm, then as it melts, mix it into the beans.