The busted Houses For Sale link (a causality of the iWeb/mobile me meltdown) is finally repaired and accepting clicks from "Looky Loos" and anyone seeking meaningful "Change," the non-political kind. You will find the link at the top of the righthand sidebar. There are numerous photos of the two houses we have for sale, as well as prices and descriptions. Now, on to less commercial, more important matters. How about an airy hike/climb/scramble with John Q. up Skyrocket Falls?
Of course Skyrocket Falls was down to a trickle, but given the buckets of Monsoonal moisture dumping every single day since July first, that could change any minute. A thunderstorm up in The Blowout could block the only route with rock strewn rapids... shooting over and down the falls like, well, a "Skyrocket."
I didn't tell John that this hike was more of a climb; a nervous climber is oft a mistake prone climber. It turned out to be a "stretching exercise for John," but he was up to the task, and never once did he break into tears :)) Now he wants to take borderline acrophob, Wandrin Lloyd, on this "hike" (just a warning, Lloyd... this is worse than Bear Creek's ledge of a trail).
|A Doe, surprised by two legged beings crashing|
her vertical zone.
|"You're fine, John... just don't look down!"|
As we eased through some, how shall I say it... ass puckering places... I thought how Mrs John Q would not approve of this hike. "Do you have Life Insurance, John?" I probed. He responded with a forced, but nervous laugh, "Haaa... haaa."
The "trail" to the falls had been completely obliterated in places, from all the rain. There were a couple of drop-off spots where I had to literally kick footsteps back into the slope, supporting half my weight with a planted hiking pole and the other half with a death grip on the exposed root of a dead oakbush. As John filled my marginal footsteps, clinging to the same brittle root, I wished for a rope and imagined a phone call to Mrs Q.
"Hello? Mrs Q? Hey, ah, well... John took a little spill... ah, nothing serious... and... uh, well, he's going to be good as new, of course... in a few months... uh, but, is there any chance you could fly out and drive him home... like, soon? His body cast doesn't come off till September and he can't work the pedals."
|Just a trickle... :))|
Given that just the trail to "the climb" was treacherous enough for a new-bee flatlander from Indiana, I considered bagging it half way in. But having finally gained a ledge relatively larger than previous toe-holds, John seemed to shed his tremors. He even took a few photos; I took it as a sign that he might actually be enjoying this adventure. A few steps later we gained the rock falls.
Water was down to a trickle, so it wasn't a factor like the time Bobbie and I first climbed Skyrocket Falls. This is not a sheer vertical wall ascent, mind you, but it does step up in near vertical increments in several places. One of those places was fitted long ago with rebar rungs, drilled and bolted into the rock. Unfortunately, that was back in the 40's; now they are rusted, loose, and generally unsecured. So I went first... to show him that appearances can be deceiving. With proper handholds, in case of a catastrophic failure, one can actually put most of their weight on those old rungs and gain the next ledge... see?
|Testing the old Rebar Steps|
Once above the falls, the ascent eases and there is even a rope handrail. I told John not to put too much trust in the rope... to only use it for balance. At the top he found out why when I pointed to a threadbare section rubbed thin by rock.
|Hugging the cliff-face|
|Tight-Rope ledge walk|
John volunteered that this was not a "hike," that this was his first real "climb." He seemed relieved that it was over, standing at the top, and proud... until he asked about the route down. I explained that this was not a loop, that we had to go back the same way we came up. "Oh," he said, no doubt thinking of boyhood rescues from playground jungle gyms, "Isn't going down always harder than coming up?"
"Not if you don't fall, John."
|John Q, standing proudly on the summit of Skyrocket Falls... before he knew he |
had to down the same way he came up :((
|Through the shaft|
|Home sweet home... Next year, bring your climbing harness, John :))|