An Adventurous Rest & An Eye Opening Climb

Mike —  August 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

CIY Move was followed closely this summer with a couple weeks of camp, along with all the planning, registering, chasing down forms, etc. that that entails. So last weekend, it was great to be able to get away for a few days with my family and enjoy each other. The six of us were able to spend a few days camping at Vedauwoo (some really cool rock formations near Laramie, WY) with no agenda, no schedule, and no plan. We set up the tent, hiked around & did a little bouldering, then settled in for a few days of adventurous rest.

What's Out There?

Looking at the creek below us near where we camped at Veauwoo.

My brothers and dad and a group of their White Water friends joined us on Sunday afternoon to climb around an area called Turtle Rock. Dakota & Josiah were joined by their Laramie buddy, Thad, and micro-explorers Lizzie and Xero put us full-sizers to shame a few times as we climbed, hiked, and leaped to the top. Emily stayed below keeping company with Mom & Grandma – and a few new moose friends. Not having any real rock climbing gear, we weren’t doing any technical climbing, but we did do a lot of scrambling around the various clumps of boulders and crevices. At one point, I even managed to find myself suspended in a crack about 30 feet above the last place my foot touched anything horizontal.

It may not have been my wisest move, but it was the one that provided the most exhilaration of the weekend! There was an area where there was almost a kind of granite hallway leading into a maze of fissures and openings. At the end of the “hall” was a crack I just couldn’t resist. Something in the conversation with my brother, who was the only other one at this particular juncture, revolved around Mom telling us to ‘just say no’, but I claimed to have missed that lesson! As I reached in tentatively at first, I found several areas where I could wedge in enough of my foot or arm to get some pretty good leverage, but I was hesitant to go all in. The results of failure would have been fairly permanent (once you’re dead you usually pretty much stay that way), so I wanted to  be sure. I could see a great handhold just out of reach from where I was safely planted, but nothing after that. The gravity of curiosity had me now, though, and as I fully engaged my grip and let my feet leave the seeming safety of the solid, I realized I was now fully committed. There was no going back from where I’d reached.

At this point, I called Brian over to plant himself just below, ’cause you know, 2 widows in the family are always better than 1 right? Ok, in reality, had I slipped, we would have both been a little freaked out and hurt, but not dead. Probably.

Though there was no going back, I also couldn’t see a clear path forward. Save for the one I’d found with my right hand, there were no other obvious holds. Thankfully, the crack stayed wide enough for me to wedge most of my body into and work my way up a little at a time.

It occurs to me, that this little episode is a reflection of my life right now. I’m standing on a ledge with a couple solid holds in sight. Beyond those holds, however, I can’t see what’s next. And I never will until I’m willing to let the gravity of curiosity overpower the gravity of the familiar and let my feet dangle a bit…

Maybe you’re on your own ledge. Maybe curiosity’s pull is drawing you to reach deeper in and leave what seems solidly safe for a climb that will make you feel your heart pounding with excitement once again… Maybe if I make my reach, I can help you make yours. Anyone else up for a climb?

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