I spent the whole week a bachelor. Poor me.
On Thursday night two other dads and I met up and drove up the farmhouse (the "barnhouse" as I'm told it's been named) that we were at two weeks ago to reunite with our women-folk and tricycle motors. They had been having All the Fun with Ranger Park Greer at South Cumberland State Park taking hikes, canoeing, clearing trails and cuddling snakes the whole week. We, the trio of men, joined them all around the fire at the Indian Rock Campground just in time for ghost stories (real and fictional).
Somebody squealed like a girl and jumped into their wife's arms. I'll not say who out of respect for certain person's dignity.
The next day we all headed over to Foster Falls for rock climbing with Park!
Most of our group of twenty dared the rock face, but only three monkeys made it to the top- one of which our Benny. Getting to the ledge was hard (for people that don't rock climb as a matter of course) but getting past the jut of rock above the ledge and to the top of the face was more than I could handle, but I was in good company. Park was on belay for about four hours, keeping us from splatting to the ground.
|Ben at the start of his assent|
|Kurt negotiating the outcropping|
|Jake at the ledge|
|Brit swinging out from one side to the other|
|Alex, and yes, that is a cast on his left arm|
|Chan making it look easy|
|Dakota navigating the crack|
|KT trying to find the secret of the outcropping|
|Bobby, also tackling the outcropping|
|Gina: not a fan of heights. Climbing anyway.|
|Me vs outcropping|
So about this "outcropping". It looks really easy from the ground. Just reach above it and pull yourself up. The handhold is huge and it's right above your head... and the point of it leans out away from the face of the cliff and there's not a super good spot to plant your feet and the handholds under it are slim and shallow. Of the three manly men, we all fell off (and lifted Park off the ground) at least once.
Yeah, so here is Park making short work of that problem spot:
|That foothold to the left? Where did that come from?|
|And then he's up and over.|
|As if that wasn't cool enough.|
After a quick bite and some cleaning up some of us headed out to Raven Point to watch the sun go down and fog creep through the valley. Mushrooms were crazy along the trail.
|This is a Milky Indigo - edible|
|Milky Indigo prior to being fried up and eaten|
The one mushroom that we brought back to sample was apparently at less-than-perfect ripeness and didn't lend itself to being eaten raw so KT chopped it up and put that sucker in a frying pan with some garlic and butter- with much improvement.
There are plenty more pictures of the climbing and few of random flowers and other mushrooms if you CLICK THIS THING HERE.