Finding the Trust and Looking DownNovember 11, 2013
Camping? Rappelling? The amount of messages I got about “how I don’t do those things” was actually quite amusing over the tail end of last week. Somehow in my 27 years, I’ve never slept in a tent or in a sleeping bag that wasn’t inside. I surely have never willingly hung my ass out over the side of a 90 foot rock face with a guy named Bob working my safety line as I rappelled down the rock wall.
But in my recent challenge to try new things and get out of my well insulated bubble, I can say I’ve done all of the above now. It was an awesome weekend that saw our group of 19 hit the road and get down late Friday night to the campsite. This campsite was in the middle of nowhere and it took everything the Wrangler had to get back to the site with all the gear. We got to the site about 10PM and setup camp and got situated.
A late night of stories and getting to know everyone transitioned into a pretty chilly night in the tent. But waking up the next morning was incredible, it was impossible to see anything the night before but that morning I woke up to the fact I was sleeping about 30 feet from a 150 foot cliff. The fall colors were breathtaking and the world was incredibly peaceful. As a bonus (come on now, you know me), I still had full cell coverage which meant I didn’t feel totally isolated from society…!
And then, in my usual go big or go home mentality, I found myself swinging over a 90 foot cliff. There is a definite “what am I doing moment?” right as I swung over, and a quick desire to reevaluate the decision I was about to make. But, after a few deep breaths, I took the plunge. I realized that in the moment I could only trust the rope I was on, the quick lessons I had learned on how to not get myself killed, and that no matter what I did have to look down to get a feel for where I was going to aim towards.
And then it was time to leave. No big deal, right? About halfway back down the trail, I picked the wrong line and wound up in another deep puddle. Except, this puddle had a good foot of mud under the water and a big piece of wood that jammed into the bumper blocking the exit line. Suddenly, the old Wrangler was very, very stuck.
We tried to dig ourselves out, without a whole lot of luck. A short hike back to the camp to get the other Wrangler and some extra hands and we began to problem solve. It took another Wrangler, a tow strap, 4 guys either working the Jeeps or the ropes, and 4 girls to push the Jeep out. The real point here is, I’m pretty sure JBD just wanted to have 4 girls push out the Wrangler for me and get muddy as they did it. I’ve got no doubt he was proud of the full utilization of his Jeep at that moment in time.
We got back up to Indianapolis and I found a new appreciation for my bed. A nice lazy Sunday and I’m ready to tackle the work week.
Tom, your repelling reminded me of the time we got a call from Jim who was in capetown, SA and felt the need to call us from the top of Table rock before he repelled down. Makes me smile today, too. Live life, live free!