Monday, July 23, 2007

An apology...kinda

Okay so my last post was a bit...peculiar?, odd?, a work of certifiable genius? Yes we'll go with that last one. I was just feeling a bit inane that day. We all have those moments. I just have this bad habit of letting those moments out. Wife's been working with me on suppressing my need to speak/type every thought that comes to my head but so far it's been a failed effort. For those who might be worried though, be of good cheer, I'm back on my ritilin.

Which brings us to the most exciting trip that UsAndCats have taken in many months. Wife and I have talked for a long time about going hiking in the mountains of northern New York. Okay stop laughing all of you from "real mountainous" areas. Yeah that's right I'm looking at you Alps, and you too Rockies, knock it off. Our mountains may not be as high and jagged and desolate (Rockies only) but they do have some pretty good assents and...the skiing...well...I guess if you want to become a monk they'd be a good place to move to they're so isolated. See.

In any case after several months of talking with my little sis and her boyfriend they finally called our bluff and set a date and time for us to go hiking. Now those of you who know us well know that we like nothing better than talking about things we should do without actually doing them. That's why we're both liberals, it's fun to talk without showing any results.

We were first hesitant to sign up for this arduous voyage, not least because I didn't want my little sister to realize how much of a gelatinous mound of trans-fats her once rock solid (stop laughing) brother had become. Also the only time we could actually meet to do it would be a Sunday morning, which meant that I'd be skipping church to go to the top of the mountain in weather that was supposed to storm...seemed like a bad idea. We did decide to go once we were informed that part of the voyage would include a visit into the belly of the earth, Chimney Mt. was riddled with caves.

Now of course you all realize that this motivation has nothing to do with my innate desire to explore the crevices of earth but more for my undying search to find Morlocks (name the reference without using the internet and you when a prize). Although the idea of following into Dante's Inferno occurred to me as well.

And so it was that we followed our Virgil up the sheer mountain face. In all honesty the assent for this mountain (please stop laughing) wasn't that bad. A mere mile long trail, though there were spots where it was a bit more difficult, by and large it was a good hike. We even passed people on the way up so you know we weren't taking our time, we'll ignore the fact for now that those people were in their 80s.

After a quick snack on the summit, we made our way to the gates of hell, aka Eagle Cave. Our only previous experience spelunking was in a burnt out geyser in Utah. This was a very different experience. Instead of the finger like water eroded chambers of that cave, we found ourselves in chambers that looked like they were placed by slabs of rock not quite sliding into place as the mountain was formed. This should give you a bit of an idea of the scale:

Because the entrance to the cave required us to shimmy on our bellies for several feet before dropping down into the main chamber you can imagine how isolated this cave was. The first chamber consisted of a lot of boulders and slides, it wasn't until we got to its end that we faced our first real challenge, a 10-15' vertical drop.

This was bad enough going down, I think Wife was a bit intimidated by it. Going up it was terrifying...I never did well with the rope ladder in gym class. Fortunately my sister's boyfriend was nice enough to allow all of us to climb on his shoulders to get a bit of a head start up the ladder.

The biggest surprise for me was not the darkness of the caves, but the fog. It was earrie to leave the 70-80 degree outside to enter a cave system in which there were still ice puddles and the entire thing was foggy. That's not a bad picture it's fog.

All in all it was a highly successful trip and surprisingly God didn't strike us down despite numerous opportunities, what with being in a cave and all. I'm very pleased, though I still wish I'd found a Morlock.


Roy @ CNM said...

That sounds like a great day trip, and your cave pics turned out well. We went to Carlsbad Caverns in April, and I didn't get a single decent picture in the caves.

Too bad you don't have any real mountains to climb. By the way, what's all the green stuff growing on the hills in that first picture? And fog? And where's the barren sandstone? How odd...

Panini said...

Cool trip! I love caves, once I get over thinking about that whole earthquake thing. Although . . . in the Jewel Caves (sweet 3rd largest in the world located in SD)the tour guide said that during an earthquake, a cave is one of the safest places you can be because a compression wave is what's traveling through the earth. And, although that sounds bad - apparently, it's good. So, on your church skipping day, turns out that was a safe place to go. :) Besides, there's not much more religious than nature.

Coops said...

You need to change the date on your camera!

Ethan's Mom said...

No one claimed the Morlock prize yet! I will. They're from "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. Nice reference. What do I get?

Also, I used to go spelunking alot during high school. There are tons of great caves near you that don't take alot of skill or equipment to explore.

dastew said...

Thank you Mia. For participating in our quiz we'll make you home made enchiladas next time we're out.

Mr Jo Bloggity said...

You do realize that you were a couple thousand centuries too early for find any Morlocks.

Maybe you should have been searching for Moorcocks.