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Monday, October 18, 2004

Wonderful weekend.

The driving was painless, the campsite was lovely, and the climbing was great.

The view from our campsite.

Bobby set things up so the kids could rappell down this cliff just beyond our campsite.

I'm so grateful for Bobby's energy. The trip was all his idea, and I was (at best) tepid about the idea. It all just seemed too exhausting and difficult to pull together - all that effort, for just one weekend. I tried quite hard to talk him out of it - first, out of the whole trip, and secondly, failing that, out of the camping part. I'm so glad I didn't succeed. The weekend was just about perfect; definitely one the kids'll remember.

It was chilly though! Well, chilly by our wimpish thin-blooded standards. The wind was cold, and the rock was really cold on bare hands, especially early in the morning. Fortunately the tent kept us snug during the night; there's nothing worse than trying to sleep when you're cold.

There were several other climbers there; more than I'd expected, considering it was just an arbitrary weekend. Climbers tend to be pleasant people though, so that was fine.

The only thing that wasn't fine about Sand Rock was that parts of it are somewhat littered with beer cans. And some of the walls have graffiti on them, which is a real shame. Since Cherokee County is a dry county, it seems that the mountain top - because it's secluded, I guess - is the drinking spot of choice for the local youth. And unfortunately some of those kids chuck their beer cans down the mountain when they're done. A group of climbers do a yearly clean-up, but that's not really enough to keep the area pristine.

It's still beautiful there, though. There's some talk that the area may be made into a national park, which would be wonderful : that way it could be kept the way it's supposed to be ...

This is what it looks like -

It's funny, we've been climbing for a while now, but I still don't really think of us as "real" climbers. I automatically assume that all other climbers are going to better than we are. On Saturday, we watched a group of climbers really struggle with one route. Two of them didn't make it at all, and the other two made it only after several falls. So I just assumed it was way too hard for us. But when we tried it on Sunday morning, we all climbed it easily. Even Sophie. I think she's going to give the other two a run for their money in a year or two.

Some climbing pictures :
Emily in action
Sophie on her way up
And Bobby

And here's one last one of all three kids having fun. They got on so well; I notice this every time we go camping. I think my kids just aren't designed to live in houses.

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