At the base, I gave the climb a try. I made it up a couple rocky spots. Before I knew it, I had a foot in a dent in the stone and my left hand gripped around a flake of face rock. As I threw my right hand up into an iffy spot, I hoisted my weight up. That flake of face rock broke off in my hand, and my bottom foot plummeted back to the rocks below. Okay. Guess that wasn’t my rock to climb, and nowhere else in sight looked feasible. At least I tried!
Later that day, we went for a bike ride. Do you want to know what I saw on our way to the single track? People up on Bell Rock. Walking around! I’m going up there tomorrow, I promised myself. That is my rock to climb.
The ride that afternoon was really pretty fun. The single track on most trails seemed like it was made for mountain biking. The trails were smooth with some rocky technical spots. A nice challenge without all the climbing -- or cliffs -- just body-sized cacti waiting to catch someone who misses their sharp turn. Luckily I only had to pick one spine out of me (the rest stayed in the cactus).
We ate our Thanksgiving dinner at the Tara Thai restaurant. Oh, man. We got Thanksgivingly stuffed, and loved every bite. I have some new ideas for cooking now. Mmmm!
The next morning I was excited to hit up that Bell Rock. Aaron, Duce and I hiked to the base and started climbing up the Northeast side -- where the cliff bands slide out to more step-like structures. It definitely was climbing, however. Not just a hike. Mountain goat Duce leapt up some scary spots until he turned around and saw that he had to go down. “Whimper, whimper,” he said.
We made it to just below the vertical juts that I would have needed climbing gear to ascend. That was the best we could do that day, and it was acceptable, though I’m still not satisfied.... Aaron said he would like to bike on that stuff. I said no way to that.
But then we got the bikes out. On the Chapel Trail around the Twin Buttes. It was all safe enough until I realized we were actually riding on those buttes. Right on the edges that teeter over the lower edges that teeter over the ones below them and so on. Edges of slick rock that slant toward the bottom. Holy buckets on the hill, did that scare me. I truly tried to get past the fear, but I wanted to make it back to da Harbor some day, so I walked most of that. Yeah. So that’s what it’s like hiking that stuff in mountain biking shoes. The opposite of secure -- no grips on those plastic soles. I just may haven been safer on my bike. Nah.
And to add that ride to the rest of them that we didn’t learn a lesson from, we came back out of the trail system in the dark. Dark, I tell you. The trail could only be seen in 2D for the last 15 minutes. But hey, I lived through it again.