Beginners in any adventure activity are prone to some hilarious mistakes. To those that make the mistakes, they aren’t all that humorous and can result in a lot of ego smashing ribbing from fellow adventurers. If you are one of these snafu committing newbies, take heart. It happens to all of us. In case you are thinking you just pulled a blunder that no one could ever top, and that no one will ever forget it, I am about to tell you a story of the first time I took some guests up the side of a mountain.
This is a true event. It happened when I first moved to Colorado and discovered that I am a rockhound and treasure hunter by nature. Of course, I have come a long way since this happened 20 years ago, but I won't be offended if you laugh your face off at me for it. I find it pretty hysterical myself - now.
I moved to Colorado from Michigan. We had no mountains back there. Other than hunting Petosky stones, I had never realized that I loved rock hunting til I found some crystals while hiking around the backside of Pikes Peak. When I learned what I could find, I became a voracious rockhound, and that included a lot of letters home to my friends and family about my trips out to the mountains where everything was a new and exciting adventure for me.
Needless to say, the people back home started viewing me as a sort of Ms. Indiana Jones/Ms. Grizzly Adams combination. My stories held their fascinations and imaginations.
One day some friends of mine came out from Michigan to visit me and I was bound and determined to show them the most fascinating time of their lives. So I hiked them up the side of a mountain to a little known abandoned mining site. We had a great time up there and I was feeling like the Ultimate tour guide and adventure leader.
When it was time to come down the mountain, I handed my backpack, which contained some group supplies, to my fiancee to carry down for them as I decided to go down the ravine to check a few spots and rocks out on the way down. I didn't stop to think that I might need any of those supplies myself. So off they went down the mountain side, my knife with them, and off I went down the ravine.
The slope was very steep at one point. Climbing down, I stepped in a bunch of vines. I didn't think any thing of it and continued down, but the vines, instead of falling away, tightened against my ankle. In my attempt to shake them off I ended up laying upside down on the mountainside, strapped by my ankle. I was not having fun. Everyone watching me from below was though. They were having a great time sitting and eating their snacks from my pack and watching me as I hung upside down wondering what to do about it.
Finally, I had no choice but to scramble myself up enough to where I could chew the vine that held me in half. When it finally broke, I tumbled about fifty feet before I could stop my roll. Getting up and brushing myself off, I looked down to find my pals had gotten some very interesting pictures of Ms. Jones Adams to take home.
At the bottom, I was subject to much revelry as my fiancee helped pull the cactus needles out of me that I had picked up during my roll. More than my ego smarted from that little escapade.
Just one of those little mishaps that turns beginners into experienced climbers.
Oh - incidentally - you will NOT see the pictures anywhere on the net. HAHA.
©2005 Sally Taylor; Sal is an avid gem and treasure hunter, explorer, writer, owner of http://www.rockhoundstation1.com