Thursday, February 4, 2016

Jane takes a hike

My "Discover Virginia" project got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Immediately after my last post I eagerly scoured the Outdoor School website for classes to help me check off my list. I signed up for an Outdoor Rock Climbing for Beginners course. Then fall happened and my class was cancelled due to rain.

I was sad for like a second. Then, someone said "Billy Goat Trail" and I was all "sign me up!" After all, if you can't rock climb you may as well scramble.

Turns out, I had exactly the right attitude. See, I assumed "rock scramble" translated to "move quickly so as to not fall down an incline covered in scree." I thought I would have to literally scramble up certain parts of the trail. Makes complete sense, right?

Yeah, well, I was wrong. A scramble is sort of like the bunny slope of rock climbing. You have to pick your way up, over, and around some pretty sizable rocks.

Following in the footsteps of Brandon and Zac.

My fellow hikers were super kind about helping me navigate the best path, and they were always quick to offer a steadying hand or a boost. However, like a petulant toddler I insisted I wanted "to do it myself." But, because I can find ways to fall down on perfectly flat ground there was always one experienced hiker in front of me and one behind. Just in case

How could you not trust those faces?

No special climbing shoes or ropes were required, but there was a bit of hand-over-hand hoisting.

See Zac climb

Okay, fine, Some members of our party climbed and hoisted and scrambled. I opted for something resembling more of a crawl.

See Jane crawl

Athena did a little bit of climbing and a little bit of crawling, but I think the crawling was just to keep me from feeling lame.

It's nice knowing your friends have your back

I was absolutely fascinated with what I have dubbed "the Venus rocks."

It looks like two different rocks got smushed together, but I have no idea if that's really what was going on here or if different parts of one rock reacted differently to elements of erosion. Surely somebody reading this can give me an explanation.

The Commodore - oh yes, The Commodore absolutely had to come along - was so over the stupid two-toned rocks. He preferred the scenery from the flat rocks closer to the water.

Actually, internet, there are no bad views at Great Falls*.

*Okay, Athena might have been stuck with a less than stellar view a few times throughout the day.

See Jane's butt

Putting aside Athena's possible trauma, it was an excellent hike with excellent people, and an excellent way to cross off number 2 on my Opt Out list.

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