Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday, 24 August 2008 - An August climbing adventure ... finally!

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for an August climbing adventure ... finally!

The mid-summer monsoons delighted my gardens but ruined our August rock climbing schedule. So, today's adventure in Red Rock Canyon is a welcome one.

Two Air Force Academy cadets join S, T and me - M, who climbs with us whenever he can, and his friend, A, who is sport climbing for the first time.

Yes, the nearly six-hour session is busy, very tiring and lots of fun. An incoming storm alarms us. Fortunately, it brings only sporadic thunder and lightening - no show-stopping rain, this time.

The four of us take turns climbing and belaying (yes, even I take my turn belaying the 6-foot tall, 185 pound climbers). Twenty-five pitches later, S finally takes down the ropes. We carefully repack our gear before heading slowly down the trail.

T is the only one with any reserve energy. He sees the return hike as his chance to sniff, mark and jog to his heart's content. I can't keep up with T (I fell twice due his fast pace down the steepest part of the trail) so I hand S the leash. Back at the truck, M takes T on a bonus hike up the steep trail to the east (one of T's favorites).

I think I know of at least one chocolate Labrador retriever who will sleep very well tonight.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Photo: While we climb, T chews on scrub oak bushes.

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