The irony is that my son named "Boone" does not have the adventurous spirit you'd expect. That's not to say he doesn't like the outdoors. He just doesn't like the legwork involved in getting to the interesting places of the woods. He prefers the world on his own terms and those terms are unique.
I always swore I'd not force my interests upon my kids. For the most part I don't; except to expose them to the wide world. Boone didn't want to go hiking. But I made him go.
It's not like Bean was rampaging to go hiking either. She's a people pleaser, so when I asked if she wanted to go to Cloudsplitter of course she said yes. Fifteen steps down the trail the first meltdown ensued. I nearly lost my cool. No, to be honest summer has come early and I lost my cool a week ago.
What should have been a stout, but easy hike felt like a death march. I couldn't believe we had to stop three times in twenty minutes and we hadn't even gone a mile. After spotting Lily up the crux I waited too long on Boone. I spied him sulking back down the trail.
"Come on, Boone!" I yelled, breaking my own volume rules for the woods.
Sulk, stomp, sulk, stomp, sulk, sulk, stomp.
Once we reached the top of the rock he started to come around a bit. Bean gleefully taunted him as he climbed the redneck rope ladder. Yeah, I restrained myself from cutting it down. Maybe next time.
We visited the crack/cave/arch. Except Boone. He couldn't make his gangly limbs propel him upward. There was too much performance anxiety I think. And his frustration pokes through too easily. He punched the log everyone uses to climb up into the narrow part of the crack.
It might have been easier if there hadn't been thirty people swarming around and trying to get into or out of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the Red River Gorge.
Bean had already scrambled through and my parental instincts drew me to her and away from my surly son who I knew was safe and sound in the cool mossy chimney. So I climbed on through.
We were fortunate the one big group had decided to leave just as we got into the cave/arch part. I was able to get some uncluttered photos. I'm not sure why I never took any photos in there before. All of my early visits to Cloudsplitter were more lonely. Maybe my technical skills were lacking.
Finally we headed down. The whole affair was probably less than two hours. Despite the familial friction it was a good hike. I can't believe I had waited so long to take the kids up there. We need to get out more so they'll begin to condition to the experiences and not be so adverse.
We stopped for Ale-8s at Sky Bridge Station on the way out. No harm, no foul I guess.
Oh, highway 15 has been paved from Cat Creek all the way to Slade. Can't resist fresh asphalt! Got to get the sporty sport bike out there. Probably do the Gorge Loop soon.
|Pano from the ledge on the outside of Cloudsplitter Arch|
|From "inside" the arch looking out|
I've really got to start being more selective with the HDR filter...sheesh!