Sunday, May 27, 2007

but it seemed like a good idea at the time.....

i was at a loss about what to write about this evening, but SO just wandered into my studio and informed me that since he'd written to his best friend (who, along with his wife, are kind enough to take us out hiking every time we come to arizona) and told him about the killer hike we took yesterday and casually mentioned that he should check my blog for details and pictures, i suppose i have to scrap this week's fashion gripe (because, you know, i'm so freaking fashionable) regarding chicks who wear tight t-shirts, seemingly unaware that cute little babydoll tees aren't so cute when rounded bellies strain against the fabric like billy idol's package against his leather pants....minus all possible hints of sex appeal, in favor of a quick summary of our hike (complete with visual aids, if you're lucky).

i'm a little suspicious that perhaps this was all a devious plan to ensure i'd post about him for once, but i think SO's still too worn out from the aforementioned hike to think clearly enough to concoct such a sly plan.

anyway, we hiked yesterday. a couple of hikes ago, i conned SO into buying me a couple of books on hiking in south carolina, and after yesterday's hike, i'm thinking he's beginning to regret indulging me.

since i'm going to have my five year old sidekick and her nine year old brother next saturday (their parents have a boring professional conference to attend), i figured we'd test out a new trail yesterday to see if it would be appropriate for the kids.

in a word: no.

the hike had potential. it was about 5 miles long, and we already knew how to get to the trailhead, since it's one of about five at the raven cliff falls parking lot, near cleveland, sc. my hiking book also had pictures of "el lieutenant", a large rock face resembling a smaller version of "el capitan"( hence the nickname), which i thought might impress the kids.

somehow i overlooked the part in the book about the hike being "strenuous" and "for experienced hikers only", until roughly the time we parked at the trailhead.

even at that, we didn't take the warnings seriously. after all, we've hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon- and even made it back out without the assistance of mules, helicopters, or a team of amateur bodybuilders.

naturally, we got our butts kicked.

the coldspring branch trail splits off of the bill kimball trail (or is it the other way around?), and then they rejoin a couple of miles later, forming a roughly 5 mile (from the parking lot) loop. the coldspring branch trail has a few minor changes in altitude, but nothing spending a week with the treadmill at a 15% incline can't prepare you for. thank goodness this was the way we came back to the parking lot.

the bill kimball trail, on the other hand, is most likely the reason why SO is shuffling around like a geriatric version of frankenstein's monster. even with the switchbacks, the ascent was steep enough that i considered just scooting down the trail on my butt. (i resisted, mostly because i'm almost out of shout at, the roots would have left me with all sorts of interesting bruises on my derriere, which wouldn't be good if, say, hugh hefner calls and wants me to do the centerfold shoot by the end of the week.) at one point along the trail, there was even a chain to cling to while attempting to descend (or ascend, if one takes the loop the opposite direction) along the rock face- always an encouraging sign on a hike, i assure you.

the trail started out innocently enough

i'm pretty sure there's a cream that can clear that up.

little did i know that i'd soon be clinging to a chain for dear life.

one of the impressive faces of "el lieutenant"

one of about twelve stream crossings on this hike. at some points, the trail has you squishing up the middle of the creek.

(i was going to include one more photo in this post, but SO refuses to let me take a picture of him shuffling around. i swear, some people are no fun whatsoever.)

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