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238 Sweaty Rock 2010-06-07


Over the weekend we went to Fall Creek Falls State Park near Spencer, TN to go rock climbing instead of our weekly hike or bike ride. Rock climbing is kin to hiking, it is just steeper and you get to play with ropes and lots of gear!

By trying to hike different trails every week, we have not had a lot of time for rock climbing too; but in a few weeks we are headed to Colorado and Wyoming to climb. We decided we needed to brush off the rust. Our plan was to have a couple of days of pleasant climbing on some of the easily accessible moderate routes in the Park.

In Middle Tennessee it has been hot and humid for weeks. It has not rained that much since the flood, but the air is still holding all of the water. Anything we have done around the house has left us sweating profusely (we have not yet turned on the AC). Anything we have done outside has left us begging for the dry air of Colorado.

We knew it was not going to be to be the best weather for climbing, but we would try to be careful and pick cliffs that were not exposed to the heat. We would be all right. In fact we even talked our friends Jon and Laura into joining us.

Saturday afternoon, we chose a great location that was completely shaded and with a waterfall merely a few feet away from our climb. It would be a cool escape in the heat of the day.

The only problem was the rock was dripping wet. It was sweating. The humidity engulfed us in the still air. It was miserable. Sweat rolled off our bodies as we tried to slink our way up the rock. It was not much fun, but it was a good workout. Everything was harder than it should have been. toward the top of the climb the heat dried the rock a bit, but it also cooked us. We were rock climbing in a sauna.

We called it a day, and left the rock soaking wet. There was not a single stitch of dry clothing on any of the four of us. We'd try again the next day.

Sunday we went to a different area, one that was more exposed to wind and sun. We were hoping the rock would be drier. The lower part of the cliff was dripping. It was just crazy!

We still had a good time and enjoyed, the best we could, the sweaty, slick, rock. And as always, we had a good time with our friends.

On a side note - Saturday night we went to Marlin’s to roast a few hot dogs and eat a bowl full of Paula’s famous chili (She even made vegetarian chili! Thank you so much.) Nick and Ed entertained us with great music. Ray tried to build a fire. Marlin was as usual, a great host. And Shannon, a new friend, had a great laugh and used it often.

Happy sweaty rock trails.


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