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An Eleven-Year-Old’s Rock Climbing Tale

October 15, 2010


E. S. Curtis (1904): Canon de Chelly – Navajo....

Image via Wikipedia


As an eleven-year-old, I was quite adventurous. I was an only child for ten of those years, used to playing alone in the country, and I sure didn’t want to be anywhere near home where someone might ask me to change one of my sisters diapers! So I would get on my bicycle with an old 2 liter Pepsi bottle mixed up with strawberry cool-aid and go exploring (telling my mother that I was going somewhere she thought she could find me of course). I would travel from one side of Tulsa to the other and try to find trails to ride down.

When we moved to a place that was close a canyon I couldn’t wait to go exploring but I knew my mom wouldn’t let me so I tried to not act excited about it. After we moved everything in, I was so excited that I was antsy and couldn’t sleep while waiting for Saturday to come. Finally it arrived! Mom only thought she had her day planned for me! I concocted a well thought out plan to get me out of there. I asked her if I could ride up and down in the housing area  down the road and see if I could meet some kids my age and she said  YES! I gathered up my Cool-aid and took off as fast as I could. My destination THE CANYON! I just knew I would find a cave where outlaws hid their money or and Indian camp site (maybe even still lived in). I pedaled till I reached an edge of the canyon. The lime rock walls of the canyon were steep and deep and I found a dump at the top to explore. I looked around but I didn’t find anything of real interest so I decided to walk along the canyon edge. I found a trail! not wide enough to get my bike down but I could come back for it. So I went to the bottom of the canyon where I found a clear stream. I took a drink from it and it was so cold it was like ice water. As I stood up I looked up at the clouds forming over head and decided that it might rain so I better at least get close to my bike so that I can ride back. I didn’t care if it rained on me but mom might get worried and come looking for me so I want to be where I could travel that way if I needed to.

That narrow trail was about a half mile route to the bottom and I could see my bike was straight up above me on the cliff edge. I thought to myself …I can climb up right here and get there quicker (really it was more of a justification in my mind to climb that cliff). The wall was steep but there was a few good places to put my hands and feet. I made it almost all the way up before things got hairy. It began to rain! the lime rock had a coating of fine moss and it got slick when the rain hit it. Trails of water started pouring down my head. I was scared to move for about thirty minutes. The rain did not let up but it came a little more softly and reality hit me. Man… if I fall no one will know where I am!…If I even survive the fall! Can’t just stay here I’ll tire out and fall…can’t go down too slick for some of the places that way! I’m only fifteen feet from the top but it is slick as well. I elected to go up. I grabbed one good hand hold and one foot hold and seen that I was going to have to find another way…just then I seen a crack in an overhanging cliff that connected to the place that I was at. I could wedge my self into it and use it to help me get to the top.

I took a hop of  faith and grabbed a big root that helped me angle into that crack and realized that there might be snakes in there but decided that getting bit by a snake sounded better than falling, at the present time, so I went through with my plan and reached my bike. I was never more happy for something to be over in all my life. Some how changing diapers seemed trivial to me now. I headed home soaking wet and realized that I couldn’t tell either of my parents about this. Who would believe me any way. I was just thankful to be alive but another part of me said WHAT AN ADVENTURE!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2010 4:31 pm

    What a fun memory! I love it! Too bad more kids these days don’t get these kinds of exploration memories (Without the potential of falling like your story).

  2. October 15, 2010 7:31 pm

    cool experience to boast, feel proud of, and learn from….
    thanks for sharing!

  3. October 15, 2010 8:10 pm

    That sounds fun.

  4. October 16, 2010 2:22 am

    So much fun memories!!! Hope you have a great weekend my friendxxxx

  5. October 16, 2010 4:42 am

    Great story – I was rooting for you and so glad you made it back! I was also glad you learnt a little lesson that a lot of children need to hear – people need to know where to look for you…

    • October 18, 2010 2:45 pm

      Definitely… This is one I kept close in the back of my mind ever since it happened! I’m thankful for your read Adeeyoyo!

  6. October 16, 2010 12:21 pm

    Some experiences do put things in perspective. And sometimes the lesson is learned for life … Nice story.

    • October 18, 2010 2:40 pm

      Oh…why must lessons always be learned the hard way though! Thank you Ms Dedes for your for reading my story. 🙂

  7. October 16, 2010 12:28 pm

    you had a very, very enviable childhood. What an experience. Thank God you were not hurt, i would have done what you have done back then. 🙂

  8. October 16, 2010 12:32 pm

    What an adventurous kid you were…I was an adventurous kid as well but my parents never really gave me the chance to live to my full adventure but when I got the chances I got, I explored my life out…good of you to keep all these memories and share…nice!


  9. October 17, 2010 12:23 am

    wow loved this friend, great story 🙂

    • October 18, 2010 2:36 pm

      Thank you William…coming from such an eloquent writer, I’m honored.

  10. October 18, 2010 7:49 am

    What an adventure indeed.. 😀
    I was almost transported to your childhood. I could visualize the images as you wrote them here!! Very well depicted. I read it almost in one breath..

    Beautiful childhood memories!! I too loved discovering places.. only was limited to finding milk- booths and parks!!

    Well written.. wishing you a Great Week ahead.. xox

    • October 18, 2010 2:30 pm

      Thank you Olivia… I’m glad you liked it! I’m just glad I lived to tell it… By rights I probably should have been dead many times over but I must be here and in tact for something…

  11. October 18, 2010 8:46 am

    ohhhh you really should have been spanked for that…:D but hey, we were all kids at some point in our lives

    • October 18, 2010 2:26 pm

      Yeah… if I were spanked for half the stuff they didn’t know about I’d probably still be black and blue…I’ll prove it by telling more stories as time goes on. 🙂

  12. October 18, 2010 8:50 am

    Shubho bijoyadashami (Happy Vijayadashami)! May the blessings of the Goddess shower down on you and your loved ones forever.

    • October 18, 2010 2:23 pm

      Thank you for your grand blessing… may you and your family have the lives that dreams are made of and from which legends are told.

  13. 700miles permalink
    October 18, 2010 7:05 pm

    what a fantastic adventure. i can relate on a smaller scale. that was as really great story, i’m glad to have found your page…. and now i’m subscribed. take care…

  14. Dom* permalink
    December 2, 2013 10:35 pm

    ~adventurous that are as when we are little kids we did just about anything to go beyond the limits~WOW!!!~I have not been over here in a long long time~still have you on my blog roll tho~ 🙂

    • January 17, 2014 7:34 am

      Thank you Dom for visiting! I now have a lap top again! so I’ll be posting in the future! Cheer Brother life will unfold with more treasures still untold!

      • January 18, 2014 3:47 am

        ~I wish I had more time like I use to to be on here~even tho I am retired I work part time and for the past 4 months I have been driving my daughter 50 miles away for her teaching job which is temporary~as of 9 working days left this does not inspire me as well but still do it as you will do anything for your kids~enjoy and Godspeed in recovery as well~you are always welcome Stuart~ 😀

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