Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Castle Rock Climb - Part 2

 As we entered the park, this picture was on the board where they post stuff. I thought it a really good picture of the "Castle Rocks", so I snapped it.  I'm going to put an "L" above the line of rock we climbed up, but it's the big fat one to the right of my flash reflection.We started above the "u" in the word Naturalist in the caption below the picture.


 They needed to rest a few times, you can't really tell, but it dropped off if you stepped out away from the they had to rest standing up.

I don't know what Myles is saying, but he is highly entertaining.
 As you can see from this trail pic...I really had no idea how this trail would end up, or where...but I knew we couldn't turn around and come back down it. It was too steep and loose.  It was powdery sand and crumbly rocks. At the same time, from the air this looks like a straight line of rock, but it had enough curves and bends that I couldn't see very far ahead at any given time.
 Below, do you see anything on top of that hill? Its one of my favorite, secret spots in Castle Rock Park. There is no marked trail to have to know it's there to know it's there : ) BTW, Stage Road, and all Brazen's races, run along the front, bottom of that hill...but even if you look up, you can't see what's there on top of the hill. Random fact, the first time I took the family up there to show them this secret spot, we came straight down the face of the hill to get down to Stage...and Sophie sprained her wrist.  So, if you find this secret thing, head back out on the trail you came in on, and come down Buckeye Ravine.
 Ok, here's a close up for you of it.  I've been known to take a book in my Nathan pack and sit a spell up there.
 Meanwhile, we are still climbing....

 And eventually, we finally reached the top of that line of rock. There was a cave, and choices to be made. We couldn't come back down because the trails were all too steep or required climbing gear. Sophie looks concerned because I told them to stay put while I go look over the edge of a rock to get a lay of the land.  The rock had these 2 metal hooks in the top, I don't rock climb, so I don't/didn't know they were meant to clamp into...and I stuck my head out over the edge of the rock and nearly passed out! The rock was hanging out over an edge, so there was nothing below me, just air. I had to sit for a while to stop my head from spinning. Believe it or not, I don't do well with heights. 
Here's a few pictures of our surroundings at that moment-

 Above, if you look close, you can see the line of rock in the grass lands that is China Wall.
When you head outbound on Stage, you pass two meadows w/benches in them, that's the first meadow down there.
 The above rock is the highest point of the line of rock we came up.If you look back at the first picture, under the L, you can see that at the top of that line it ends with a pointy rock, and this picture is that rock, from the other side of it facing down the line. From there we just kept taking whatever we found that headed up hill towards the top of the ridge. I knew there was a trail along the ridge that we could take and drop back down, which is what we did.

Above, here's an example of one of the trails take 3 steps in and it drops straight down.
 We came down Little Sunset, and out Stage....which is beautiful right now. Every gust of wind made it rain leaves. The kids loved it.

If you look at this picture close enough, you can see there are leaves falling everywhere, Em was trying to catch one.

This is looking up at the line of rock we came up.  We really do have fun on these kind of hikes where we just see a trail and take it.  There are still many trails to be found, and it's a good feeling to know that I know this park well enough to take about any trail and even if I have no idea where it goes, I can get us back to the car safe and sound. Eventually.  This adventure took almost 3 hours, although our moving time was about half that. : )

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