In the Black Hills of South Dakota!!! Yup…..no quilting at the moment. Now, let me hasten to add that I am among the very many who become irrationally paralyzed when faced with heights……….like looking over the edge of anything!!!!!! We set off to have an awesome breakfast at our fave spot….Cheyenne Crossing…….and, then, on to the hike. Tom/”DH” was more aware of what was ahead than I, as he had done a Google search of the destination known to only a few as “Community Caves” (located in the lower area of Spearfish Canyon. Please, check out the link provided to get a better “feel” for the sheer vertical-ness of the path we followed. Note…….”path” is a generous term for the route that we took that was covered with a layer of shattered rocks that had come from way above. We had appropriate hiking boots, gloves, sticks and long pants……so off we went. The following photos (and the photos in the link) do NOT show how steep this really was!!!!
I was 2/3 of the way up at this point (approx.) and Tom took this photo from well above me. No…..the path is not vanishing into the horizon, it is disappearing straight down (bad perspective!!!). Almost to the top and the really neat water fall in front of the caves. Tom was standing behind the falls, on a level spot, as I came up the path………please note—there is no sight of any path behind me ‘cuz it’s (almost) straight down! Tom and I……..photo taken by a gal (and her sis) who had come up just behind us. And, yes, the trail continued BUT we decided this was high enough——except that Tom had to go up a bit higher to see what, if anything, was ‘up there’!!!!!! I was a bit(?) ‘put off’ thinking of the descent. We had met a family, who had just made the entire climb, as we were on the early/easy portion of this adventure and they had commented that the climb up was definitely easier than the return. Food for thought and my imagination!!!!! Well, I’m here to tell you that the trek down went beautifully (albeit, very cautiously!) and was much more do-able than the upward portion!!!!
A quick ‘shot’ along the ascent. Now, the question……would I do it again??? Nope! Am I glad I did it??? Yup! How would I rate this hike (out of 5….with 1 being totally flat and 5 being completely vertical)……..I would agree with the assessment given in the above link and give it a 4.5!!!!!
I’m not sure what tomorrow holds for us but I do know this……..I will sleep very well tonight!!!!!!!