Saturday, December 22nd. A great day to do some last minute preparations for Christmas. Hopefully time to bake a little and sew up some bags for the gift we were making for several people on our list. We didn't jump out of bed because we thought that we had all day to get everything done.
JVA and SLA just discovered that the Bear and his girl are not going north as planned. New plan, they would leave Monday AM. So as we have been putting JVA off for many years about hiking Devil's Chasm. Our latest excuse had been that we needed to wait until the Bear was home. So, as the moons had finally aligned with Jupiter and Mars it was time to attempt the assent into the wilderness of Cherry Creek.
We stopped at Safeway to purchase some lunch stuff and off we went. As we drove past Picket Post JVA called on the radio and told us that we should climb this also as we would probably be done and back by early afternoon.
We turned off of the pavement onto Cherry Creek Road and realized that we didn't have a map. I told them that the road would take us there even though Abe was remembering a turn somewhere. So then we started discussing who was right. We drove through Cherry Creek which was running quite nicely. Our explorer would have been too low and would have probably ended up with an engine full of water.
For once, I was right and we arrived at the correct location to begin our assent. Seeing how much water there was in the creek coming off of the mountain we knew that we may have some problems with the climb. We walked and walked and went up and up and discussed whether we were on the right trail. All we knew for sure is that if we followed the creek up we would get where we needed to go. The higher we went the colder it got. There was ice on the trail wherever there was a little water.
We had attempted this hike several years ago - JVA's Junior Year a few months after he had his ACL surgery. We had gotten a late start and had not completed the hike the closest we got was within viewing distance of the ruins in the previous picture. We got to this rock that we had to get over and it took two people - one pulling and one pushing to get several of us up the rock and through the rabbit hole that you have to get through. That time there was no water in the creek - or very little. When we got to this rock, the waterfall was rumbling over one side of the rock, but the place you have to go up was dry.
This picture was taken on the first hike. We took pictures this time also, at the end of this blog showing the water in the creek.
We got to this place and I was having one of my really bad, scared of heights days. JVA and da bear decided that they would help me up, so one pushed and one pulled as I was telling them that it would be better if I just stayed at the bottom and waited for them. But they managed to pull me up. I told them that this was like child birth, it was that painful. JVA said that he was scared. I asked him why and he told me that he was scared that they wouldn't be able to get me back down the rock.
Whe we got to the top of the rock I realized that this was the place that we had to cross the face of the waterfall the last time we were there. The difference was that last time there was no water and this time you would get soaked. So they decided to go up and around the waterfall. Knowing that this wasn't an option for me, I told them that I would just wait. We had Bella and Blue with us so I thought the three of us could just sit here and watch the water flow while we waited. Abe decided that he would wait with me and we would start heading down. After the other four had left I really got scared. Here we were on top of this rock and we needed to get the dogs and me down.
We went under the one rock and into the rabbit hole to the top of the rock. I helped blue and bella down for abe to help them slide down the rest of the way. And that is when I had the most horrible extreme attack of fear that I have ever had. As I was sitting there with abe and the dogs in the creek below I started thinking that I wouldn't ever be able to get down. That they would have to sedate me and air evac me out of this place. Then I decided that this was ridiculous, so I closed my eyes and asked the Lord for strength to get down the rock. Immediately I knew I could do this, so I told abe to help guide me and told him that I needed to do this right away. I laid down on the rock and he guided my feet, then I slid the rest of the way down. When we got to the bottom I realized that I wasn't alone getting down. That I truly had help.
We continued our return trip to the car marveling at the blessings that we have received. After 30 minutes or so the rest of the group caught up with us. They decided that it was farther than they thought and they would come back in a few months, starting a little earlier. Maybe by then the Bear's girl won't have her wrist in a cast. (she out hiked all of us, even with her arm broken)
They asked how abe had gotten me down and he told them that he didn't. So I told them that I had prayed myself down. They were amazed. But then, so was I.