Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lover’s Leap

After my conference call and lunch, we head out to a second trail near the park’s visitor center. This popular trail boasts a strenuous climb, moderate descent, and stream crossings in several areas. We started to climb, and I started to shed layers. Ten minutes of, you guessed it, straight up, 45% grades with no relief. This time, I was prepared, hydrated and nearly naked from the waist up. Legend has it that from this peak, two Native American lovers fell to their deaths when their families forbid their union. Brad and I marveled at how horses could climb this trail, its tree roots, jagged rocks, reflective quartz pieces, and eroded downward slopes. It was at the multiple stream crossings that we had the most fun. Of course, Brad made me go first to “test” the logs and rocks placed in perpendicular fashion between the two banks. I tested my balance, got creative, and tempted fate in some of the leaps I made. Neither of us got wet. Later, near the trail’s end, a family of three caught up to us and passed us. We saw them trying to navigate a traditional crossing that, with the recent snow and rain, had been knocked out of sorts with other wood debris that had floated downriver. Seeing their predicament as the father made his way across, rather precariously, I scouted out an alternate path further upstream. Brad followed suit, and at a narrow part of the stream, easily jumped the bank and made our way back to the main trail just as the third member of that party was struggling to cross, cursing all the way. It was another three mile trail that left us both refreshed and laughing.

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