TREE 27 & 28
Going out with a positive and open mind. No expectations for climbing or conditions, and my thought of death and injury heavy on the mind. I took the path to the patch of woodswith my odd pair of trees in it. Close to the creek the small young tree grows just a foot or two from the monstrous tree covered in moss and fungi. I knew what I had to do to get to that first large branch but I wasn’t mentally ready. I grabbed a hold of the small tree’s trunk and started to climb it like a rope, but the daddy long-legs distracted me and I came down. My second attempt I got a little higher but my hands weren’t gripping well and I was still concerned about the spiders. I got back down, looked around the trees for a possible alternative and even tried running up the large trunk but to no avail. But this break made me realize I had to commit and ignore the spiders. I grabbed the small trunk again and began. No time to pause, pull up… grip with legs… reach up… grip and start over. I had to make immediate and sure decisions about maneuvering over small limbs and knots. But I finally got to a limb offshoot I could really grab. I reached my foot over to the huge, mossy branch of the big tree, then I placed my other foot on it. The tricky part is the total transfer: getting my hands to the big tree. I took one off and reached around the trunk. As I pushed the small tree kept bending further away making it difficult. In this precarious balance I let go and pulled with my hand to make my body vertical. A few deep breaths and I was there. Nice view but no path higher, I took down my ribbon and relaxed. Then back into the small tree. Only I quickly noticed a possibility upwards so I climbed up the small tree. At a decent stopping point I rested and realized the second transfer too difficult. Down the tree like a rope I made it safely to the ground with my forearms and inside leg muscles tight from a good, exciting reclimb.
This picture is looking up at both tree 27 & 28 with the little one I went up on the right, the big one on the left.
This one has a good depiction of how the smaller tree meets up with the large branch of the bigger tree.
Looking down from my high point, you can see the dead limb I had propped up from the first climb.
7-29-08: I can’t quite remember why I referred to these trees as the “odd pair.” It reeks of oxymoron. A pair is obviously even… so how could they be odd? Maybe peculiar. Maybe just very different from each other since one is small while the other is large.
I also like how this entry shows how much an intense focus is required for a lot of climbs. If I was ever wishy-washy about decision making, or just slow to react to things, I am not now. On some moves up a tree I have to completely commit to whatever I plan or it could mean a fall. So if I am 40 up in a tree and I have to jump to another limb and grab it with just one hand, I have to really be precise and grip hard. Adrenaline also seems to help in the really scary parts.
Yesterday, I drove from my parents place down the road to the…
Where I parked, and walked over to the entrance where I have seen a tree and thought of climbing it for quite some time. Definitely since last fall. It’s an oak with good strong branches spaced out nicely. But it is not very tall and I found out why:
You can see where I am standing the rotten end of the trunk. I am right in the middle of the tree where the top should have been. The light greenish-bluish-grey stuff is a growth covering the bark near the top. I wonder if that had anything to do with it dying? Here is what I could see from the top:
And, then, with another place to go, I climbed down and left. I took one last picture of the tree before I drove off:
That other place I had to go… well… here it goes… I drove to Cincinnati, OH for a concert. An Avril Lavigne concert. Yes… I went, and yes, by myself. I am a fan and have no one I know who would really want to join me. I realize this has nothing to do with tree climbing, but I feel like sharing. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine that people close to me know of, but many may not. I thought the experience may be worth sharing.
I met up with some relatives (Bob & Marilyn) before hand and had a nice dinner and conversation with them, then I was off to Riverbend Music Center. I went back roads so I was there quickly and didn’t have to sit through too much concert traffic before parking. Then I walked to the outdoor venue. Here is what I saw on the way:
Young girls and women with various bought and home made Jonas Brothers t-shirts. There were also many painted cars telling people how they were burning for JB and were actually their brothers’ secret wives and girlfriends. Quickly I reallize I am a unique specimen at this concert. Since the Jonas Brothers were the headliners of the show, most people were there for them. Who are they? you ask? I had never heard them before, but I think they are some Disney creation for tween girls. blecht!
I hand them my ticket:
You can see on the backside I wrote the set list for Avril’s show. That’s right, only ten songs. I was only slightly disappointed since I was forwarned while reading up on her previous shows on her fansite forums. But I am jumping ahead…
I go in and first see one of many merch locations. (For those not in the know, “merch” is merchandise) The corner spot is jam packed with crazy girls and their mothers buying up JB crap:
That girl in the center, with a JB shirt already on, she must be going back for seconds…. Hey wait, is that a guy I see in that picture? Awesome!
Actually, I will try to break down the crowd: Easily 97% were female. 2% of the 3% of males were the security. I’d say 10% were there for Avril, the rest were inexplicably there for the Jonas Bothers. Though I should mention the Avril fans were much more hardcore on the dressing up. I should have taken a picture of them, but there were these three boys, about 6th grade, all wearing the same Avril shirt. It was awesome… I almost talked with them. Maybe just to finally bond with other Avril fans. But then I realized that would be weird.
I found a decent spot on the lawn to get ready for the big show. This what I could see:
Awesome, right?!?!? Here are some other shots right around where I was standing:
(A man among many girls… he had to be a father.)
And there were some little boys, like 6-9 age. Not sure if they were there because they wanted to be or because the whole family went. But, just to my right was this little boy and his father. He kept whining about not being able to see since he was like 3 1/2 feet tall. His dad said he would put him on his shoulders when Avril started, but the kid got scared and thought he would fall. Whiner! He should feel damn lucky to be able to be on someone’s shoulders. Oh to be a little kid…
Finally, Avril came to the stage, the show started with “Girlfriend.” Luckily I was right in front of a big screen, only the sun was setting right on it. This is what I could see on the screen:
Thanks Chili Vision! But with my 10x optical zoom and a steady hand, these are the best shots of Avril that I could get:
Amazing, isn’t it? So yeah, ten of her big hits and she was off. I had a good time and was a little disappointed how there wasn’t even an attempt by the crowd for an encore. One girl next to me actually said, ” She’s gone? Good.” This was such a bad match up… damn those Jonas Brothers.
So I walked around, crowd watched a little and took some pictures of the crowd… so much pink…
Then, after some time, JB came on. I gave them two songs and then left. I was done… but not before I bought a t-shirt.
I guess I can now say I’ve seen her. Yay.