This tree is deceptive. It sits right behind a bank in downtown Floyds Knobs. Just across the street from the Marathon station and near Hobb Knobb Coffee. I picked it the first time because it was rainy and I wanted an easy and safe tree. What I got was slippery bark and my first close call when a branch broke under my foot. So this time I parked at the bank on a hot, dry day. I knew what to expect, I knew it wouldn’t be slippery and I’ve gotten better in general. So I climbed up into the tree. The trunk splits into four or five major limbs pretty low.
I climbed up one I knew didn’t have my ribbon. I just did it to try something new. I got up really high. I was at about the same height as my ribbon in the distant branch. I looked for a transfer and saw nothing. So I climbed down then back up. The whole climb was pretty uneventful and not too difficult… until the top of this limb where my ribbon was. I had nothing but teeny-tiny limbs to grab onto and support my weight. And my foot holds were disappearing. The branch I had broken off was one I really could have used this time. What I did was spread my feet between two limbs and slowly inched upwards just hoping one foot didn’t slip. Luckily I didn’t. I got to my ribbon then climbed down.
My focus was unbroken as I concentrated intently on every move and hold. I finally jumped to the ground and it hit me the second I stopped my climbing focus; I forgot to take pictures up there. It amazed me how this little tree by the bank gave me one close call and also made me forget a big aspect of the process.
And often I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I conquer a difficult and scary climb but this didn’t feel that way. It didn’t feel bad but… maybe it surprised and embarrassed me. Strange.
9-24-08: Also near this tree is the Berry Twist ice cream shop. On any hot day in the Knobs it is worth a visit. I know the first time I climbed that tree I had just finished a caramel shake. I can’t remember, though, if I went before or after my reclimb. I do know one thing though… I went to Dairy Queen and got a Reese’s Cup Blizzard after my tree climber yesterday.
I worked on the Zephyr deck with Norman again yesterday. It was a lot hotter than I thought it was going to get. With the saw dust and sweat I just felt gross. So I waited till just before dark when it’s a little cooler to climb. I also wanted to climb somewhere new and not just bike over to George Rogers Clark Park like I have been doing lately. I biked down Eastern Parkway to Baxter and made a right. Baxter became Newburg Road and I was nearing Bellarmine College. I figured I’d go check out their campus for trees. But before I could get there, I was drawn to some trees by the parking lot of Our Lady of Peace hospital just across the road. When I turned off there was a maple tree that got my attention.
I walked under the tree and leaned my bike against the trunk and began to climbed up the many branches. I worked my way up quickly to the top thin limbs and was just below the cover of maple leaves and clusters of browning whirligigs.
I listened to all the cicadas buzzing in the branches and tried to see out from the tree.
The hospital and that white building was about all I could see. But I had a pretty decent view down the tree.
Then I crouched down and began to pull off clusters of whirligigs and pick off the individual seed and drop them. I sat and watched them spin down through the branches. Some miraculously would avoid hitting any while others would hit every branch on the way down. I thought that the propellers of planes must have been inspired from this things. They are truly an amazing natural design. I could do this for hours as it brings me such pleasure to watch them float down. Then I had another idea for a possible activity at my upcoming show. I could collect thousands of these whirligigs and have them available up on the deck. Then attach limbs to the post of the deck. People could drop them and watch them fall through the branches as if they were in a maple tree.
I climbed down and stopped about midway to hang from my knees. I lost my wallet but it felt good to stretch my back. I climbed the rest of the way down, retrieved my wallet, then made my way over by Joe Creason Park, the zoo, and over to Poplar Level Road to bike home. It was there that I spotted the Dairy Queen and couldn’t resist. I nice ending to my outing.