DAY 266

DAY 266
TREE 191 & 192

Back to the track.  Scott wanted to run again and it was a sunny day today. 

We got in the truck and went down tot he high school and there were a few cars already parked there.  A family with many kids were playing football and a few others were running.  I walked to the other side of the track, through the fence, and out into the field behind the track. 

I wanted to go someplace a little further away. 

I saw a couple good trees that lined a wooden fence by the golf course nearby. 

But since it was so nice today the course was packed with golfers.  I felt uncomfortable distracting them by climbing in the path of the ball trajectory.  So I walked around a little more but nothing was hitting me.  There just weren’t that many big trees.  I turned and walked back and figured if I could climb high I would try for a good tree transfer.  I saw a line of trees that were close together.  But nothing was good there either upon closer inspection.  I was feeling rushed because I knew my brother would be done soon and not want to hang out for ever at the track. 

I walked back to the edge of the track and saw a good tree on the inside of the fence.  On the outside of the fence was a small tree with a decent proximity for a transfer.  That was it!  I scrambled up the little tree, reached out my left foot, reached with my left hand, grabbed and then released with other, then pulled myself into the second tree.  Transfer successful.  I worked my way up but got stuck.  I looked around and saw another good path.  Out and up one limb then transfer back to the limb I was on and I’d be at the top.  It worked just as I planned and I even had a comfortable perch to take pictures. 

Unfortunately my view was very similar to the view from the other day.  One thing I did like about this tree was all the little buds on the tips of the twigs.   Each one had about eight or so red balls on it. 

Against the clear blue sky they were beautiful. 

I put my camera away and just sat there to enjoy the day.  My brother had finished but siad he was in no rush so I could take my time.  I sat up there a little longer but comfortable seats in trees only last so long before something starts to ache or go numb.  I began my climb down and instead of reversing all my complex transfers I chose my most recent and favorite climbing technique.  Squeezing with my arms and legs, I slid down a limb.  I used to be so scared to do it but I think I’m getting stronger and it hasn’t failed me yet.  It had actually been incredible useful and easier than other methods.  One problem, though, is it gets me more wet and dirty on rainy days.  I transferred back to the small tree and swung down to the ground.  That was a really great climb.  I wasn’t expecting much so it was a great surprise.  I look forward to climbing this one again. 

12-29-08:  What I left out of this entry was the stupid little fight I got into with my brother when we parked at the track.  There were those two other cars there and I parked right next to them.  Scott got pissed and asked why I did that.  I could sense his building annoyance and hostility and reacted in a tone that would hopefully make him feel silly for making a big deal of something so trivial.  Only that pissed him off more.  I almost refused to repark and he could sense my stubbornness and demanded I move.  He also used some choice words, name called, and raised his voice.  I am not sure what bothered him so much about being close to other cars.  We freaking parked in jam-packed lots the day before shopping.  He didn’t complain then.  It wasn’t his car that may get a dent from a nearby door opening.  I honestly thought he just wanted to pick a fight because being at home seems to get to him.  I think that is why I wanted to get far away from the track.  I just didn’t want to see him.  But by the time I was done climbing I wasn’t going to let his fit get to me anymore plus he seemed over it. 

(off my chest now, phew)

Last Thursday was Christmas (I am now talking about 2008… last week.  Sorry this gets confusing).  This year I, my brother, and my dad stayed home and slept in while my mom played bells at church.  My dad had just come back from a trip early that morning and slept in till 1pm.  The extra time in the morning before opening gifts allowed me to get my presents wrapped.  Then when my mom returned from church and my dad finally woke, ate, and was ready for Christmas we all sat around the tree and got it going.  Every year I play elf and pass out the gifts.  Scott gave us all gifts from his recent trip to China.  I got a cool flute but I haven’t figured out how to play it yet.  I gave everyone pictures from this Daily Climb project.  They seemed to like it.  I received some clothes, a battery-free flash light, and some other things.  Really, the big thing I asked for I already got.  It was a down comforter which has been on my bed for a few weeks.  I needed it early since I keep my house below 60 degrees. 

After the gifts and stockings we bummed around and watched a movie and got ready for our fondu dinner.  It was really good.  During dinner my mom asked if I had climbed.  I hadn’t and she seemed concerned.  She doesn’t understand why I wait till dark to climb, especially when it’s cold.  Makes no difference to me really.  After that climb a few Sundays ago by the river when the wind chill was negative, no cold can bother me. 

So after dinner I put on the layers and headed out the door.  I went to the intersection of Cedar Point and Schrader Lane and found a collection of hackberry trees. 

They were all choked with vines but seemed climbable.  I stepped up the their trunks and picked the one I would start on.  I used a hanging vine to help me get started.  Then, once up a few feet I transferred to another tree with more limbs.  I fought through the entangling vines up past some dying limbs to my high point. 

It was dark and I couldn’t see too much.  There was one house nearby but it just had a few Christmas lights. 

I could see some lights from the houses across Cedar Point and a few street lights in the empty neighborhood down the hill. 

As I switched to flash photos I realized I was surrounded by power line poles. 

I was lucky no lines crossed close to where I was.  I am sure I would have seen them though.  But, when I was preparing these images for this entry I noticed that there were some lines that ran near.  See:

On the right side of the image you can see two straight while lines.  I don’t remember ever seeing those that night.  Lucky me. 

Anyway, before I climbed down I waited for quite a while for a car to go by to capture their streaking lights.  I waited and waited and thought if I turn my camera off I bet one will come.  So I did and I heard one coming down the road.  I quickly switched it back on and snapped my shot.  A nice one too.

Once I had that I was satisfied and started to climb down.  It was annoying to maneuver around the vines so I tried to bust and break them as I went.  They are tough suckers.  I made it to the ground and walked back to the house.  My Christmas was now complete.