Monday, Jack and Daniel wanted to go to Cliff Dives, as all the adults were going to be busy with the lawyer who arrived at the ranch to talk to Aunt Jane. So we when Tony and I woke up, we didn’t waste any time in getting ready to go; it’s a long way down and back and we wanted some time to spend down there. Aunt Jane, John, Joe (the lawyer), Wayne (the ranch manager), and Uncle Larry took the Suburban and drove out with us, before starting a day of business. Jack, Daniel, Tony, and I took the newest truck.
The drive to Cliff Dives was an adventure in itself. The roads out on the ranch aren’t exactly something one would take a fancy car on, but you don’t really expect to fall in to the bumper when you cross a stream. But that’s exactly what happened. Since we weren’t expecting it, we didn’t take a picture of the Suburban as it went through (when it was unexpected), but we did manage to take a few of the truck going back through. Then there was the really steep, fairly rough hill that was the only expected challenge. Tony has a picture on his blog (along with a good story).
I don’t really know how long it took us to get down, but we went pretty slowly because my legs were really wimpy. I don’t remember having so much trouble going down the first time I went (two years ago), but pretty much the whole way down my legs were shaking. It’s not exactly easy going, but I expect my body to be able to handle more than it did. For the first half, the hike is like climbing down a giant staircase of uneven stone. Like what an ant would think of a very small set of stairs with very small cracks or something. The “imperfections” were huge, but only from my perspective. If someone were large enough to take the boulders in one step, they wouldn’t have a second thought about the little things we were crawling around on. Then there’s Daniel, who climbs, jumps, slides, or otherwise maneuvers over or around anything.
The second half was the reason I wore my bathing suit and took along a long-sleeved, button-up shirt – a whole bunch of scrub oak (I guess…I don’t know my plants very well). Anyway, we had to wade through that. Daniel brought a pair of clippers to help clear the way and there was a lightly defined path that had been taken various other times, but that doesn’t mean it was a “trail” in the sense most people think of such a thing.
The hike was well worth it though. By the time we got to the bottom, we were all hot and Jack and Daniel were itching to get in the water and Tony and I were itching to take pictures. It wasn’t the way I remembered it; it had rained a bunch right before we got there, so I guess that had raised the level. We could see that the water had been way above where it was, which was way above the level I remembered it. Not only that, but when I went down the first time, the water was a gorgeous blue-green. This time, it was a muddy brown.
Jack and Daniel jumped off the really high cliff a couple of times each and then we had lunch before we walking up the creek. After reaching the fork in the canyon, we realized we should head back before we were late for dinner. That’s when Tony realized his timing was bad and we were likely going to be late for dinner and Jack realized he didn’t understand what time dinner was supposed to be. Apparently the memo had passed by him. Anyway, we hurried back out of the canyon (not so fast as to hurt ourselves) and managed to get to the truck in under an hour and a half (which is the fastest they said they’d done it previously). Jack managed to get the truck stuck at the place we stopped and took pictures of it the last time.
We missed having dinner with everyone else, but fortunately there was food for us all to eat (Monica made sure of that). And for that we were grateful, having spent the whole day making adventures for ourselves.