19 September 2007

The last Boot 'N Paddle from last year

In honor of this being the last paper of the year, I am going to devote this Boot ‘N Paddle to an actual outdoor experience I had last weekend.

Friday night was a late night. They always are because we are in college and we do college things like staying up really late. That, and writing term papers. And hanging out on the quad.
A couple of friends (I call them “buddies” when I’m talking about them to other people. “Oh yeah, my buddies…”) and I decided that we would go hiking on Satu–– no, we would go rock climbing on Saturday. We’re all really good rock climbers who watch rock climbing movies.
Friday night turned into Saturday morning and we were still awake! I finally went to sleep at 5:30 and I’m not sure what time my buddies went to sleep. Maybe they never did. I wouldn’t put it past those guys!
It’s about a two-hour drive to the rock climbing area we usually rock climb at and I was in the best shape to drive, so at 7:30 we all hopped into my car and headed out. My buddies slept the whole way.
I made it to the rock climbing area in an hour and a half, a fact I will casually drop next time anyone brings up driving in the Adirondacks. My buddies woke up and got super stoked about the impending rock we had yet to conquer.
Once we reached the rock, we set up our gear and starting climbing, using rock climbing terminology the entire time. One of my buddies climbed and made it to the top. Then another, and another. Finally it was Gern’s turn. Gern is a self-proclaimed rookie who started climbing in the fall.
Gern made it about halfway up the cliff before his right hand slipped. He managed to regain a hold on the rock and called down, “I’m not sure I can do it!”
My buddies started shouting back to him mixing rock climbing terminology with other phrases that I hear kids saying around school and it hit me how multidimensional we are. We aren’t just college kids. Nor are we just rock climbers. We are rock climbing college kids.
I pointed out my realization to my buddies and they were all very intrigued. Greg pointed out that we are also intellectuals. Casey added romantics. Kip claimed to be an optimist and a future leader.
At some point during our self-realization, we all forgot that Gern was still climbing.
Gern fell and broke his pelvis. Rock climbing can be really dangerous.

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