October 31, 2005

Devil's Lake Photo Fest

First off:

Happy Halloween!

(I'm a gypsy fortune teller... It was all I could pull together last minute in my closet.)

Secondly, Devil's Lake. I think this is a befitting park to discuss on Halloween, don't you?

DS and I headed out to what he commonly refers to as "the lake" early Saturday morning. I had been promised 60 degree weather, yet when I emerged from the car I was met with fog, wind, and a tart 33. We met his friend Dylan, and Dylan's friend Katie, who bestowed freshly baked cinnamon doughnuts on us. In return, I bestowed upon them some not so friendly words, as said Dylan had made said weather promise. I can be very unforgiving. It's a fault I'm okay with.

The light coming through the trees was breath taking. We weren't expecting the leaves to be so beautiful this late in the season. Everyone I spoke with was sure the weekend before would be the peak, which is why DS and I had made such an effort to make it out to Governor Dodge. However, this weekend made last weekend seem bland. The drive in made me feel like I was in Lothlorien. Pictures couldn't do it justice. Light was filtering gently down through the branches, and tall trees covered in leaves of golden yellow were releasing a constant, yet slow, stream down to the ground. It was so beautiful. Almost like magic.

Maybe the elves vacation here?

After a quick stop at one of the rustic toilets (ie. a hole in the ground, no running water), we started the climb up the bluffs. The park map has it measured out at 0.3 miles. It seems like it would be easy enough, except it's all straight up hill. The trail is an historic CCC route, built entirely of local quartzite. From the parking lot, you would have no idea the trail was there. In fact, coming back down, I didn't always know where to go. I'd be walking along and realize I was about to go over a 30 ft drop of sharp rocks. But I think a good trail should blend in, so as not to distrupt the setting, the main reason you go to these parks.

The trail goes through those rocks. Can you find it?

Two puffs of my inhaler later, I'm standing a good 400 ft up in the air at the edge of a cliff. The valley floor is stretched out beneath me, the trees an array of color. I took many pictures, and then huddled behind a large boulder so as not to be blown away. The wind was in a fury that morning. I watched DS and Dylan set the tops ropes for the climbs we would doing. For ease in finding them, climbs are grouped in so-called amphitheaters. The group had chosen the one called the "Bedroom Amphitheater", where we climbed routes titled things such as "Orgasm" and "Foreplay." While the day was an enjoyable experience, I'm disappointed that these climbs did not live up to their names.

Dylan on "Orgasm Direct".

Being anti-large-group as we are, the afternoon brought more people to this popular bluff and we moved on. It takes some time to set up the ropes, which is fine by me. I'll wait around for 45 min if it means that I won't die when I fall. Now that it was indeed the promised 60ish, perfect sunny day, I spent this time taking pictures. This is also when I ruined the lense on my good digital camera. Windy days on bluffs is not a good day to try balancing your camera on a tree limb to photograph yourself. Oh well, such is life. The camera still takes pictures, if in a more limited range. Though I later got a crash session in what a capacitor does...

Post-break; Pre-realization.

It was in this new set up that DS accomplished his "shining moment", when he cleaned a climb called "Beginner's Demise." I of course did not even attempt trying something whose name declares the folly of doing so. Though I did pull out some sweet layback moves on another climb further down the trail. I wasn't really feeling the saucy climber Saturday. The hike and scenary made the day worth it despite my lack of motivation.

I've decided this is where Mordor use to be. Can't you see Sam and Frodo climbing those steps? I think they just flooded the valley after the great battle was won. That must be why it's called Devil's Lake. And that rock formation they call Devil's Doorway? Nope, that's just where the all-seeing eye was hanging out before the tower fell.

Having spent all night the night before on the phone with Mo, meaning I had at most 4 hours of sleep, it was a tiring day. I didn't make it 5 minutes in the car before falling asleep on the way home. It was awesome. I feel like I've experience fall in all it's glory now, and shall be content even if I don't get another good day outside before winter.


Monica said...

I love your costume, totally not ghetto.

And that picture is priceless!

Monica said...

*ahem* that LAST picture I mean....they all are, actually.

FRITZ said...

Wow, what beautiful scenery. And DANG, that is just too cold to be wandering around on rocks. But it seems as though it was a wonderful experience. I am glad you huffed through it, and climbed up it, and sought the beauty of it all.

Rowan said...

awww, you guys are cute together and yeah, totally can see frodo and nsam there.

Harry Yak said...

glad you had a good time and i thought your costume was cool. normally i would never say this but i'm glad you didn't go with the birthdaysuit costume, sure it's cheap but it gets cold in october.

climbing looks like fun if you are into that sort of thing and i'm glad the climbs didn't live up to their names. i think that it would be dangerous to partake in forplay or experience an orgasm while hanging onto the side of a cliff.

you sure are a good picture taker

Spinning Girl said...

This was the best post! I loved reading it. I was right there with you. I love those magical moments when light and nature combine. Put a star on that day, for it was a perfect one.
You look like such a happy girl.
ps. Props for the LOTR references!!! :)

Sleep Goblin said...

SpG: You know, when I put those in there, I thought, "If anyone will love this part, Spinning Girl will."

I'm glad everyone is enjoying my day through me. And also that I was able to convey it all in a way you could. Sometimes magic is hard to capture in words.

kimberlina said...

i love the fact that you climb, you seem so strong! (and i even have a black belt.) your pictures are beautiful - totally makes me want to move from bland and tapioca florida.

Monkey said...

Gorgeous photos of the sun coming through the trees! Love the costume too. And yes, as always, you and DS are freaking adorable. Adorable I tell you!!

I love the new look by the way. Your blog looks HOT!