32 years ago continued:
After dinner we climbed back up the cliff (the easy way) and we were all left alone for 30 minutes. This gave us time to contemplate on the trip-on our successes and accomplishments. No one was considered a failure. It gave me time to re-evaluate where I had come from and where I was at the moment. I really felt as if I could do anything, since at the beginning of the trip I had deemed it as impossible. Finally Joe collected us all again and we spent our last night together being tied onto the cliff. We slept in sleeping bags with our harnesses on, connecting each other together, which was tied to a tree. We were warned not to sleep walk! And believe it or not that was the best I slept the whole trip!
The next morning we worked our way down the mountain and by that evening we were back at the vans and headed home to Danville.
I feel this trip was valuable in many ways. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and showed me that nothing
is impossible. It also taught me how to work with others, how to share in each others joys and burdens. We had three injuries on the trip--but they weren't the fault of our leaders. One girls pulled or rather pinched a nerve in her shoulder (from carrying her pack) which left her unable to carry it the rest of the way. A boy pulled a muscle in his groin area,, which hindered him. Yet he went on and carried his load as if he was uninjured. Another girl developed blisters on her feet, which had to be treated at stops. This left her walking slowly and painfully. So we learned how to deal with each others problems and still have an enjoyable trip. No one complained. Also, it made each of us look inward to ourselves- for that is where the strength and stamina comes from. Overall, the trip was an excellent experience and everyone should have the opportunity to have such an experience as I did.
(to be continued)