John & Anne Wiley


The Wall

Somehow I missed the rock climbing craze. Maybe it caught on just after I started turning away from thrill activities. The last big thrill thing before flying, might have been the time I swam out thru 10′ surf breaking over boulders to go a mile offshore of Maui for a brief swim with a basking Humpback whale and calf. But that’s another story. Rock climbing is pretty mainstream now, with fake training rocks & climbing walls indoors and even featured in college sport complexes to attract students. One of the first drives we took after moving to SB was up Gibraltar road, where we saw this cool rock wall next to the road.

1285 Gibraltar Wall

1285 Gibraltar Wall

We often see climbers there when driving by, and once even spotted some in an aerial pic (pretty much impossible to spot them from the air by eye). As with so many rock outcrops in our mountains, these have lots of recesses that have probably been used by humans going back to ancient times.

1284 Zoning Change

1284 Zoning Change

Now rather than temporary shelter, this magnificent area is for sport. With some adaptation (maybe a basketry floor & overhang), many of the recesses could be cozy places for sleep. Bottom-left, top-right and middle right could be good candidates. I wonder if anyone ever spends the night here these days. Speaking of which, in this last pic you can see people chilling on top. Pretty good view I’ll bet.

1286 High Hang Out

1286 High Hang Out

What might it have been like to spend the night up there? Imagine the effort to reach it from the valley, when game trails were probably the “easiest” way. At least an arduous all-day climb. I like to daydream about what their experience was. Maybe like the contrast between driving there vs. scrambling up the back side from the road, or riding a whale watching boat vs. a difficult and dangerous two mile swim. Part of the value we derive from an experience can be in the “wall” we have to climb. Still, I love flying even tho the walls (aside from getting a license, and some expense) are vanishing small.


1 Comment

  1. As young girl, I was a Tomboy and a tree climber but we had no mountains or rocks to climb in Minnesota. But when I was eleven, I went to the Black Hills and Wyoming with my grandmother for a summer. What an experience for a Twin Cities girl–the mountains, Mt Rushmore, the real Indians, and the Wyoming prairies. The wildlife there was beyond my comprehension as a young person.. The Rocks on the prairie held many facets of wonder. They looked gray and dull, but I was told that here were riches of color inside, And so there there were. I was lucky that my dad worked for the railroads as I insisted my found rocks had to be transported to Minnesota , ( I was eleven )

    I could see many hills or mountains in the distance. They looked close but they were not.

    One day the grownups took us to the Devil’s Tower, quite a jaunt, and picnic. As our Aunts and Uncles drank and got ready for ;;lunch we kids took off to climb the Devil’s Tower. We got caught before we went very far may have gone 500 or a 100 feet..

    Comment by Marie Mancilla — 2012/07/28 @ 09:18

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