Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 October 2011 Return to Stone Mountain

Subtitle: You Can't Always Get What You Want...

I wasn't sure what to expect of Stone Mountain. It's a real tourist trap and lives on dragging in visitors. We are not the typical tourist. We were here on a bright, sunny, warm day a couple days prior, and I really liked the place. The trails were outstanding, and there was some really nice caching. I also really wanted to climb Stone Mountain, and I really wanted to ride the incline to the top.

I whined enough that this became a return destination for us. So far great... except for the nasty grey skies, the driving rain, and the monster wind. It was a brutal day to be caching. At one point, we stopped at a picnic shelter and I refused to continue caching until the worst of the miserable rain had let up. We toughed it out and grabbed a few multis. Despite my hoping for great luck and a change in the weather, it wasn't going to happen and I wasn't riding the incline. :-(

Still, we could at least hike to the top of the mountain. I now know that climbing a granite face in really hard rain with a big time wind is a great adventure, but not a lot of fun. The granite is super slippery so you need to be aware every second so you don't fall. A slip could be a disaster. We are experienced enough to know that a strong wind at the base will be unbearable at the top. The conditions at the peak were even worse than I expected. I expected them to be bad, but the rain was so intense it felt like hail. Between the reduced traction in the water and the wind, it was hard to stay upright at the top.

I know it would have been better to pass and be positive there would be a chance to return, but it has reached a point where the reality is every visit somewhere has to be considered a last chance. Any returns are a bonus. Too bad for the incline. It will go on the list of weird things I would like to try some day if there's a return visit. So many places... so few days. I'll never think this day wasn't an adventure.

In a rare moment of no rain, Ali gives a micro a big w for Weak.

There's a wealth of old, interesting carvings here.

Eva has some explaining to do.

It was really amazing that we weren't the only crazy people climbing this. We actually passed people going up near sunset. I thought I was goofy...

We had to be just as careful on the way down as the way up.

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