Hiking and Rappelling June 7th in Hocking Hills

June 7, 2008

A while back Dave (CaverDave) informed us that he was going to be with a group (I believe from his local Cave Grotto) doing some rappelling in the Hocking Hills area near Conkle’s Hollow.

I’d left my directions and the email describing where to find the group next to my laptop. I’d brought my GPS in to program it with an intersection that would get us close.

The GPS didn’t give the optimal routing, and I couldn’t remember the transit details very well, so it took us about 2.5 hours to get there from Cincy.

Right before we arrived, I got a text from Dave saying how far away that he was. Just when I tried to text back, I lost the signal as we entered the “communications Black Hole”!!

It ended up that we pulled into the Conkle’s Hollow parking lot and waited….. and as we did, we decided to take a short walk down the trail to read the signs.

Shortly after we got back to the vehicle, Dave pulled in and told us we needed to go down the road to a different parking area… oops… I didn’t understand that, but then if I’d not forgotten my instructions, I might have figured it out. Sorry Dave!

When we got to the other area, we piled out and sized up equipment. Not realizing how far away the rappelling area was away from the vehicle, I’d packed food supplies into a medium sized semi-hard-to-wield cooler. Oops.. I’ll know better next time!!

Penny tested out her gear.

I’ve not done any hiking of significance in the past several years, so even though it was a scenic hike to the rappelling area, it definitely showed I need to get out and do this more!

It was a very picturesque and serene area to hike through….. a great change of pace from diving!

Dave setup the ropes and talked us through the process and various schools of thought … and made good use of my quote “There are a dozen correct ways to do this, but we’re going to do it my way.” Finger Cow was in agreement… suck up!!

Here was my response to Dave’s “My way or the Highway!!” Yes… Finger Cow was shocked at my audacity!!

Dave quickly got us into our rig and familiarized.

When Dave asked who wanted to go first, everyone took one step back and left me “hanging”… so my response was “I guess since I’m the heaviest person here, I’ll check out the ropes for ya!”

What a blast!

Penny soon stepped up to the plate!

Penny was beside herself having a great time! I can see I might have to sell the Air Compressor in order to afford Cycling, Caving and Vertical equipment.

Dave was incredibly patient and informative! Now I understand what he was heavily involved in prior to diving.

Dave also demonstrated how to climb back up the rope after a rappel.

We had an opportunity to go many more cycles in the practice area before we moved over to the 100+ ft drop.

I tried to get pictures of the “big” drop area, but I still had too much adrenaline pumping after my rappel so they didn’t turn out… bummer!!

This is a very nice area to spend the day in and I think Penny is “hooked” on this activity…

What a blast! Thanks for inviting us Dave and all your tireless work!! You da Man!!

Here’s any other pics that we might have from the day.

Some Additional photos on Facebook album


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