“Doing difficult things are hard, until you try something even more difficult. The one positive note in all this is I think you can then refer to what was originally difficult to do as the easy part.” —BRAD
Second Falls: A Story of Adventure in Four Parts: The Easy Part
For those hydrophobs who thought just getting in the water was bad, hold on to your seats. We are about to toss some mountaineering into the mix.
The best thing about Second Falls is that the water is deep at the base of the cliffs so it’s perfect for jumping or diving, and the best place for doing this is from the mouth of a cave located ten feet above the water’s surface and directly behind the waterfall.
I will now describe how this jump is accomplished during a normal summer season. You simply swim up next to the falls, climb up to the cave, wade across a little pool to the ledge of rock in the front, climb up and that rock and jump. Sound easy? During normal summer season it is.
But for one season out of many, the summer is not normal and an unseemly amount of rain creates a totally different scene altogether. It creates quite a current so that the only people to jump from the cave are either are either very brave and courageous or simple fools not realizing what they are doing. Since I happen to fall into one of those two categories I can explain firsthand what it was like to make that jump. What usually takes a couple of minutes now can take up to half an hour.
No longer can you simply swim up to the falls without getting smashed against the cliffs and broken into itty-bitty bits. To get into the cave was now a complicated,convoluted process that began with climbing up a muddy hill. Then, with muddy feet, you had to climb down a jagged cliff. One little slip here could result in a cut so deep it would appear bottomless. If you made it this far with the same amount of blood you started out with you could consider yourself very lucky indeed. Now at the base of this cliff you had to make your way across the face cliff blind, feeling your way along by hand, because the spray cut visibility down to zero. Then reaching the edge of the falls it was time to climb back up the cliff. I did mention there would be complications and convolutions, remember? You make your way up the spray-slicked rock till you reach a very narrow ledge where you have to slowly work your way behind the falls, around the corner into the mouth of the cave, where the outside world then vanishes from sight, possibly forever. One instant of carelessness here could erase you last twenty minutes of effort and send you plunging into the boiling, churning waters below.
Inside the cave is not much safer as the sloping surface is slick with slime and threatens to spew you out. You step down into the two foot deep pool carved into the floor of the cave and begin to wade across. You are sure to bang your shin on the single large rock in that pool. Reaching the front of the cave, with falling water stinging your back and shoulders, you climb up on the rock from which you will jump. Standing there, you find your nose two inches from the backside of a forty-foot waterfall. Your entire universe has been condensed down to this tomb of a cave, its three walls of solid stone, and the fourth, a crashing white-water maelstrom of thousands of gallons per second.
So far, this has been the easy part.
What comes next is insanity. (That’s tomorrow!)
Easy To See, Helpful Diagrams of Comparison