Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Cave

Silent Saturday was spent at Lisa's folks in OH. We got up early, drove to Luke and Regina's and then took part in a community Easter egg hunt. Then we went to the farm to share the day with family. The kids helped Momaw make a Bunny cake, colored eggs with Regina and otherwise enjoyed cousiness.

In the afternoon the menfolk took the older kids on a nature hike to "the Cave." It was straight uphill and quite a walk. Along the trail we found a set of discarded deer antlers. It was a nice set of 8 points. He should be a bigger buck next season! The kids were facinated.

We left the antlers where we found them. The thinking was to avoid accidental impalement as we hiked the challenging turrain. We would pick them up on the return trip.

At this point I picked up something -- Eli. He had made the first of the hike holding to Pop-Pops hand. Now he was too tired to continue. I hoisted him onto my back and we finished the first half of the trip that-a-way.

When we arrived at "the Cave" I found it was a head of a hollow (pronounced "holler") that had been eroded by the flow of water. It was a very deep undercut. The side walls extended down at at least a 120 degree slope. The hike team stayed at the top en masse. I found a trail leading into the actual cave. Being only 12 to 18 inches wide I slowly made my way around the wall and into the cave.

It was very long, maybe 100 feet. It extended into the mountain 20 or 25 feet. The center was completely dry while the majority was moistened from the falls.

I paused. Silent Saturday is all about such a cool cavernous place. The Garden Tomb was also cut out of rock. I spent 5 minutes or so reflecting on that Sepulcher.

I returned to the group and we trailed back to the antlers. Then we followed an old county dirt road back to the farm. Along the way, as I carried Eli on my back, I tried to pass on some outdoorsmanship. "Don't step over big rocks or fallen logs unless you can see the other side. Snakes." "Sit and slide downhill. Keep your feet ahead of your head." "Don't eat yellow snow..."

I thought of my Grandfathers and my parents sharing the secrets of safely enjoying nature with me. All those boyhood days spent roaming the hills overshadowing Blue Creek. Those fall days hunting squire with my dad. Hiking with mom along old right-o-way roads. Exploring similar outcroppings and caves with Mike, Tim and Terry. It was re-energizing and centering to be on that hill with my people--past and present.

E and I both thoroughly enjoyed the hike to the Cave.

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