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July 11, 2004: Part 3 - the one with all the pictures

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After Saturday's adventures we all slept pretty hard last night. I made potato cheese soup for dinner (there really was a good reason I brought my blender with me) and we snacked on Oreos and Cheeto's, and squashed a few more crunchy ants, and then we all curled up on various couches and chairs in the living room and did some crafting work. But we were all pretty exhausted and not much in the mood to do anything that required any amount of energy, so eventually we just gave up and went to bed.

We got up this morning and ate donuts for breakfast because every Sisters' Only weekend must have donuts. Then we cleaned up the cabin and gathered up all our things and wandered around the cabin to pick out about half a dozen huge and perfect pine cones for my little sister to take home with her. My older sister balanced her camera as well as she could on the hood of her car and then we three posed in front of the cabin. And then, alas, it was time to go. We piled back into the car and drove back down those windy, bumpy mountain roads, back to those boring stretches of 99 and I-5. There was a brief detour into Galt to make use of bathrooms at a McDonalds (bathrooms blessedly free of jumbo-sized ants or spiders) and to get soft serve ice cream cones. We dutifully finished off the remnants of our weekend a few leftover donuts and Oreos and the last sorry dregs from the bag of Cheetos. My older sister and I dropped my little sister back at the airport with hugs and goodbyes. And then she took me home, with only a brief detour to drop off the key to the cabin to her mother-in-law and have a short chat about all the fun we'd had.

I'm pretty exhausted at this point, so I shall end this entry with pictures from our trip, in no particular order. In case it wasn't obvious, we had a marvelous time.


This is my little sister. I included this picture because, despite the fact that she is sticking her tongue out at me, it is actually a really good picture. Isn't she gorgeous?


This is a view from the top of the descent, where we started the rappel. It doesn't look so bad, does it. What you cannot see is that there is a ledge down there where you get to stop and catch your breath. That ledge tricks you into thinking it won't be all that bad. It's only after that ledge that things get really scary.


This picture came out really grainy because it's the only way I could lighten it enough so you could see. If you peer really closely you'll see my older sister at the top (just follow those ropes up). That's the point where you come down over the rock face and start descending into open space. See how very high up that is? It feels even higher when you are the one clinging to that rope and doing your best to talk yourself into continuing on down.


She's getting closer now. It's about here that we could hear her she was doing Lamaze breathing. I am sure that my little sister and I were probably sounding just as panicked when we were at this point too. This is also about the point when the guides told me I had to stop and wait for my little sister to get out of the way.


And here she is, almost to the bottom.


Some pretty cave formations. I took this picture as we were climbing back up the very steep spiral staircase to get out of the cave.


The three of us afterwards, posing with the instructor. We are all grinning like fools because it is over and it was amazing, and most of all, we did not die.

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