Caves & Trees

Hi PoppaBob,

Last week Kira and I had a fun weekend in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.

With our friends Kate and Lee, we headed up to the UCSC campus-wonderland for some adventure… I am amazed that anyone graduates from this school…

2015 John in Hell Hole Cave Santa Cruz

Right off the highway were two caves and a number of tree houses.
As a warm up we scouted out a cave. It was spacious and would be fun for any visitors to explore. There was another cave across the road that was far more ‘intricate’ with tiny passages about the width of me with my arms folded up to my shoulders and turns and boulders. In about 15′ I looked back and had to concentrate to remember where I had come from. Though Kira and I have trained within the realm of cave rescue, we are fairly confident that some caves are not meat to get hurt in. Fortunately, all was safe with us.

2015 Empire Cave

After our warm up underground, we skipped up the path to the tree-houses that someone engineered 80′ in the red woods. I have not yet pulled the plans from the County to see who stamped the drawings, but will follow up as soon as I find out.

Because Kira and I are enthusiastic with rescue systems and Kate and Lee are avid sport climbers, we rigged a fancy fall-protection system so we could climb freely, mostly without trepidation. However, after we arrived at the platform, we were greeted by a 15 y/o gromit-climber who got up the tree in about two minutes without any ropes. Intimidated by the massive risk, we were quite impressed by their hobbit feet and climbing prowess. Because they had no ropes, however, they had to climb back down while WE enjoyed the privilege of rappelling.

2015 Tree Climbing John Rappels

Home safe and sound, we’re confident we could take any visitors up with us, so come on out to Santa Cruz!

Check out our Caves & Trees Video!

SAR: The Forrest of Nicene Marks, Santa Cruz, CA

Ankle Injury

This is a new ‘category’ for me to be writing in, “Injuries” seemed like the best way to keep this piece squared away and would serve as a nice medical history.  Who knows what will come next.

As for the ankle, turns out one bad step doing something totally un-exciting and I’m out of the game for 8-52 weeks. :(

While installing some cable conduit at a place I’ve been a million times before, I jumped over a shrub (that was full of spikes) in order to get to a path that was on the slope beyond.  At my landing, with hands full of supplies, my left peg didn’t hold up as it usually does and a horrific pain and ‘pop… pop’ reverberated through my skeleton. I was confident that I’d snapped my bones and let out a terrible sound.

Andrew, working nearby, picked me up and walked me inside.

Good news is, the bones are in good shape.. look at ’em glow! Bad news, the ligaments take a long while to recover. So, here’s to accelerating the whole event.