Sunday, July 3, 2011

Darby Canyon

My last 3-day weekend of college has commenced, and we started by hiking Darby Canyon to the wind caves. This hike is beautiful, but we did not go prepared. We knew we would be hiking for a while, but we didn't prepare ourselves for the monstrous amounts of snow and ice that we would be hiking through. Literally. We were in shorts, t-shirts, and a few of us in Chacos. What an adventure!
The beginning of the hike started off regular, a little muddy because of all the snow melt-off, but relatively calm. It smelled so wonderful! Just like nature and summer should smell.
We hiked to a waterfall that was surrounded by snow, and we had to traverse the depths of snow canyons. It was rather intense, but we felt it was necessary to find the wind caves hidden behind the waterfall.
Too bad that once we got down to the waterfall my roommate Rick realized that the caves were actually a few hundred yards above us at the mouth of the waterfall and we still had more than an hour of hiking (through the snow) to get to the caves. We decided that since we had already come so far we may as well continue hiking.
The wind caves were nearly impossible to access. We had to scale rock walls, cross the waterfall... literally cross through the rushing waters, and climb up an icy cavern to reach the entrance. We were also greeted by what could only be described as a Scooby Doo villain. Literally, he looked like a character from a cartoon. There was this man standing at the mouth of the cave in all this gear just staring at us. So creepy!
We went inside the cave, but only lasted a few minutes. We were soaking wet from the waterfall, we were frozen from climbing through the icyness of the mountain, and the cave was filled with ice and a ferocious wind. Totally worth it though.
By the end, my feet were frozen, as were my hands, and I had a terrible time walking, since I couldn't really tell where my feet were at. The concern crossed my mind once or twice that I might lose my feet to frostbite, but luckily today the swelling in both my hands and feet has gone down, and I can feel every part, except the very tips of my toes. That will come back eventually...hopefully.
The hike was amazingly beautiful, and afterward we went and watched Jurassic Park in Porter Park, until the cops came and told us the park closed at 11:00. Who knew that the park had a closing time?

So the first day of the weekend: Exciting? Yes. Painful? Yes. Worth it? For sure.

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