Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Off-Limits

One sunny fall morning in Gunnison, Colorado, my lean, home-schooled sophomore and I decided to climb a nearby peak for our bi-weekly physical education. After all, once winter came to stay for the next eight months, we'd be limited to dabbling in ice-skating and other in town activity. So we parked beside the road which led up into the hills, and took off, right up the backside ramp--an easy slope belonging to this group of cliffs called The Palisades.

 

Our idea was to reach the top and look out over the town without getting too close to the cliffs. Somewhat to our surprise, it was slow climbing for such an easy looking incline, because the ground seemed crumbly in texture, and our steps tended to slide instead of stick. After an hour or so, however, we made it to the top of the ridge--or almost to the top. There, running across the hillside, was a wire fence, one that we hadn't noticed from the road, and about a yard before that, sitting stolidly on a little post planted into the rock, was a sign:


Danger. No Trespassing.
This hill unsafe for climbing!

It turns out that the hill was composed of some kind of volcanic rock--shale, maybe, that frequently gave way to landslides, particularly when disturbed by feet--especially tennis-shoe clad feet of women who didn't know what they were doing on the side of a mountain.
Needless to say we turned around and made our way back to the bottom, not boinging about in our usual fashion either. All the way down we talked about the utter incompetency of the one who placed the sign at the top instead of at the bottom of the hill.


Three-Word-Wednesday prompt-lean, utter, dabble.

9 comments:

Rose said...

i have to agree why wasn't the sign at the bottom of the hill before climbing. weird. glad you two are ok. rose

Understanding Alice said...

and isnt that so often the case? Loved this piece :)

gs batty said...

government solution..job done...with competance? - not hardly...probably the same people who banned the Jellybeans

Carina said...

You forgot about the horrible stories we heard about people who had fallen off before. Ichk!

faith said...

Oh, my word! To bad you all didn't get a photo of the sign. Glad you made it back down okay!

Lilibeth said...

If I'd had a digital camera, I would have taken lots of pictures you can be sure...but they weren't invented yet, or at least not available to the general public. We did hear stories later about some college students who had fallen from the top when the rocks gave way, but they were actually beyond the fence at the top of the cliff.

Deborah said...

Oh my, so lucky you did see it, common sense is sometimes hard to find! Glad you made it down okay!!

jaerose said...

Great last line! We have blue railings around the tops of hilltops here...an interesting limit between us and nature (sadly though nature is usually safer than the human world even if it's a tough climb)..Jae

aftergrace said...

Glad no one was hurt, it is an odd place to put a warning sign for sure.