Nelson in a tube dropping off into the abyss below.
Jason happy to exit the “Rectangle”.
Jason and Nelson not thrilled at the wait to get into the cave.
So after the river fun we decided that it was time to head out (although I felt that I could remain at Steamboat Rock all weekend). The drive was long and the time was passed with Nelson providing us with many stories of his past years on the road. One of my favorites was the one about him nearly being pronounced dead in a car (he was just sleeping but wasn’t waking when some folks were trying).
We arrived at Lime Creek climbing area near Eagle, Colorado late and crashed in another beautiful alpine setting. I didn’t rest too well because of the mouse that was scurrying around the back of my truck with me. Unfortunately, he won and I was out on the ground after about an hour of hearing him scramble back and forth along the floor. The next morning we all felt a bit haggard from all the swimming and hiking at Dinoasaur National Monument. It was hot and it took a great deal more energy from us than we expected. I hadn’t visited Lime Creek in many years and knew that it was a nice place to check out every once in a while. It’s no Ceuse, France, but at least it’s not the same old front range climbing. We clipped bolts on some of the steeper routes and got pumped early on and finished with some of the technical vertical slab climbs. The day ended early as the temperatures got hot really fast. In order not to waste time I decided to take the boys on a tour of the Fulford Cave which was just down the road.
The cave stays about 45 degrees year round and was going to be a great alternative to the heat of the day. I prepped my partners for the possibility of some other folks in the cave and as we arrived after the hike, there were about 40 people exiting the cave. By the time we entered, Nelson and Jason were kinda bitter about the experience (they changed their attitude once we started down the pipe though). The three of us cruised through the caves many twisting and muddy tunnels, crawling and croutching and walking and squirming. After they were good and muddy we moved into the Rectangle and I was happily suprised how they greased the tight squeeze barely wider than your hips and shoulders.
After signing the log book and cursing the Boy Scouts who made them wait, we moved through the rest of the cave. The only thing that was a bummer was when we exited the cave. We had left our full water bottles outside the entrance and when we got there someone had taken them. What doesn’t make sense to me is why someone would take a full bottle of water from the outside of the cave when they knew that people were still in there. Oh well, chalk that up to ignorance I guess. Those boy scouts still have a lot to learn.