Karst Caving Adventures!
Monday: "’Neither a follower nor a leader be.’ Well, actually, that’s not quite what Shakespeare said. His advice involved borrowing and lending but it amounts much to the same thing. Wherever possible you should avoid putting yourself in a position that attracts aggravation. At the moment, though, we find you both borrowing and following. It would seem as if you are beholden to someone or something and you are not enjoying it very much. I cannot promise you full freedom this week, but you will take a first significant step towards it."
Tuesday: "What would the world be like if the Creator was financially motivated? What if nature presented us with a bill for every flower we appreciated, every tree we took shelter under or every lungful of air that we inhaled? What if, when we left this world and went on to the next, St Peter were to meet us at the gates of heaven with a PDQ machine in his hand saying, ‘Welcome to the afterlife, please pass over your credit card, so we can take advance payment for your cloud and harp’? What, in your world now, is being undervalued or over-priced?"
There is someone who has made a declaration that there is a stone they’d like to throw. If they can even read this: "Bring it on, bitchcakes. I will fucking end you."
As for the rock caught in the middle of two hard places: you know what the conditions are. If the rules have broken on your part in even the most miniscule of ways (and trust me, you will be forced to prove it), you don’t deserve me, and I will leave you. And to all once-involved parties: I have the whole record, and have retained it. I have the photo and all the will power in the world. I also have the last name of the one that houses and keeps you and the ability to forward such proof to the payer of your bills. You need a character reference? Trust me, with all the legs in the world to stand on, what I have would still knock you down. Don’t think I’m the only fire raging against you. And don’t think that two fires joined will not burn you. I also have your home address and a stamp. Hope you’re faster than I, or everything I have ends up in his hands. That way, he too can was his hands clean of you. And you will die still being all of the things I called you. The family you so wanted to call your own: they hate you. You L O S T.
Life has been good and kind. I’m not sure how long it will last, but despite the issues that are still here (no matter how we run from them or suspend our realities for a time) things have been alright. Levar was cornered about his behavior and has been practically a saint ever since. It’s like he’s had a personality transplant. Maria has been extra-kind to me, and Jessica’s extended absences at work have minimized the dramatic bullshit that usually permeates the air. Home is good. The drama shit about the rooms is pretty much taken care of and we all managed to work through that without incident.
John and I went to Horne Lake for a weekend campout with his family. It was Jack, Jan, Sarah, Lon, Sterling, Brendan, Cassandra, John and I, plus the McMartin’s dog, and a day visit from Gillian, and the McWilliams’. We had a beautiful beachfront campsite, and Lon’s boat (which is a skookum tin can with a motor hitched on it), and the Boyes’ 5th wheel. We went and did the Family Cave tour (Riverbend cave’s first 100m) with our Guides, Lori and Andria. I was very proud of myself, because I kept up with Andria (who was leading us up the trail to the caves) the entire way, and she told me I was a natural caver. It was really cool inside, but ended far too soon. Poor Gillian was scared by their imaginative stories, and the clincher was when they turned off all of the helmet lights and we were sitting in the pitch dark. Gillie is only 5, so she got pretty scared and wanted to go. But she didn’t panic, and she was a real trooper.
Lori came back to our campsite that night and hung out with us, drinking beer and eating cake (it was Jack & Jan’s belated birthday celebration). She gave us directions to a few secret caves in the area, and gave us a map of Main Cave and Lower Main Cave. Eventually I’d love to be advanced enough to finish Riverbend and tackle the Ampitheatre. John wants to take me caving at Artlish now. Caving was a blast. I was so stoked. I can’t wait to go again. We tackled three caves in two days. It definitely didn’t last long enough. But I left feeling pretty buff. It required me to tackle my fear of heights (we went up a few storeys) in the dark. They recommend three points of contact at all times. ("Go low and slow, yo.") At one point, I was three storey’s up, free-dangling from my arms with no footholds. Tricky! After we came back to Nanaimo, we watched The Descent, just to freak ourselves out. I love John’s family. We’re talking about making Horne Lake an annual family outing, I suppose you could call it our reunion of sorts. I could have spent at least another week there, and we really had no privacy, as the whole group was staying in the same campsite. Next time we go, we’re taking the 3 or the 5 hour tour and spelunking down the pipe. I can’t wait!!!!! Argh! I think the only bad thing that happened this weekend was the ride home. On Jinglepot I was attacked by a bee (or something that stings) and was stung right in the jugular. Fortunately I pulled it out fast enough that the reaction wasn’t too bad, but the entire length of the artery along my neck is swollen, red and itchy as hell. Meh, it had to happen some time.
Here is a Virtual Tour of the caves.
-A picture taken very close to where our campground was, maybe two lots to the left-
-The Sacrifice Room:-
-A piece of calcite in Riverbend Cave that was sacrificed to touch. Calcite changes from white to brown when exposed to outside elements-
-Cave Crocodile: A formation in the calcite of Riverbend Cave-
-Yes, that is, indeed, a passage that one must CRAWL through-
John and I also saw the new Harry Potter before we left. Oh. My. Gawd. It must be seen, if you have not yet done so. GO NOW. It made me cry.