Falling Dream

The light comes filtering in from far above, through blankets of mist and corridors of stone. It bounces, in sparkling droplets, off the damp rope connecting me to the world above. Am I halfway up yet? The distance is too far to judge and when I look down the bottom is shrouded once again in the darkness our team has just penetrated. I start ascending again; slower and less efficient with every break, my arms are quaking from exhaustion and perhaps some fear.

With every pull upwards to the surface I bounce around sickeningly on the end of the line. This is the problem with rappelling and ascending a dynamic climbing rope: its shock absorbing properties cause my every motion to result in large up and down oscillations. It's easy to imagine the rope far above me sawing against the rock, maybe splitting, fraying, weakening, all well out of sight. There will be no warning before it breaks and there is nothing around me to grab hold of. I try not to imagine myself, spinning, falling, through empty space, just me and the bottom.

On the surface it starts to rain and the heavy drops, falling an extra hundred or so feet, pelt against my face forcing me to stare downwards into the 186 foot deep chasm yawning below. Pulling yourself up that distance is exhausting and my progress now feels infinitesimal when judged against the inky void below.

My reverie is broken abruptly by shouts from above, friendly arms grab my shoulders and encourage me upwards, "Come on! This is the hardest part! Pull!" I finally drag my body over the ledge and collapse on the ground. Rain is pouring down over us and mud runs in rivulets around my prostrate body. I can only tremble, relief flooding me.

On the surface when I try to express what happened to prepare others, I find it impossible, like trying to describe a dream. The return to solid ground is the same as waking up from a dream. All you can remember is falling.


See the world, they
told me...

bayou goula towhead

the sea test

the circumnavigator pt5
the circumnavigator pt4
the circumnavigator pt3
the circumnavigator pt2
the circumnavigator pt1
falling dream
the darkness
one hell of a mile 3&4
he will return
the believers
the horror pt2
the horror pt1
death valley

paradise of outlaws
the mountain climbers 1&2
brought to surface
one hell of a mile 3
the lost world
inner gorge
a ghost story
the riddle
slaying the minotaur
heart of darkness
public lands
organ music
two sought adventure
the virgin river
the road north

steal the world
the end of the world
el dorado
the valley of the kings 2
the valley of the kings 1
one hell of a mile 2
one hell of a mile 1
the mountain climbers rr4
heroes rr3
rainy roadtrip 2
rainy roadtrip 1
the transgression
sinister 2
sinister 1
new chapter

like sedona?
torn in two
bridge to nowhere
the door
hitting the wall
elusive 2
elusive 1
pick up lines

revisited 2
revisited 1
which way?
lost mines
in their footsteps
a dance with death

casting the bones
mountain thief
the deer hunter
strange temple
burial pt. 3
burial pt. 2
burial pt. 1
the apparition
return to hell
the lower depths
underground lake
stretch sewer
the hidden lab
shadow movements
meager rations
sw8: the conclusion
sw7: lost gold mines
sw6: the big tubes
sw5: gold!
sw4: el calderon
sw3: redondo
sw2: ghosts
sw1: westward bound
formaldehyde dreams
the underdark
in the beginning