Nate’s Man Trip – Sequoia National Park
Ok, so in the summary (About the Trip) I mentioned that the moment we arrived at the “Infamous Cliffs” inside Sequoia, Nate turned us into instant celebrities. Well… a mantra that often gets repeated on these trips (this trip probably more than the other two, lol) is that what happens on a Man Trip stays with the Man Trip. Put a different way, “The first rule of Man Trip is that we do not talk about Man Trip.”
And this story is why…
Nate is a Florida boy, born and raised. We do not have hills in Florida, let alone mountains or cliffs. So one the hike down the ravine to the swimming hole, I had to keep reminding Nate to slow down, you can’t run on a trail this steep!
Anyhow, when we finally made it to the cliffs I slowed down, drinking in the scenery. Steve lead on, now climbing upward with Nate right behind and me about twenty feet back. They came out on the first cliff, which was a huge, sloping bolder. It sloped at a steep enough grade that Steve crossed at the top to keep from sliding over.
But Nate was super excited and wanted to see down, so he went running toward the middle. And then tried to stop. But the slope was sandy, causing Nate’s shoes to lose traction.
As I came up, I heard some woman gasp. “OH MY GOD!”
Nate was sliding toward the edge of the cliff, completely out of control. People were screaming (might have been me).
At the very last moment, Steve yells: “JUMP, NATE, JUMP!”
And he did. In the final instant before going over, Nate kicked out for the water–barely clearing the boulders below!
Hands down, this was the scariest thing I ever witnessed. Ever. Gave me nightmares for years, no joke.
Anyway, about 40 people had witness Nate’s death defying stunt. Everywhere we went, people were like, “Hey, that’s him! That’s the kid I was telling you about!” Teenage girls were fawning all over him, dudes patting him on the back, calling him a little badass. Pretty funny.
Lesson learned, Nate was thereafter very careful about picking his footing on cliffside trails. Though he was cautious, he was not fearful. Nate had a blast cliff jumping, often cutting in front of adults who were taking too long as they worked up their nerve. 🙂