Tales of an Incompetent Adventurer
Amy’s Hair
by Ram

• Flashback •

On my recent 16-day Zion trip, we were blessed with fine weather, great friends both new and old, wonderful adventure, and fun, day after day.

On day 3, we did have a mishap. We were a group of 10 doing Pine Creek. There were 5 adults (loosely) and 5 children, ages 12,11,11,9, and 7, from 3 families. The 7-year-old, my daughter Amy, was doing the last free rap of 100 feet. When you weigh 60 lbs., you actually need to feed the rope through to make progress, and progress she was making in a cool and collected fashion, which gave me great pride. About 30 feet from the bottom she cried out that her hair was stuck and started to scream.

In a calm, that belied my real state, I called up and asked her to calm down and be quiet so we could solve the problem for her. To her credit, she complied immediately, and I could hear her hum softly, which has been her preferred method of self–control for years. We had a second rope, by which an adult from above could have descended, but by shear luck she was at the exact height where I, with parental adrenaline pumping, could climb the spring and the rib above and, with help from below, guide her over to me, cut the hair, and allow her to continue down. The hair was in the device, and the device was right against her scalp. Delicate work.

• Epilogue •

The thread, a couple of months ago, about hair getting stuck had not been missed. Yet we still found trouble. Amy had been wearing a baseball cap all day and had the hair going through the hole in the back. She had taken her hat off on top of the rap and no one had caught it. OOPS! Tying into a bun became the religious practice for the rest of the trip. Special thanx to Roy Serati, who was sharing fireman duty with me, for being calm, when I was dazed, and handing the knife into my shaking hand. Also, thanx to Mike Hickey, who was prepared to descent and solve the problem. Finally, kudos to Mom, Saint Judy, for being so collected, when busting, was probably the first instinct.

Mom and I did get to listen to Amy talk in her sleep the next two nights, with the sound of anxiety in her voice as she worked out her trauma. We would wake her and ask her what she was dreaming about. She would tell some tale about school, but Mom and Dad would imagine other issues working themselves out. Amy wears the cut hair, all 4 inches of it, as a bracelet when the mood suits her and appears no worse for the wear. She did Mystery, in style, 2 days later and gave her slide show to the 1st Grade with flare.

Lucky are we.


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