Searcy Arkansas is a small town. Because it’s a University town, there are a few little nooks, rich with atmosphere like the Midnight Oil, a coffee shop with a large porch for outdoor seating. The weather was warm but the breeze was perfectly cool. This kind of setting could have sustained hours of poetry-writing and cartoon-scribbling, were I still in my college days. It was just as lovely for chatting with Drew’s friends and family now. The people are as warm and pleasant as the weather.
Without such people and places, however, there is not very much to see in Searcy Arkansas. I suspected as much, before arriving, so when Drew’s friend Jeremy started talking about his favorite cure for the small-town life, we jumped on the chance to join him. Jeremy has plunged fully into the world of rock-climbing. He spends every day he can driving to a wildlife reserve in Johnstown, where he took us to introduce his passion.
A short hike into the woods lead us down into a valley walled with pocketed cliffs. The surface was rough with notches and ridges that look like finger-holds to a person with an eye for such things; bound for the top. I’ve always wanted to go rock-climbing so my nerves were calmed by an odd feeling of inevitability as I pulled a borrowed harness on and tied myself to a rope that hung above me. Climbing is a beautiful sport. Hugging the rock surface close and running my fingers over it like a calculation turned the cliff ahead into a puzzle of sorts. Without the sense of moving upward in any significant distance, it surprised me to hear my own breathing become heavy as I pulled myself up. Finally at the top, I looked around to see Jeremy and Drew below me before repelling back down to them: almost a sport of its own!
I can’t add much more, since my experience was short and my progress was meager, but I hope to try the sport again.
Jeremy on the other hand has much more to share, I’m sure. Follow this link to read more about his story, and his passion for rock-climbing. http://www.prana.com/blog/2011/04/02/from-cripple-to-climber/