Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 13, 2010

BTR, Part 2: The disconcerting details

Shafer Point, Canyonlands -- this is the type of terrain on which the training will take place

Boss Nancy handed me the print copy of the congratulatory email and I tucked it away for later study. I floated around all day grinning at this unexpected turn of events.

And then, after work, I read the fine print. Five pages of it.

1. After describing the clothing we’ll need, and admonishing us to be prepared with our personal  gear to be self-sufficient for any weather (from spring snowstorms to 80’s), it says in bold: “For some reason not everyone understands this last statement, and it is painful to watch them suffer when the weather turns sour.” Gulp. I’ll need more weather gear. Lots.

2. Equipment List. Twenty items. Half of them I have; half of them (being a new climber) I don’t yet own. I will beg or borrow what I can. Thrift shop may help with some of them, like rain gear and cold weather parka.

3. “CRITICAL PRE-STUDY NOTE: All participants  will be required to demonstrate competency in the knots and ties specified below at the beginning of class. If you are unable to demonstrate them, you will be held back in the course (until proficiency is attained, no matter how long it takes) and your supervisor will be notified of this deficiency.” Big gulp. The only knot I know is for tying scarves. There are eleven on this list. Spatial relations and I don’t get along, so diagrams of knots are very tough for me.


I’m not grinning any more. My stomach is in a knot, and I don’t know if it is a Double Fisherman’s or a Figure Eight On A Bight. I’m wondering what the heck I’ve gotten myself into, and whether I should proceed with this or abandon ship.

To Be Continued…


  1. Love your blogs.I think you should go for it.You’ll be just fine.

    Comment by Tom — March 13, 2010 @ 9:33 am | Reply

    • Thank you. As you will see in the upcoming installment, my heart is prepared to take this leap; I appreciate the encouragement!

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 13, 2010 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  2. And now comes the scary part. Decision time….. and execution time. We’ll be watching this unfold. It will help if you can determine WHY you were chosen.
    Love, Mom

    Comment by Kathryn — March 13, 2010 @ 10:35 am | Reply

    • I emphasized my nursing degree in the application; that may have tipped the scales. Honestly, I’ll never know.

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 13, 2010 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

  3. Remember the words of the song…”Thine eyes diffused a quickening ray. I woke; the dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off; my heart was free. I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.” He has rescued you…are you to rescue others? Could be a multifaceted adventure. Will pray you will have a sense of following the Lord if this is what He has put before you to do. Blessings!

    Comment by Chichi — March 13, 2010 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  4. K,
    Once again, may I please see the copy of your Life Contract – and specifically the clause that states unequivocally that your life is to be free of substantiative challenges?
    What’s that? You can’t find the contract?
    But you distinctly recall that clause?
    My advice? Continue to search for the contract (and that clause) if you wish, but whilst doing so, find some way (someone?) to get a crash course on basic knots.
    They really can be quite fun to learn. Make a game of it.
    p.s. If you think you are living on learning curves, then you are living life fully.

    Comment by leroque — March 14, 2010 @ 10:44 am | Reply

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