XII: Daylight

Copyright (c) 1997 by Ronald Bourret

I wanted to stop after every few steps, but Ben's energy shamed me forward. The canyon, a magic hallway on our trip in, was now just another obstacle to getting out. I was also worried about the Bitch Pitch -- all that water on the last climb had to come from somewhere -- but Paul was right: the rope hung well away from the water and, except for being ten more feet to climb, the pitch presented no real problems.

We turned up the final passage and Ben waited patiently as I struggled up a short climb. From its top, a short section of streamway led to the exit tunnel. I turned and trudged up the breakdown, only half-comprehending that we were out. Ahead, framed by the exit of the cave, was a dead-blue sky. I emerged, blinking, into the bright sunshine and looked at Bill and Paul, already sunning themselves on the rocks.

"I think I'll take up knitting," I said.