Sunday, December 15, 2013

12/15/13 Report - Obstacles. Believing and Eldorado Canyon

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Eldorado Canyon State Park
Source: See Wikipedia link below.
Falling off into the mountain stream far below, a steep cliff descended just inches from the edge of the road to my right.  It was a road not meant for the faint of heart.  On the other side, a sheer rock cliff rose 850 feet into the sky.  Slowly negotiating the narrow winding road, I strained my neck looking up to see where the rocks met the sky.  As the first rays of the sun found their way into the narrow valley between the towering cliffs of the canyon, a few rock climbers hung near the base of the rock cliff like spiders on a wall.

Parking the car at the next turnoff , my wife and I got out to get a better look at this marvel of nature.  I wondered how anyone could climb a sheer rock wall to such dizzying heights.  And how could anyone put so much trust in mere ropes and pegs.

I wanted to visit the site where an old hotel used to stand and chose one of the marked hiking trails that would eventually get me there.  After going just a few yards on that trail I stopped dead in my tracks.  Coiled on top of a boulder on the side of the hiking trail was a coiled snake.  I didn't what what kind of a snake it was, but it looked to me like a rattlesnake.

The path was narrow and I didn't want to take a chance on an encounter with a rattlesnake, or possibly more.

I started to return to the car.  I really wanted to visit the hotel site, so I went back towards the boulder hoping the snake would be gone.  Unfortunately the snake was still there.

I studied it from a safe distance for a few moments.  Maybe it was some type of harmless snake.  But maybe it wasn't.  I couldn't really tell.

After finding a suitable stone, I threw it towards the snake.  The stone sailed high over the snake's head.  The snake didn't move.  I tried again.  The stone was a little closer this time, but still the snake didn't move.  One more time.  I hit the boulder right beside the snake, but there was still no movement.

I began to wonder what was going on with this snake.  Was it fearless or what?  How did it get up on that boulder anyhow?  Not only did I have a conflict - wanting to go on the trail but not wanting to approach the snake - but now there was something of a mystery to it.

As I thought about what I was going to do, across the valley I noticed two of the rock climbers were a little higher up the face of the cliff now.  They were moving slowly and methodically, carefully calculating each and every move.  It was all done with painstaking precision.  Still I hadn't made any progress.

My brief meditation on rock climbing was suddenly interrupted by movement on the trail ahead.  A lady came down the path from the other direction, quickly rounded the bend and passed the boulder and the snake without even breaking stride.  I thought she might not have seen the snake.  When she got closer, I asked her what kind of snake it was.  Her answer was surprising.  She told me, "It's a sculpture."

I could only laugh.  I now realized that it was a stone snake that stopped me.  I was correct that it looked like a rattlesnake, but it was a rattlesnake made of stone.

On the other side of the boulder was a sign explaining that rattlesnakes were sometimes seen on the path.  The statue was part of a warning.  It did its job too well.

This is a true story that I've told before.  It is a true story and makes a handy illustration that can be used for a variety of lessons.

One lesson is that your beliefs can be a big obstacle - as much as any other type of real obstacle.  Your beliefs can limit your success.

If you don't believe anything will be found, it is unlikely that you'll find much.

It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you don't think anything will be found, you'll likely give up quickly, if you try at all.

We all know the Mel Fisher saying, "Today is the day."  That kept him going until it was indeed the day.

If you are not optimistic - if you don't believe in the possibility of success, you probably won't find it.

I've heard it said that a person who never changed their mind never learned anything.

There are things that I've believed that were simply wrong.  That is true for anybody.

I once believed that beach cobs were not washed up onto the beach.  I believed that they were simply uncovered from time to time.  I believed that for quite a while.  Even after I had found a number.  But I don't believe that anymore.  It doesn't explain some things I've observed.  Now I believe that sometimes they are uncovered, but sometimes they are washed up.

I've seen cobs laying on top of the flat dry sand as high as that part of the beach has ever been.  And not just once or twice.  There is no way I can explain cobs being in such a place and believe that they were just uncovered.

I've seen cobs where there was no sand before the sand refilled the area.  They had to be washed up with the fill sand.  Although I can think of a few other possible explanations, such as someone going around throwing three hundred year-old cobs on the beach, that doesn't seem very likely.

Some people discard data that does not conform to their beliefs instead of changing their beliefs to conform to the data.  Actually that is probably true of all of us at different times.   Sometimes we discard good data because it doesn't fit what we believe or want to believe even when we would be better off changing our beliefs to take into account the new data.

Most incorrect beliefs aren't as dangerous as rattlesnakes, but they can be bigger obstacles because you continue to live with them until you finally decide you have to change your mind.

A 250 year-old cannon emerges from the sand.  Here is the link for that story and the source of the photo.

I got way off-beach today, but I wanted to put a few ideas out there.   Eldorado Canyon is a world-class cliff climbing destination with amazing scenery and some nice history to explore.  I recommend visiting it if you are ever in the Boulder area.

Here is more about it.

On the Treasure Coast conditions beach detecting conditions remain poor.  There will be nothing more than about a two-foot surf for a few days and then nothing more than a four-foot surf for a few days after that.  That means continuing poor conditions will remain for a while.

Happy hunting,