Kelly and Grant and I headed out to the Park at Governor Dick yesterday to watch the Governor Dick Bouldering Competition. Governor Dick was a woodsman and charcoal burner in the area in the 1800s. He wasn’t actually a governor, but he was so popular that people called him that.
It was the first bouldering competition I’ve been to and it was much smaller than expected. It also wasn’t that convenient to spectate as there are nine different bouldering areas that you have to hike out to, and not much, if any, space to sit and watch. We wandered around watching people climb here and there. There were some little kids killing it, which was very cool to see. We hadn’t brought a crash pad with us since we only planned to watch, but some of the bouldering areas weren’t that crowded, so Kelly and Grant gave a few problems a try. I like safety too much to try to climb over a rocky landing area with no rope.
We also checked out the observation tower on the property. We climbed all the way to the top, steep ladder after steep ladder up to each new platform, until we made it to the 360 degree view at the top. I kept my backpack on for the way up and was very smushed against the ladders in the narrow shafts. On the way down, I realized that the lengths of smooth wood opposite the ladders were there to lean your back on, so I switched my backpack to the front and slid/climbed down much faster.
After watching the climbing for a few hours, we crossed the road to PA State Game Lands 145 to do a short hike. We followed the Horse Shoe Trail for a while and then cut off on an unnamed trail to get to Dinosaur Rock. It was very cool to see, but unfortunately covered in graffiti.
After about ten miles for the day, we drove back to Philly, picking up some food on the way to make camper pies in Kelly’s fireplace.
This morning, I met Val and Price in nearby Wissahickon for a short three mile hike. There are over fifty miles of trail in the park, and more often than not, you can’t see or hear houses and traffic. It’s a surprising but wonderful refuge in the middle of Philadelphia.