By: Marc Kelly
As the sun rose on this misty spring morning
over the Brandywine River, we knew that the ambitious quest before us would be a strenuous one- pushing our passions and fears to their limits. Being just within a day’s ride, our fellowship of nine cliff jumpers made haste for Mordor Quarry.
After an arduous journey, we reached the Gates Of Slatington, marked by a small stream and a covered bridge archway. One-by-one, we proceeded through the archway, followed the North-South path, and then broke off into Milkwood Forest to the West.
With no foot-paths, we pushed through the thick branches and leaves as the enormous trees surrounding us swayed above ever so slightly. Letting each other know they had company, the massive hardwoods creaked and groaned as they drifted this way and that. The heat from the day had disappeared as the sun had moved west, and the immense canopy beyond created a vexing eeriness moving forward.
Midway through Milkwood,
we waded through The Great Creek, and as we exited the water, we were greeted by dense thorn bushes. The Stabbing Thorns wrapped around our legs tearing our flesh as they attempted to turn us back. We used our walking staffs to escape the grasp of the Thorns and made our way to the base of our next conquest.
The grey, Lonely Slate Mountain stood before us as thunder boomed in the distance. A storm was fast approaching. The now open sky grew dark. We slowly ascended as the rocks and earth quivered under our feet. With each step and each thunderclap, the thin rock trembled and moved. The slate continuously avalanched as it slid from our weight, making for a treacherous climb to The High Pass- The peak of Lonely Slate Mountain. With avail, the threatening storm broke West as a piercing light from the late day sun guided the clouds and rains from our path. Now at the peak, we could see a vast section of Middle-Pennsylvania.
Together, we trekked over the peak and down the opposite side of the mountain-
apprehensively entering the Enchanted Quarry Forest. Deep chasms in the earth appeared on our left and right. The holes were partially filled with dark-blue, unnervingly deep water where unknown creatures lurked waiting for their next prey. I had an overwhelming feeling of being watched. Our footsteps became more rapid as we traveled through this region. I believe we all sensed a wraithful presence or watchful Eye. Scurrying quickly through, we emerged at the Rivendell Quarry. A truly magical sight for the soar eyes of any adventurer, but we only had a short time to refresh in the waters.
The sun provided her last rays as we leapt into the green-blue bottomless waters from the surrounding cliffsides and swung from the trees, breaking the still reflections on the water’s surface. This small victory was just a step in our journey, and we knew it was time to move on. Our fellowship of cliff jumpers picked up their tripods and packs and headed back into the Enchanted Quarry Forest to find Mordor Quarry.
With the sun setting, the sky turned a pale-grey. There was only a short time left to complete our quest. Thus, we moved quickly. Running through the forest, the nine of us hustled swiftly and silently like animals on the hunt. Within two minutes, we had traveled some distance and found ourselves standing atop of the great Mordor Quarry. We now stood Sixty-Five feet above the water on top of a spine-chilling leap called, The Precious. The slate walls were as sharp as razors and lined the entirety of the body of water. The reality of facing our fears set in quickly.
The fellowship glared at each other.
Who would be the one to step-up and sacrifice themselves to this dooming leap? Who would carry the weight?
A short, young man stepped forward and said, “I will send it.”
There was much confusion. The group began discussing this unexpected surprise. Another explorer stepped forward and said, “You’re not hucking this alone. I will back you up.”
“I will depth check and spot. We are in this together!” another exclaimed as he slammed his Kingii down on the log between them. “This is the ultimate weapon in water safety!”
With much excitement, the fellowship took their places and proceeded to huck The Precious until there was no light remaining in the day. It stands to be a truly epic journey.