This post is a long time coming… I checked climbing to the top of the clocktower off 161 Things at the end of September. (And conveniently went on a blogging hiatus in the beginning of October. Coincidence?)
A few of my teammates and I had just got done with class and had a little bit of free time before any of us had anything else to do. We were walking across the Arts Quad toward the clocktower, none of us had climbed it yet, so we figured what the hell. Backpacks and all, we marched to the top.
I will say that the one mistake we did make was climbing to the top in the middle of a chimes concert. Having I Can Go the Distance from Disney’s Hercules blaring in my ears wasn’t necessarily the most pleasant thing. But let me tell you, the view was magnificent.
Despite the unseasonably hot weather we were having in Ithaca at the time and the sweat that was dripping down my back by the time we reached the top, the view was worth it. Definitely all it was cracked up to be. …it also helped that it was an absolutely gorges (Ha! Punny!) day in Ithaca.
I stood there in awe, looking at Cornell from a fresh new perspective. It was breathtaking–the bright blue of the sky contrasted with the blue of Cayuga Lake, the green of campus, all of the students… amazing. I’ll let you be the judge.
Looking at Sage Hall
I will definitely be visiting again before graduation this May.
I’ve been on a roll, haven’t I? I have checked off another item on the 161 list! This one involved going to one of Ithaca’s many, many beautiful gorges and yes, jumping.
Now, it’s not what you think. It’s not like I was jumping 150 feet from the top of the gorge to the bottom–the spot I jumped from was only about 25 feet high at the most. But lemme tell you, 25 feet is a lot higher than you think when you’re flying through the air hurtling to the bottom of a waterfall.
I tried to check this item off on July 4th, when it was super hot and a bunch of my friends in a fraternity were going. Unfortunately, they beat me and my roommate to the gorge and by the time we rolled up, there was a Cornell bike cop ready to send us back. Yes, swimming in the gorges is dangerous and yes, it is also illegal. They didn’t get caught and we were sent on our merry way home, but I was the most determined to do this.
On Saturday, the same boys wee were going to go with before wanted to go again. To another spot, a safer spot, one where we couldn’t get in trouble. It’s called Second Dam and holy shit was it fun.
We finally get down to the water and I see a family with a BABY swimming and frolicking around in the water and tons of other Ithaca townies so I conclude that this spot must be safe–because there are definitely spots on campus that are super dangerous and people have died. Also, this particular swimming hole is off campus so the Cornell police, who are always dicks, pose no threat to us.
Anyway, so we’re swimming around and sitting on a rock, when my friend decides that he wants to jump. He asks if anyone wants to go with him, but everyone declines so he goes alone. Watching him from that rock, I begin to regret not going with him. It might be a little dangerous, but a ton of other people did it so it must be pretty safe, right? Hell, one kid even did a backflip of the cliff!
I manage to climb up to the spot to jump and find myself staring down at swirling water and praying to God that I don’t slip. Somehow I muster up the courage and jumped! I was surprised–I thought for sure that I would be up there for 10 minutes contemplating if I really wanted to jump. But within only one minute, I was flying through the air to what could have possibly been my death. And man, was it fun! So much fun that I got out immediately and went again.
The second time I jumped, I was much more prepared. I managed to hold my bathing suit top down and hold my nose at the same time, because on jump numero uno, water rushed up my nose and got into places in my skull I didn’t know existed. I also landed better so that my bottoms didn’t go DIRECTLY UP MY ASS like they had the time before. That was not pleasant.
All in all, gorge jumping was a blast. My friends and I even went back today. Jumping definitely satisfied my need to thrillseek. I think I’ve found my new favorite summer spot!