Several weekends back, we returned, yet again, to Monte Ne and brought my family along.
Hiccup and I headed down from Springfield that day to my mother's house, where she and my stepfather, brother, and uncle loaded up and followed us down to Monte Ne. My mom had seen Monte Ne on KY3 and decided she wanted to see it. She even claimed that she'd be willing to climb up the tower, but I knew beforehand that she was full of it.
When we arrived at Monte Ne, the first thing I noticed was that there were WAY more people than the other times we had visited. There were cars everywhere down by the amphitheater. It shouldn't have been surprising since it wasn't long after the Monte Ne story had aired, but it was.
We walked down to the amphitheater and checked it out. The water level had dropped about another two feet since the last time Hiccup and I had been there, so there was lots more exposed. I was pretty sure I could see one of the underground chambers in the amphitheater just under the surface.
After that, we drove over to the tower, which was also crawling with people. We walked down along the servants' quarters beneath Oklahoma Row and checked them out first, then headed up to the tower. As I expected, no one except my brother was willing to climb it. Since he's about as good of a climber as I am, we both just skipped hauling out my ladder and climbed right on up to the roof. While we were doing that, everyone else walked through the trees and down the shore to check out the rest of the old foundations.
Like other times, people saw us climbing the tower and decided they wanted to try it, too. Some of them gave up, but some of them made it to the second or third floors. No one besides my brother and I were dumb enough to climb to the roof, though.
Back on the ground, when my family got back, they decided they were ready to head out. I asked Hiccup if she minded if we stayed and I let some of those people attempting to climb the tower use my cable ladder to get the roof. She didn't mind, so I got the ladder out of the trunk while my family started driving home. I put the ladder in a backpack so I could get it up to the roof easier and started going.
Right away, I noticed something. Climbing the tower might've been easy normally, but it wasn't so easy carrying a heavy, stuffed backpack while doing it. Despite that, I got up to roof and hooked it up, and a couple people who had wanted to were able to get to the roof and join me.
While we were up there, someone on the third floor wanted to use it to bring their kids up from the second floor, so I lowered it down. Which meant I had to climb back down and bring it up again, so the people on the roof could get back down. Doing that last pullup to get up on the roof, while wearing the backpack, was even harder the second time around.
Eventually, when everyone who had wanted to see it had come up, we all headed back down. Some people used my ladder, while some simply climbed back down. But everyone got down there one way or another.
Down on the ground, I chatted for a bit with one of the guys who I'd helped up and made some caving plans. We exchanged contact information and I told him about the website. After he left, a couple who had overheard me talking about the site approached me wanting to know if my site had information about Monte Ne. I told them it had some, but it had some links to sites with more information than mine. They seemed pretty interested, so I gave them a sticker.
When we were done chatting with all our new friends, Hiccup and I headed back to the car and started driving back to Springfield.
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