King Solomon Falls

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I never get tired of waterfalls. Each one I encounter is a different shape, with unique swirls, tumbles, and mists of its own. They all have their own lovely song and dance.

This one in North Routt County, Colorado is named after the famous King Solomon, best known for his great wisdom during his reign over Israel. I think this is fitting for a waterfall, since wisdom is enhanced through reflection, and waterfalls always make me reflect on life.

One of my reflections on this one is: what was it like to stumble upon this for the first time, back in the late 1800s or early 1900s? King Solomon Falls was probably discovered by a miner, since they were the first to homestead the area. What an unexpected beauty!

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Alright, I will stop rambling now. This was a fun rig. The stunning Natalie Keller drove up from Colorado Springs to join us on this adventure, and I was impressed not only at her lovely dancing, but also her positive adventure-seeking attitude as we took her through the woods, down and up short steep slopes, and across a river! The hike is only a mile or so, but it’s a pretty intense mile. I have to admit, I didn’t really prepare her for what it was going to be like tagging along, but she was up for it!

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Natalie also brought her fabulous dog, Oliver – “Ollie” for short – and lovely gypsy mermaid costumes for us to wear! This was a fun addition, since I usually just throw on some leggings.

This rig was slightly different from most of our rigs. It was a highline-based rig like usual, but the anchors were on rocks instead of trees for this one. We wrapped our superthread webbing around nobs we found in the granite surrounding the falls, then backed those anchors up by placing camelots and nuts (traditional rock climbing gear) in cracks in the nearby rock. We used both of our 200 foot canyon ropes to span the distance between the rocks with our rule of “two is one, one is none.” This photo shows the highline and pulley.

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In order to make the aerial silks and hammock slide out over the water from the side, we set up a pulley system with a secondary set of ropes. To make all of this happen took four ropes, five anchors, twenty stainless steel quicklinks, three camelots, two nuts, two pulleys, two belay devices (one traditional, one Gri-Gri), three prussiks, and a rigging plate. That’s a basic count, anyways!

I think one of the greatest challenges of this rig, besides the distance involved, was getting myself and Natalie positioned close to over the falls. We had to debate about which anchors would give us the closest line, and then we (mostly Devon) had to pull whoever was in the fabric out there. The aerialist isn’t the only one that gets a workout when we rig!

As always, the effort is 200% worth it though! I hope you enjoy the photos from this shoot! Please take a look at Devon’s blogNatalie’s Instagram, and Ollie’s Instagram as well!

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