erika, the waterfall, and her s.o.g. flash 1:

s.o.g. knives were originally knives issued to the covert s-tudies and o-bservation g-roup during the vietnam war, designed to have no traceable country of origin. now the term s.o.g. refers to a company making some handy tools like the flash 1 pictured above that i bought my wife, erika. what i like about s.o.g. is the improvements they've made to their knives, like the "sog assisted technology" which snaps the spring-loaded blade quickly into place if opened just 10% from its closure. the reason i like that particular feature is because it means you can safely open the knife with only one hand - a smart feature for rappelling or climbing. 

really smart actually, as it recently saved my wife from a very uncanny situation last night.

me, donning my harness

it wasn't until about midnight that our shoes finally hit the trail headed up to battle creek falls. the moon was easily bright enough to pick our way up through the canyon sans headlamps and flashlights. everybody in the group was experienced with the rappel so we soon had a camera set up on a tripod and nate was quickly crawling over the rock ledge to rappel into the dark. i found the experience pretty darn existential - being suspended from a 50-foot rock precipice at night with only a slim lime green rope for support and a throaty waterfall for background noise. erika was last down, but took her time in the middle - at least i thought she was taking her time until i realized she was stuck.

a rough, blurry, and completely perfect picture from last night

full disclosure: i thought that if anything were to ever happen during a night rappel, i would have to personally climb the rope and bring erika down - she's a gutsy gal, but i didn't see her as the relentless type. until last night. 

when i finally got close enough, i saw her with a leather glove clenched between her teeth and a feral look in her eyes. she had the rope double wrapped to keep her suspended in place, and her one free hand was slashing at her precious long brown hair with the s.o.g. pocket knife. somewhere along the way down, her hair got caught in the figure eight and then proceded to feed into the gear making a pretty mean tangle. i retrieved the matted hair after she cut herself free and below are two pictures of my wife's handy work. our consensus was that the knife was a life saver and lucky for her, you can barely tell she lost any hair at all.

my wife, the mountain woman

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