Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The 29 Steps

There is a spectacular trail in Yellowstone that, through a series of 300+ stairs and switchbacks, takes you to the base of the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. It is called Uncle Tom’s Trail, named for an early entrepreneur in the park. In the early 1900’s, Uncle Tom took people down into the Canyon on a series of ropes and ladders---nothing fancy and hardly safe. Today, visitors climb stairs that are constructed of extruded steel, and follow the contour of the canyon walls. Still, it is not for the faint of heart, as the pitch is fairly steep. Going up is a heart attack waiting to happen. Luckily, there are several landings with well-used benches along the way.

When we started our renovation project at 14 Rue du Four, I counted the stairs I would be climbing to our work site on the deuxieme etage. They numbered 29. Roughly 10-1/2 trips up and down and I would hike Uncle Tom’s Trail, I tell myself. Not bad. I figure carrying all the provisions substitutes for the switchbacks. I don’t keep an actual log, but I know there are days that I climb Uncle Tom’s more than a couple times.

Up and/or down our 29 steps we have carried buckets of lime plaster, drywall, dalle sub-flooring, pine T&G flooring, doors, windows, trim boards, insulation, toilet/sink/vanity, shower door, bed frame and mattress, concrete, sand, tile, grout, couches, rugs, tables, lamps, laundry, paint, old beams, drywall mud, tools, tools, and more tools. Renovation is out with the old, in with the new.

Alfred Hitchcock had his 39 Steps. I only have 29, thankfully. Whew!


Harley said...

Perhaps you could create a waterfall from the top floor to the bottom to further replicate your Yellowstone experiences!

Jim Macdonald said...

Uncle Tom's Trail was recently damaged and has been closed indefinitely until it can be repaired. See http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/09038.htm .