I'm at the tricky part.
Attach the rope to the spike, pull hard, check that it's firmly implanted.
I run through my checklist, everything's good, until I notice another spike. It's attached to a small and slimy rope that drops 50 yards straight to the beach.
Now this is a problem. This mini-canyon is spring fed, always wet. This rope could slip out of someone's hands, feet could lose their footing. Nothing good can come from this.
I do the right thing. I coil up this foolishly weak rope and secure it in my backpack. But that's just me, always looking out for the other guy.
After my expert descent to the beach, I sit on my favorite rock, surveying the ocean and majestically posed much like Auguste Rodin's Thinker.
Peace and tranquility.
For fifteen minutes.
Then awkward movements and garish colors, 150 yards north.
I make out a T-shirted, pot-bellied geezer followed by what I suppose to be his pinkly clad wife. Both are carrying ice chests and umbrellas. Their route down is perilous.
Beyond earshot in the pounding surf and no place that punching 911 would produce a response, I resign myself to witness tragedy.
Yet they disappear, reroute to appear again half way down the next ravine. Whatever.
I expect their departure shortly. They can't make it further down without a rope and, lacking a kayak, tidal forces will slap them silly if they try to get any closer to me.
So I do my best to ignore them but notice the husband laboriously assembling a fishing rod. And I wish him first timer's luck in an area decimated by otters, seals and sea lions.
The wife beside him cradles binoculars that never veer from my direction. Clearly, she needs a hobby.
After a while I stand up from my rock throne and begin the business of collecting rocks. Every time I bend down to claim one, I turn my posterior in her direction.
"Hey, honey, you like these sweet buns?"
After a few passes along the beach, I decide collecting is over the day.
So I get out my my Jack Reacher novel, stretch out full length on the warm sand and begin to read.
"Yo, sweetie, betch ya don't need a zoom for this piece of kelp!"
Out of the corner of my eye, Wifey is still watches me thru the 'nochs. That's okay, always wanted to be in the entertainment business.
Pages turn, Jack Reacher predictably kicks ass, and time passes until I sense imminent sunburn.
Time to get up, pack up, and climb up.
And maybe now would be good time to address those snarky rumors about me collecting rocks in the nude.
Why would anyone do such a thing?
What could be more absurd than believing that more and better rocks will be collected if you prance around in the buff?
How ridiculous is that!
So watch my keystrokes: I h-a-v-e n-e-v-e-r collected rocks in the nude.
I always wear shoes, sometimes even socks.