Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Flatlander's view on the Massivest of Mountains

This weekend Erin, Henry and I went to CO to have a weekend with Erin's parents and his brother's family. In addition to spending nice QT together, we also had planned to hike a CO 14'Er. For those who don't know about Colorado's mountains, there are about 54 mountains that at or over 14,000 ft. Hence the name 14er. Well, Erin's dad is quite the aficionado on the 14'Er's. I can't remember what his count is but I think it is over 20.

We started our "hike"on Mt. Massive at about 6:30AM and from what I heard, we had 13.6 miles to hike and had to be off the mountain by noon. To me, all of this seemed very insane but I was up for the challenge and vowed not to complain once. We started out at about 10,500 or so elevation so we had quite a bit to gain in those 13.6 miles. First 5 minutes of the hike I was extremely winded, heart beating out of my chest and sweating. I thought to myself, man...this is going to be a long trip...especially if I can't complain!!! After the first 30 minutes or so, the trail seemed manageable and I took many water breaks and breathers. We got past the tree line and it was so foggy up there that we could hardly see 10 feet in front of us. We all debated whether or not to keep going or turn around as the weather and the next 3 miles were unpredictable. I was the only one that voted "I could go either way, go ahead or turn around and go back"...the rest of them....not so much. They were all bound and determined about going to the top no matter what lie ahead. So I treked on...still no complaints here.
Now this next three miles I thought would be the end of me. It was very difficult and tiring. I would maybe take 15 steps and have to stop for a breather and a drink of water. Needless to say, I made it to where I wanted to make it....not to the summit but to those jagged rocks up there about 200 feet from the summit. Erin, Gary and Todd (Erin's Dad and brother) all made it to the summit while Andrew, Kory and I sat and watched them billygoat around all of the rocks. I enjoyed my peanut butter sandwich, pretzels, water and the quietness of the beautiful blue skies.
Never did I think that going down a mountain would be more difficult than going up it. I NEVER thought we would get down. Erin at this point was truly miserable. He was very limited in his conversation and didn't even correct me when I called this spider I saw an ARACHNOPHOBIA!
I mean, I was losing it! I had a good laugh and kept trucking on down. At one point I asked Erin on the miserable scale how he would rank this hike...he said a 9. Ouch. I wouldn't have gone that high! Maybe a 5 but no where close to 9. We finished the last mile saying, "seriously, where is the end of this? It has to be coming up soon" followed by a nasty nasty lightning, thunder, rain/hail storm. We all basically ran down the last mile in fear of being struck to the ground on this miserable miserable Mt. Massive.

In all, I would say that on a scale of proudness for myself, I give myself a 10. I can't believe that I hiked 13 miles up a mountain. I have never even walked 13 miles in one day in the flat state of Nebraska. The one thing that really kept me going on the whole hike was thinking of my Grandma and how she would have loved to have walked 13 miles no matter how hard it was and thinking of my Dad too. This 13 mile hike is NOTHING compared to what he is facing. It is always easy to look at something in your life and think it impossible but when it's all said and done, there are so many more people out there that would LOVE to be in your shoes for even an instance.

The rest of the trip was fun too, I got to spend time with my nephew and niece, Andrew and Kennedy and they are always a blast to hang with. I like to play board games with them and goof off like they are so used to doing. Very cool kids with some very cool parents I must say.

1 tidbits of your thoughts:

The Brights said...

I am glad that someone still thinks we parents are cool!