Thursday, July 30, 2009

The drive, the setback, the path, the rain. Or where fools rush in.

Yesterday after recreating the last post of our walk to Kansas (which had been lost to the either) net I was ready to go on to the next part of the journey, to walk to the summit of Pike's peak. To do this we had to get there. More miles than we had walked in two months, and we drove it in a day! We drove into the night and as Nice (the dog) slept in the drivers seat of the van I bundled up tightly next to the half deflated World I had crammed in the back. It was a cool sleep and the time change helped little when I arose to a fog filled morning there at the scenic pull off over looking NORAD and the drone of express traffic.
I changed into some heavier pants and walked Nice along the barbed wire fence with the military warning signs before we drove the last mile to Colorado Springs. The springs had hail storms which damaged cars the day before and the ground was soaked from all the rain as we stopped at The Garden of the Gods Park. There I worked the World out of the van and took some Face book pictures with the pretty scenery before going to the entrance of Pikes peak with the inflated World then strapped to the rear of the van. It was there at the gate my plans to walk the road to the summit were dashed by the ranger who told me I could not walk the road because I would impede traffic. I could rent the road for a small fee of forty thousand dollars. I am a few pennies short...
My only option is now to roll up the walking trail on the other side of the mountain which has a shop and lodging at its half way point should I need it. There is the long route which can be walked in nine hours or the "incline", a steeper way that shaves some distance but is too steep and has giant steps at one point. I arrived there at noon which would be two o'clock my time. (My phone has never changed time zones so I am still living EST) and when I hastily made ready and was about to begin the climb thunder and rain came from the mountain which I still could not see for the fog. I strapped the World to the van and waited watching hikers with little more than water bags coming and returning soaked from rain above the fog line on the mountain. I asked a young man if he thought I could make the climb if I left then or should wait till morning. He said "yes". Then I added I was going to take the World along, his answer hedged. I said to myself "heads I will go today, tails I will wait till Friday morning." I reached in my pocket for a penny which slipped past my newly lost finger tip and fell to the ground, tails.
(For an explanation of the finger tip scroll down and find my postings for May 13th) I there decided to start fresh,washed,and rested in the morning. I drove down to a motel and got a room. The third time this trip I have done so. As I walked from the office of the Motel with key in hand a short ray of sunshine broke the grey cloud cover. As I have been writing this the thunder and rain have come and gone again. And I can see an outline of the mountain here and there. Still a fresh start seems wise. Fully charged batteries on the phone and another day of rest will help also. The drive here to Colorado was almost more taxing than walking against the wind all day.
I will start in the morning up the narrow path to the summit with the World and the dog on a string. From watching the hikers I may be the only dog owner with my dog on leash even though the rules state otherwise.
Have a nice day and get some exercise.
P.s.I may not post till I am back down the mountain.

3 comments:

Kat said...

I'm so anxious to hear about your journey up the slope. I have been thinking about you and wishing you safe travel. You are, indeed, an amazing man. I really hope to meet you again...

keith said...

I sold you my sleeping bag! it was great meeting you and wish you luck in the future

jeffowsley said...

I just got off Pikes Peak (3:30 MST Sunday) and my guess is World Guy made it up to the summit a couple of hours ago. There were many runners on the upper part of the peak training for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon which will happen in two weeks. We went up and down past him several times and helped get the world through some tight spaces. Some high school kids helped him for quite a while. It was tough and my thought was always, "I sure hope no one lets go of the teather tied to the world or it would go tumbeling thousands of feet down." Very inspiring, thanks for all you are doing!