I recently downloaded the book ” A Walk in the Park” by Jonathan Chadwick. It’s about “an average couple” from England who climbed Kili. It was a pretty entertaining book and I learned quite a bit about the trek as well as lots of British slang. I also confess that it scared the bejesus out of me! All the discussion of poo splattered bathrooms perched on rocky cliffs made me write “haz-mat suit” on my list of things to pack. Yikes! Also, I’m not quite sure how I feel about the woman projectile vomiting her way up to the summit. Should I feel nervous that I, too, might hurl my innards out in my quest for glory? Should I feel bolstered by the fact that, despite her profuse vomiting along the trail, the guides pushed her up to Uhuru and she reached her goal in the midst of agonizing wretching? Yeaaaaaaaaaahhhhh….I dunno. I will say that she did remind me of myself. She was tenacious and absolutely refused to give up. I say this, not in a bragging sort of way, but as a true confession of my personality. My dogged determination can be an asset but other times, it can become down right dangerous and life threatening. I hate to admit defeat, give up, or raise the white flag. Had I been a soldier, I’d have died before becoming a POW. Once I fix my eyes on something, I REFUSE to throw in the towel. While reading this story, I will say that, though I admired “Jen’s” determination, I was quite worried she was going to die of HAPE. It concerns me a bit that I might also push myself to the point of physical exhaustion and sickness JUST to accomplish my goal of summiting? Is that really determination or just stupid stubbornness? I can’t say…
I do know one thing though: British peeps are hilarious! Nothing is as wonderful as British sense of humor and this book had some good examples. I love dry wit and they’re masters when it comes to it. I’m truly hoping that I meet some Limey’s on my journey. I’d love to climb to the top with a few. I’m of the belief that one can never have enough British friends; although, if I am perfectly honest, I really only have one. Even the one I have isn’t a “real” friend. His name is Martin and he is a Facebook friend. I’m not even sure how I got him, really. One day we just realized we were on one another’s FB list but couldn’t figure out how. The common link is music: We both love the same bands so my theory is that the New Wave gods somehow put us together. Anyway, the point is, I’d love to have some British friends that I’ve actually met in person. Conversely, my nightmare is getting linked up with a group of French people or worse yet, French Canadians. Not sure I can handle 8 days of contemptuous, chain smoking, jack wagons who have a collective disdain for deodorant. I’d rather die of altitude sickness. ;
In other news, my gaiters came in the mail! They seem nice. I’ve yet to try them on to see if they fit. I will say that, after going to REI and seeing a pair of Gore-tex gaiters, I’m a little disappointed I opted for a cheaper version. That’s just the gear geek in me though. The truth is, aside from Dolly Sods (where the boggy terrain is perfect for gaiters), I probably won’t use them much after I return from Kili. I bought Outdoor Research Verglas, which were highly rated, and I am confident they will be all that I need (and then some). I’m hoping we get snow soon and I can try them out! I will keep everyone (haha..I said “everyone” as if ANYONE is ACTUALLY reading this) posted on them. The one person who IS reading this is undoubtedly perched on the edge of their seat to hear my gear updates!
My Dragon’s Tooth climb for this weekend is cancelled. Ross has other plans. I’ll find something else to do. I’m pondering Tinker Mountain on Saturday. It’s a good leg stretcher but the problem with the woods right now are the hunters! I don’t worry about myself but I do worry some stupid redneck will mistake my pup for a deer and shoot. I’d hate to miss my climb because I’m in prison for avenging my doggie!