Holiday Mountain Misadventures
by Marijo Phelps 3/16/2009 / Marriage
Mick and Marijo's Memorial Day Mountain Mishap..subtitle Do the Angels Get Paid Overtime for Working Mountain Duty on a Holiday?
We were off for a much needed hike. Four-bying in the 39 Mile Mountain area pretty far from any civilization. The mountains were awesome some still snow covered. Some covered with freeze dried tundra spring and the greening up is late this year. We parked and Mick pointed to a straight up area topped by several rock formations. I looked at him with raised eyebrows (he is the mountain goat I keep up on regular hikes and climbs but he usually does the straight up ones by himself) He said "it will be a short hike but we will get some good cardio exercise" Then he mentioned that right then we were at about 10,000 feet elevation. You know what they say about hindsight.
We went and went higher and higher on the frozen tundra looking grass covered with rocks pointy, some shaley and anywhere from 2inch ones to huge although mostly only 5 to 6 inchers. Most of the time we were going straight up. Hiking sticks helped a bunch. Mick was telling me that pretty soon it would level out and "can you make it to that tree which is laying down?" I think the tree was standing up it was about the terrain we were on.
Somewhere in there, with the wind blowing so hard that the foot to two foot high wheat colored grasses were laying almost flat out against the soil, I told him I would wait and he could take the pistol and go on. He wanted to show me a cave he had discovered before. I was dizzy and not sure what was going on, guessing it was the now probably over 11,000 foot altitude. I was hungry or sick and, frankly, griping which was unusual. He said "oh, come on, you can do it" About that time I told him he'd missed his calling and would have made a really good motivator or else a used car salesman.
We finally got to the cave. I went past it to sit on a hillside OK,it was a little rock and straight down was about 30 feet of the 5 to 6 inchers, a solid rock pile. The surrounding area was gorgeous with some treed; aspens just starting to bud out, evergreens,then grassy places. There were no homes or cars or dogs or people, just blue skies and puffy white clouds all around us.
The wind got colder, quite a bite to it and pretty soon I decided to go down to where Mick was enthralled with the guano, bat or pack rat? It was smearing the inside to the rock shelter. I stumbled getting up and my walking stick caught me before I pitched over head first into the rock pile.
Shortly after that we began to pick our way down the mountain side. Mick was staying close in front of me for my safety. The wind was so bad that the dust and dried grass he kicked up was going into my eyes in spite of the prescription sun glasses. I asked him to go ahead and said I'd follow farther behind.
We could see the truck at the bottom and it was the tiniest little Tacoma I had ever seen. I was still a bit dizzy. Next thing I knew my foot hit a rock and I slipped, cried out, landed on both knees with glasses flying one way and the walking stick another. Then I began to roll. I rolled over twice and was thinking if I didn't stop it would be all over. I would roll down the mountain/rocks etc. Mick was running back to me and got there just when I stopped.
"Are you hurt, are you ok, can you move?" I was crying and not sure what I was or wasn't at that point. I moved my legs. my knees were very sore but I could move. My elbow hurt and my hand was bleeding, but basically ok.
Then Mick began the guy thing "I can never take you hiking again. You need to make sure one foot is solid before you move the other. You need to watch where you put your foot. I can't carry you down this mountain.. Can you walk?"
We made it back to the truck, it took a long time too, and then we left. He saw another four-by road and we went down it. Pretty soon Mick was saying "are you done hiking for the day"
At that point he found himself wearing my hiking stick neatly wrapped around his neck.
I was asking the Lord if the angels got hazardous duty pay or at least overtime for mountain duty on Memorial Day. AND I was thanking and thanking Him that the glasses weren't broken and neither was I.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits
Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news