We climbed a mountain.
We started off so innocent. "This will be fun!" we thought. "It doesn't look that bad".
We were wrong.
The different parts of that mountain can be divided into two groups. Steep, and less steep. The first part was steep. It was really steep. We got tired fast and Cory wanted to give up. But me and Kim wouldn't let him. We could still see these girls sitting on their tramp. We could not give up that easily. We kept going and eventually it got a little less steep. We continued past a barbed wire fence and up a ravine until we found a trail. I don't know where this trail starts, but it went farther up the mountain, and we were tired of being bushwhacked. So we followed it.
It led to a gorgeous look out area next to the rock formation Kim calls "The Gorilla". This is where Kim wanted to turn around. She was tired, and I later found out she had huge blisters. But now Cory wanted to keep going. And standing on the top of a mountain was on my list. So I wouldn't let myself stop.
We were hot and sticky and dirty and tired as heck. Our legs wanted to give out at this point. so we sat in the shade for a while. After a rest, we walked for a long time, and continued, even after the trail ended. We saw a para glider flying over our heads. They must have come from Timp. It was cool to see, and we all wished we were in their place. To fly instead of walk.
Then we stopped to rest in the shade... and Kim and Cory couldn't take it any more. For about the last 2 miles we kept telling ourselves that we were more than hallway, but the truth was that we were probably just barley half way, if even that. But I wouldn't give up. They said they would sit there and watch me. So I left my stuff (only taking a water bottle) and ran. I ran for a while. Even when the bushes turned to trees, I ran and dodged their branches. It was amazing.
Eventually the trees got to close together that I could no longer run, or even move much. So I fought through them and broke out into the beautiful gully. It wasn't filled with gross dry bushes and brush. It had lush trees and flowers and greenery. It was an amazing sight. It filled me with energy again, and a started to run up it. Then I heard them.
I called back and they asked where I was. It would have been hard to explain, even if I wasn't yelling and trying to enunciate each word. Finally I threw a stick in the air so they could locate me. When they saw it, they told me to stay put. I heard them traipsing through the trees loudly, and then I saw them. They came up the gully to where I was. I figured they had decided they didn't want to miss out on this great experience. I was wrong. They sat there and tried to convince me to come down..
I told them I couldn't. I was so close, and it had been my dream for a long time. They said they couldn't leave without me. I said I couldn't leave.
So they came with me.
I am a pretty stubborn person. But usually just for myself. I said I would do it, so I have to do it. I didn't care if they came. It wasn't their dream. I realize that, and told them they could go. I had my cell phone with me. But they refused. They would be too worried about me. Good friends.
The Gully got fuller of bushes as we went up, and when we finally pushed our way out, we entered a little Vally surrounded by cliffs and trees. The only way up was through a steep hill will of trees. At least we had branches to hold on to as we climbed.
Well after this trek, we were on top of this hill... that led to the final hill. This was it. The last stint.
The only problem was.. The last hill was steeper than anything we had climbed yet and was riddled with bushes. And not the fun leafy bushes. these were thick and sharp. And Cory and Kim gave up. They deiced that they could watch me from their hill. I said fine, and ran off agian.
As I ran, the hill started to get steeper and steeper. My calves started to kill, and I have really strong calves. And the bushes were tearing me apart! I have blood running down my legs, and my arms were taking a beating too. Even my eyes weren't safe!
I think back now and wonder what the heck I was thinking. This was torture! And for what! That's how stubborn I am. I'm an idiot.
I am climbing and climbing and crawling through pushes because there is no trail, and it just keeps getting thicker. And I am listening to my music and a song comes on, and I remember the words that stuck out to me. "He took a step but then felt tired, he said 'I'll rest a little while'." (I did take a rest right then. It seemed appropriate.) "..But when he tried to walk again he wasn't a child." Then It get to this part where it says "This is all there is." and I turned around and It felt like I could see the whole world. It really is so beautiful up there. And it makes you realize how small you are. And how big the world is.
Soon I reached a wall of impassable bushes. There was literally no way around them from where I was. I would have had to double back... Then I get a text that tells "Come down!! My mom just called and said there were bears on the news up there."
As much as news anchor bears scared me, I still felt it didn't justify me coming down. But I did. It was getting late and I didn't want to have to climb down in the dark. I replied "I hate this... I'm so close"
I was defeated. The mountain beat me... and now it looked as if it might kill me.
How was I going to get down? I was crawling up on my hands and knees. I couldn't do that on a downward slant... So I decided I had to just plow through the bushes.
It couldn't have hurt worse if I had thrown myself down the hill. I was being cut everywhere my skin was showing and my legs were shaking uncontrollably. I began to flop myself on top of the bushes and let my weight carry me down to the next bush. It worked ok. but I would never get down the whole mountain that way.
Then I saw another little ravine to my left. I dug my way out of the bushes and plopped into the grassy area. It was such a relief. But I still have quite a way to go... so a ran straight down. I ran down a mountain! Which is dangerous because I cliff could have jumped in front of me and I would have died. Just like that. Dead.
I could hear Kim and Cory yell ahead of me. Then the next minute, I heard them yelling behind me.
I ran the fastest mile anyone have ever run.
Well, we found each other and we didn't even rest, even though I was struggling to stand. In my head I was thinking "Get me off this damn mountain!" (I would never say that out loud.. but some Orton is rubbing off on me)
The rest of the trip our legs were on "auto pilot" as Cory put it.
The climb up? About 5 hours with roughly 6-7 breaks. The hike down? 1 hour. 1 break.
We stopped so Kim could change her shoes and drain her blisters.
When we reached the bottom, we used the last of our energy to run to the golf course grass and fall right on our faces. Cory was kissing the ground. passionately.
We laid there for a while, and it was one of the best moments of our lives. We were still hot and sticky, but we no longer had to walk. And right then, a gift from God. The sprinklers burst on.
I was the first to see them. Without explaining myself to the other, I stripped down to my bare necessities, and ran through the freezing water.
The others followed closely after. No persuasion needed.
That was our hike. And we are proud of it.
Why wouldn't we be? We traveled through hell and survived.