Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

ON TOP OF THE W…

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

            I climbed to the top of my first 14er. That’s a mountain that is 14,000 feet high, and it’s quite a sport here in Colorado to scale more tall peaks than your friends. I haven’t read the official rules of climbing 14ers, and I’m pretty sure I cheated on my first attempt, but standing on top of the world made me understand why people would actually climb 14,000 feet for the view.

            Mt. Evans is a pretty popular cheating 14er, since you can drive almost to the top and only have to hike the last little bit. The drive up involves steep switchback curves along a narrow road with drop-offs that are always on the passenger’s side. The scenery was beautiful, going from tall pine trees and wooded forests to fields of rocks and greenery that made me think of what I think the Irish countryside would look like. The Good Doctor was a competent driver, and I had the luxury of staring out at the scenery as we climbed the steep road.

            Cars began to slow along the road as we approached the top of the mountain, and the reason for the traffic jam was soon apparent. A herd of mountain goats were milling about alongside the road, slowly wandering and checking out the tourists, as much as the tourists were checking them out. I’ve never seen a mountain goat in the wild, and was a little surprised at how white their coats seem. They seemed eager to please the onlookers, with adorable baby goats jumping playfully along the rocks, while the mama goats stood guard.

            We joined the long line of tourists completing their journey to the top, and a few minutes later I was standing, actually I was leaning and holding on for dear life, on top of a rock that marked the official top. The view was breathtaking, with mountains, trees and haze as far as I could see. One wrong step and any one of us could have gone tumbling down to our death, and I knew that certain tragedy awaited me.

            And then it happened. Perched precariously along the rock, I opened the package of Oreo tasty cakes the Good Doctor had packed along to replenish our blood sugar after the strenuous hike. They’re delightfully disgusting soft cakes of Oreo cookies and delicious cream, and I couldn’t wait to celebrate my accomplishment by eating one. Nearly drooling with anticipation, I pulled one of the cakes out, and promptly dropped it. I watched in horror as it rolled down the rock and toward the drop-off, thinking it was lost forever.

            Luckily it stopped rolling, and miraculously had rolled so quickly it really didn’t touch the dirt and the ten-second rule still applied. Chivalry ruled as the Good Doctor retrieved the cake, dusted it off and insisted I eat the one left in the package.

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August 16, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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