Some mood music...
It is possible runoff has peaked. The river does not roar quiet as fiercely at night and my oh fuck! rock becomes steadily drier. I've gotten back my creekside footrests for when I go to watch the water. This makes me happy. I only hope the standing water out back begins to abate soon. It is doubtful Sabina has enough ammunition in her pistol to deal with the mosquitoes that may be born out there.
I had been promising Milarepa a walkabout with me for almost a month, but had not gotten around to it. This will not do. Not keeping a promise, whether it's to something that walks upon two legs or four, is a bad scene. It'd been at least a year since I'd walked as far as Pavilion Point up the Argentine trail. Milarepa very excitedly walked with me up the trail.
The intrepid mountain hound in question shooting me a downright adorable look at the ruins...
All that's left of the old dance hall is a chimney. That's not stopped it from being a popular place to hang. Any time I've been there, I've found empty beer cans and spent bullet casings. I noticed a fresh windbreak erected of the chimney and some stones set up like a bench, making it look like more the party place.
I'm all for a funky place to camp or drink a beer in the shadow of a bonfire, but this kind of bothered me. Perhaps I wondered how long it would be before pot hunters started disassembling the chimney brick by brick. I question when that hilltop will catch fire from the carelessness of some revelers.
Further meditation, debate, and discussion on self-inflicting my phobias;
Mount Evans is something of anti-climatic fourteener. Like Pike's Peak, it is one you can summit without climbing. Well, not climbing in boots, if you dig my meaning. The Mount Evans Road was suppose to be part of a link in the fourteener chain between Pike's and Long's Peaks respectively. Obviously, that never happened, and this stretch of tundra pavement stands as a testimony to that endeavor. The highest road in the whole of North America.
You probably remember me mentioning my issues with heights. So how, out of nothing other than something to do, driving up a narrow, steep, winding mountain road with no guardrails and thousand foot drops had become a good idea seems more than a little daft. Even and especially when a storm battered the mountain with wind and sleet. White-knuckled, reciting every mantra I knew, I pressed on for the summit. Tenacity kept me from turning back. Turning back would've been failure.
The true summit of the mountain at the end of the lot...
"Are you going to be okay?" Sabina asked me at the top. "Should I drive down?"
"'I must not fear...'" I whispered to myself. "No, I know my vehicle, like you know yours. I'll handle it."
After all, you don't climb up something you cannot climb back down...
The clouds broke and the sun shone across the tundra once more. It was striking, as were the views. There was something so very primeval about the landscape. A strange mysticism that grabs my attention about the alpine. As if one could be forgiven for expecting to see long-extinct megafauna around the next bend.
We wandered around and took a few pictures. I got into Old Scratch and started the engine. With a deep breath, I prepared to head back down. I recited cartoon litanies to myself;
Sheer drop off? Yeh. Jagged rocks? Uh-huh. Certain death? Yep...
"Bring it on," I whispered to myself as placed my foot on the accelerator. "Muthafucka..."
It is official, my daughter's making an effort to come up for the Hallmark that is Father's Day. One never knows, what with her mother, but that's another story. For the occasion, I pull a leg of lamb I acquired out of the freezer. It'll get rubbed with some salt, pepper, and Moroccan spices and let sit a few days. A simple something, of which I salivate about when I think of it.
She's hoping to stay a few days. I mention the possibility of either Kearney Gulch or Mount Bierstadt for a dad and daughter adventure. She expresses excitement at both. The fact she's coming for dinner is thrilling enough. Either possible walkabout is just an added treat.