Monday, August 13, 2012

the mt whitney. didn't turn out the way i planned.

driving past the salt flats












my spew




we left on tuesday at lunch time.  my stomach was not right.  i was really uncomfortable on the ten hour drive down there, but nothing i couldn't handle.  i enjoyed orion and skylar's company.  can i just tell you that 18 year old boys are bottomless pits.  skylar is tall and skinny and i just have to tell you what he ate on the car ride down to california because it blows my mind.

prior to getting in the car:

two bowls of chocolate cereal with whole milk
two large chicken breasts

while i was in the car with him:

two orders of curly fries
a large oreo shake
one family size bag of peanut butter m&m's (orion ate a few too)
a foot long meatball sandwich
4 cookies

i think watching him eat all that made my stomach feel worse!


anyway, back to my story.  we pulled into the parking area at the base of the trail at about 10:30 pm.  we made sandwiches and got our packs ready.  we put on the clothing we would hike in.  we threw our sleeping pads and sleeping bags down on the sidewalk in front of the car and set an alarm for 2:30 am.  i didn't sleep much, but that is ok because the view looking up was out of this world.  there were millions of stars and we were surrounded by jagged cliffs and tall, tall pine trees and the moon was just peaking out from behind one. it was amazing.  elisha and morgan pulled in to the lot around 3:00 am on wednesday morning from san diego.  my stomach was not in good shape, but it never really is.  i ate a cliff bar and banana.  we put on our head lamps and our packs and started up the mountain at about 3:45.  we were moving fast. over 3 miles and hour.  the hike starts at about 8 thousand feet elevation.  i can't get over how cool it looked to have the shadows of the cliffs all around us, but not be able to see any details yet.  and when it started getting just a little bit light, you could see the edge of the sky turning hot pink.  my stomach is feeling worse and worse all the time.  about 7 miles in i know i need more calories or i am going to bonk.  thinking that if i eat something it will make my stomach worse, i decide to suck down a gu.  big mistake!  we get to the "base camp" and elisha, mo and i decide on a 15 minute break before pushing up the switchbacks.  orion and sky keep going.  mo has some malox so eat it.  it is all i can do not to throw up at this point.  i am talking myself out of it.  we get up exactly 15 minutes later and keep going.  i tell them i am not doing well and not to wait for me.  i push myself until i am on the second to last switch back, 2 miles from the top of mt whitney.  2 miles!  i can see it.  and then i start spewing.  the most violent spewing i have ever done in my life.  projectile vomit.  like a horror movie.  it was coming out of my nose(mostly water, banana, gu and stuff)  and there was nothing i could do about it.  and i couldn't stop.  i turn around and start booking it down the mountain.  i do not want to get any one stuck up there for the night and i want to be sure i don't slow them down at all.  i vomit relentlessly for 6 of the next 8 miles.  the most miserable 6 miles ever.  people staring at me.  vomit dripping from my nose onto my clothes.  i made it to the car just before noon.  it starts thundering. lightening.  and then,  pouring.  buckets of rain.  for the next 3 hours.  i pulled a long sleeved shirt out of my back and put it on underneath my trusty little rain jacket.  i wasn't cold enough to pull out my tights thank goodness.  i found a rock and sat on it.  once the lightening stopped i moved under some trees so i wasn't getting quite as drenched.  sky was the first one down the mountain.  the keys were under the car behind the wheel!  DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(and other swears said under my breath) my little blanket and pillow in the back seat all warm and dry this whole time!  oh well. we got our food out of the bear box and got in. cranked up the 70's tunes and waited for the others.  i gave sky my bag of sweet potato chips and he devoured the whole thing instantly.  and then some cookies.  and then some crackers...  i think i puked in my mouth a little more. 

we pulled out of the parking lot just after 3:00 pm.  we picked up a couple that were hitch hiking.  the dude got in the car with us and his wife in the car with mo and elisha.  they were on a 3 week backpacking vacation.  just going wherever they feel like.  awesome.  we dropped them off at their car and headed to food.  luckily they had chicken noodle soup.  so, i swallowed broth and diet coke while everyone else ate these burgers with grilled onions and chocolate shakes.  that made want to cry more than anything else that happened during the day.  we said good bye to the san diego kids and headed toward home.  we planned to drive half way.  at which point we were going to drive 20 miles out of the way to sit in these "amazing hot pots" and camp under the stars.  the hot pots weren't there.  we searched.  i stomach was so, so sick.  i laid in the back sick and wanted to die.  we ended up driving all night.  i drove for a few hours.  we pulled into my driveway at 4 am on thursday morning.  o and gus were surprised to see me and commenced the snoring contest.  i took a long, hot shower, a big fat ambien and climbed into the guest bed a 5:00.  i slept until 1:30 in the afternoon.  o went out of town for an appointment.  i poured myself a big bowl of cereal and took it out on the porch to eat it.  then i scrubbed my house and got some other things done.  hopped on my bike and rode down to the twilight concert series to hear austra play.  she was just finishing up unfortunately.  so i only heard her sing one song, but it was my favorite one.  so, i rode home.  watched the olympics and went to bed. 

just so you know.  i never cried once.  and i still had fun somehow.  i am always up for a good adventure and wouldn't take it back.  plus, that was one of the most beautiful places i have ever been.  it was like seeing it for the first time hiking back down the mountain because it was light.  as far as i know mt whitney isn't going anywhere, so if i want to go back i will.  but, me thinks there are other mountains to see next...

the end.

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