It was Wednesday morning and we'd just gotten back into Leadville from our Yurts. We hadn't had a shower since Sunday night, and dropped by a laundry mat to do a load of laundry and take a shower.
We stopped at a little local Mexican restaurant and ate until our bellies were full. We'd been living off of Cliff Bars, beans & rice, bananas, and almonds for 2 days.
We drove about half an hour to Twin Lakes, where we would set up camp at the Mt. Elbert trail head. The moment I had been counting down to since February was just hours away.
Finding a spot to camp was a little less than easy. There was a campground close by, but Michael was dead set on a camp in the middle of nowhere.
The aspen trees were beautiful.
It was only 6:00pm and it was already almost freezing. We were at the highest
elevation I had ever camped in, and that night it would get down in the mid-30's.
The mosquitoes were the worst I've ever experienced.
We hurried to build a fire and set up our tent and tarps before the sun went down.
Michael cooked steaks over the fire while I packed all of our needed items for the morning hike. The hike. Everything I had researched and prepared for. Moleskin and band-aids, a first-aid kit, cliff bars and snacks full of carbs and protein, a camel back, my hiking socks, the boots I'd been wearing in for 4 months, extra clothes, flashlights, camera equipment, bug spray, and phones.
Hunter was out cold, still exhausted from our hike up Horseshoe Mountain. We'd already hiked over 30 miles in 3 days, and tomorrow we would add another 12. My old man was pooped.
I finally had reception on my phone for the first time in almost 3 days, and called my parents. I talked to them both, and they were both worried sick.
When we got home from our trip, My Mom told me that her and my Dad had stayed up all night, trying to use Google Satellite to find out where we were in case anything happened to us.
I slept terribly that night. It was freezing, I was scared to death of being in a flimsy tent in the middle of the Rocky Mountains with bears, cougars, and crazy mountain people out there with no help around for miles.
And mostly, I just stayed up thinking about Elbert. What would it be like? Would I be able to do it?
It was raining at this point.
Tomorrow the weather predicted storms, and I knew that if there were any lighting, on top of the 2nd tallest mountain in the United States was not where we wanted to be. One more thing to stay up all night worrying about...
next: Climbing to the summit of Mt. Elbert