Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oh Deer

Went to Mom and Dad's Sunday for Mothers Day. Did a Swiss thing. Stroganoff and Fondue. It was a nice day.

On the way home, just out side of Mt. Sterling on Hwy A, a doe eyed me from the ditch. She decided to try to cross anyway. I didn't think fast enough to honk, but I did react with the brakes and had slowed down to probably about 35 when I hit her. She hit the front left headlight, rolled up on the hood a bit, then was thrown forward down the road about 15-20 feet (or so). She rolled a few times, scrambled to the ditch on the other side. Then she lifted her head, and stood up and staggered off.

The headlight got pushed back a little, and there is a dent just above it with a paint chip thrown out. The hood is fine. The front quarter panel might be flared a bit. It's hard to tell. I just want the major bend out and the paint repaired before it rusts, and the light adjusted if it needs to be.

Wouldn't you know I JUST paid it off this month.

Drove it to Fort Wayne and back monday and tuesday. Jammed to Thayrone and the Bone Conduction Music Show all the way home (thanks to recordings my brother gets to me -- we don't get Thayrone here. Wish we did) Folks, it's radio the way it's SUPPOSED to be - you and the DJ, hangin' out, playin' tunes.

I love the farm country in Illinois, especially eastern Illionois between Terre Haute and about Montrose. Those big ordered fields of green, beautiful trees, clean buildings and hard-working folks on tractors out on a beautiful spring day with sunshine, blue skies and puffy white clouds *sigh* -- does the soul good. I had to let out a few healthy Tim Allen style "Aaaaauuuurrrr!!!"'s.

A few people expressed concern with my plans to climb Longs Peak this June, including one very nice lady I'd emailed about her experience -- she said in June the snow in the steep area at about 13,300 feet called "the Trough" may not have melted, which might make it a more difficult climb than I'd bargained for.

I have looked up what different "classes" of climbs mean. I'd always said "If I can't walk up it, I ain't climbin' it". Longs sounded about as difficult a climb as I would attempt. I said that if I had to use special equipment -- you know, ropes, little metal rock clamper-thingies, or having my grip being the only thing between me and a plunge to the depths below (otherwise known as rock climbing) that would be out. Well, it turns out they have these "classes". Sniktau I'd call a Class I. We did a little trail detour on rocks and had to put our hands down occasionally for balance which wanders into Class II -- but I'd still call it a Class I climb. Haven't been on a real Class II.

Class III seems to be what Longs Peak is in mid summer after the snow melts, with a little Class IV due to some steep exposure but still on stable rock you can stand on. I'll have to check it out and see how bad the trough would be with crampons (basically snow cleets) and no ice axes. I'd be willing to use crampons for part of a climb (as long as it was somewhat like scrambling), but I'm drawin' the line at ice axes. See, you have to hold on to those. Grip. Plunge. Death, or at least serious injury. Bad. Not for me. I want to have fun and live to have more fun another day.

So, to make a Longs story short, it might not happen this summer since I'm going so early. I might break down and do Greys or something before I head home.

Oh My God and Trail Ridge Roads are definitely on the agenda. And some backcountry hiking/camping.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Cr**!!!

    Yes, Longs will definitely require some preparation -- and perhaps some experience with some other less dangerous but comparably difficult routes. I just read this guy's account. He sounds like he thinks like me, which is reassuring, but lets remember this was his fourth try and he took 6 days to do the round trip! Wise, but I probably won't have that time.