“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C.S. Lewis
This cold snap is settling in and looks to stay awhile. It’s frozen Ladybird’s water bowl solid through and turned the leaves crunchy with frost.
Even on land, here in the port at the end of the glacial plain, you feel the sway of the sea...
ASTHMA, ANXIETY & ALTITUDE ON THE 401
September 7, 2016
Yesterday I began a nearly-vertical ascent on my mountain bike toward the famous 401 Trail outside Crested Butte. We parked the 4X4 at 8,500 feet; from there, the road climbed ever higher. Within minutes I was gasping, and at every turn of the track there was only more incline ahead. Jeeps and ATVs blew by us, kicking up dust to be sucked into my struggling lungs. I was already in my lowest possible gears, barely staying upright. The bone-dry air quickly evaporated my sweat and spit, while the altitude and my asthma conspired to leave me fighting for breath.
My friend Matt Covington researches hydrogeology and geomorphology, with a particular focus on karst aquifers and landforms. This means he spends a lot of time underground. Sometimes waaaayyyyyy underground. And not just on Saturday afternoons, but sometimes for weeks at a time. He has explored some of the deepest caves in the world in Mexico, Peru, Sumatra, Alaska, China, Slovenia and Croatia.
Weeks. Underground. Deep underground. Sometimes scuba diving deep underground so he can go deeper. Places so dark that your body loses its ability to tell night from day, to know when to sleep or be awake.
THE ALPINE LOOP
We’d left the trees about half an hour before, but the peak of Engineer Pass still loomed impossibly far away, and far above us. With each pedal stroke, oxygen became more scarce. Legs burning, lungs gasping, heads aching, each member of the ride somehow found the strength to fight their way to the top. Along the way, people making the ascent in ATVs and 4X4s looked on with a mixture of confusion, awe and pity. Some even stopped to take pictures, knowing their friends wouldn’t believe ‘em if they told ‘em.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE TOWER
My dad called my mom from The Barn, our family’s restaurant down the street.
Mom took a quick glance out the window into our shady backyard and saw me quietly playing.
“Get him inside quick, and stay away from the windows,” Dad said. “There’s some guy in the Tower shooting people.”
1 / 1