I started toward the Longs Peak trail head for the first time at one O'clock on a Wednsday. It was directly after lunch, and after spending two days in the Rocky Mountains just reading Ecco and eating and listening to Baroque music I was ready for at LEAST a bit of exercise or at MOST a complete spiritual reevaluation, awakening, and revival, was that too much to ask at 12,000 feet? I thought not.
The truth is that I was completely satisfied simply sitting, listening, and tasting, but on the second morning of our stay my wife had come down with a bit of an illness and for a singer, whose body is her instrument, this means vocal rest and pills and prayer for a redeemed body and voice. It's like a Cellist without gut strings or a violinist with a solid wood violin, there is no ring, no resonance, no music to the intrstrument when not healthy, for this reason the second day was spent trying to heal her by any means necessary - Mucenex, Robitussin, allergy pills, Saline nasal spray and the usual dose of Xanax with a constant flow of water and Throat Coat hot herbal tea. The adventure of me, Robitussin and Xanax is one for another time so for now let it be enough to prove that the life of a singer is an expensive and demanding one, and that of a husband to a singer can be as well, we did what we had to do to get her back into singing shape and by that Wednesday afternoon she seemed well enough to practice, so I decided to give her some space and head for the hills while I had the chance.
My first day out I made it as far as the trail head, about one mile up a winding mountain road where occasionally a SUV or Jeep would speed by and I'd dive into the woods to avoid being hit or seen because for some reason I feel like once I enter National Park territory everything I do is illegal, though that didn't stop me from building a few rock sculptures along the side of the road. I see no harm in disrupting a few rocks from the earth, but it was just as I was finishing a rather daring stack full of gravity defying points and weights, and I was about to yell out "Take that Leave No Trace law!" when the first piece of ice struck me on the back of the neck. I turned around in time to see a haze draw over the summit and another propelled object strike the rock beside me, my structure held and I was able to capture the moment to Instagram just before the full out storm began falling on me. I covered my head and ran toward home base sliding downhill on my knees or butt periodically but still feeling somewhat accomplished knowing that at least my internet friends would see that sweet rock stack and think that I was having some great mountain adventure, when really I was just grateful that I could put off climbing that mountain for one more day.