Selby Clark–US

Y'all did a great job. My personal particular thanks to Japan. I absolutely would have gone back down the mountain the second day if not for him. He was just really, really patient and insisted I go slower than other folks and not worry about keeping up. Just worry about the next step. One foot in front of the other one. One step at a time. Don't look up the trail to see how steep or how far it is, just carefully put one foot in front of another. I listened. I followed his example. I stopped panting. In fact even on the top I was never short of breath. Some folks were in much better shape than me. Some folks were more than 40 years younger than me. None of that mattered. Just one foot in front of the other. And, to my complete and utter amazement, I looked up after 5 1/2 days and there I was on the top of the tallest mountain in Africa. Coming down presented its own challenges. I had used up all my energy to get to the top and coming back down really left me exhausted by the time we reached the previous nights camp again. After lunch I was the last one on the trail again and I hadn't gone far when I twisted my ankle in the loose gravel. I was even slower after that (being afraid I might have broken it like I had done just a year before) and it was just me and one guide for many, many hours as everyone else was far ahead. Eventually as the sun was setting two porters came back up the trail bringing us head lights so we could continue the last hour into camp. I forget that guides name, (Gordance??) but he and I spent many hours conversing on the way down as I gingerly picked my way. I owe him a sincere thanks as well. You should know that the food was particularly good under the circumstances and a pleasantly surprising amount of variety. The watermelon was a particular treat knowing how heavy it is and how far it had been carried. There was always a good supply of hot water in the evenings and mornings and plenty of good tasting cold water in the mornings for filling bottles and camel packs. Camp was always set up when we got there and the porters were well organized, without conflict and always friendly and helpful. The guides managed and treated them well. The porta potty was a real blessing, well maintained and well used. I knew my daughter would feel it was essential, but I think we all felt that way before the trip was over. I'm sure others will have other memories and other comments, but that is all from me for now. Selby
ScreenHunter_64 Aug. 18 09.40