Summitted Elbert yesterday, at 8:30 a.m. Colorado time – 3 and 1/2 hours after leaving the trailhead. Was 15 minutes behind son Jon, 10 minutes behind Doug, but I made it.
Wasn’t easy. For the first time, I struggled with altitude sickness. Fought back nausea the last mile or so. Knew if I got sick at my stomach, I’d have to turn back.
Earlier in the trip, I’d given my fellow hikers a verse. It’s from Joshua 14, where 85-year-old Caleb tells his pal Joshua what part of the Promised Land he wants to settle.
“As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me,” said the octogenarian. “As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
“Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spoke in that day; for thou heard in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.”
“Give me this mountain.” I mumbled Caleb’s prayer with each of my final steps.