I remember the conversation during a get together in May of this year. We were there to celebrate the end of the ski season. We were having a good time! Becky (my wife), Regina (a friend), and I were discussing climbing and Regina said she wanted to climb Longs Peak.[Not a valid template]
I have a special love for that peak so I jumped at the opportunity of a 3rd time and told Regina we would get that big boy together. Becky also let it be known that she was down for this endeavor.
So, Becky, Regina, and I attended a class back in June at the REI in downtown Denver related to climbing the 14ers.This was the official way of saying “Hey, we are doing this, let’s all get the appropriate gear, and then pick a date.” I was glad we attended the course, and we all learned something new that day regarding climbing 14ers.
Fast forward to Friday, September 3, 2010: we were going to leave Denver at 12:30am, pick up Regina, and then get to the trailhead. We all had to adjust our sleep schedules that Wednesday and Thursday as the first time I did Longs, it was a miserable experience with barely two hours of sleep. It is now a rule for me to have at least six hours so this would mean going to bed on Friday at 6pm. If you know me, I am a night owl and that will never happen so I slept less than four hours on both Wednesday and Thursday so I would be so exhausted I would just crash at 6pm on Friday. Becky did not have to go through as much tribulation; her clinicals have been wearing her out as she works 14 hour days. It was funny to think that here I am, going to all this trouble to sleep soundly at this time, and Becky had to do virtually nothing and she was out like a light at 6pm Friday. We had told Regina about this as well, so she took off Friday from work and tried her best to get some rest in.
I awoke two minutes before the alarm at 12:13am. I kept the streak up for not being late for hikes. Becky and I had all of our stuff already packed, and we made some tea, ate some toast, and texted Regina we were on our way to meet her at the Super Target in Westminster just off of highway 36 (towards Boulder).
We pulled into the Target parking lot and it was a bit eerie. No lights anywhere, and Beck and I sat there for about five minutes when Regina pulled up. I got excited because it was great to see Regina and I REALLY wanted to make sure Becky and Regina got the feeling of being on top of this wonderful mountain.
Now that we were all together, our merry early morning band set out to the Longs Peak trailhead. The drive was uneventful with a lot of talking which included discussing the route, our lives, etc. Becky fed me spoonfuls of yogurt mixed with granola as we wound our way through the mountain roads. I had pounded water the day before and noticed that my pre-hydration efforts mitigated the amount I would need to imbibe for the night of the hike.