Mt. Sherman, CO
Miles Today: 0
Total Miles: 10,816.0
Days on the Road: 165
Our First 14er
Trailhead Elev: 11,700'
Summit Elev: 14,036'
Time to Summit: 2:02
Time Down: 1:15
Sky at Start: Clear as an Unmuddied Lake
At Summit: Troubling
Back at Car: Raining
Liz stretches before outrunning the gathering storm.
Activity Enjoyed, Written About
People often give us some pretty confused looks when we tell them about this road trip, especially that we've lived mostly in our car for the past six months and aren't really on our way anywhere in particular, except maybe to the nearest national park. Sometimes Anthony simply says, "we live in our car," which usually evokes more of a look of embarrassed pity than confusion until we mention it's a Vanagon and they murmur "aaahhh" while bobbing their heads up and down, as if to say "you're those people who wear tie-dye and make two-finger peace signs out of your car window, aren't you". (For the record, we don't own any tie-dyed garments, though we're not wholly opposed to this fashion statement. As for peace signs, we much prefer them to war signs.) We sort of introduced the idea/goal of visiting all the national parks in the lower 48 as a way of explaining this trip, both to strangers and to ourselves. I guess you could call it a gimmick, a hook if you will.
Apparently we're not the only ones who've hit on this "hook" idea as a way to garner attention and website traffic. The other day some 28-year-old Colorado guy made good on his goal - and went down in extreme sports history - after climbing all of Colorado's 55 fourteeners (that's mountains over 14,000 feet) continuously without using a car. When he wasn't hiking he used a bike to travel between mountains, ate mostly candy bars and slept only about four hours each night. Oh, and he did all this in a mere 19 days.
Well, to you, Mr. Andrew Hamilton, and your website, we throw down the gauntlet with this challenge: We propose to climb all of Colorado's fourteeners and clock the slowest time on record. That's right, the extreme slowest time ever. And, when we're not hiking between peaks, we'll be transported by the world's slowest car ever to travel the passes of the Colorado rockies. This car is the Badunkadunk. Oh, and we won't be doing this continuously, we'll take breaks of weeks, months, often years, between peaks.
It's only fair to tell you, Andrew, that we began our peak-bagging yesterday with an all-out assault on Mt. Sherman (14,036). Our assent time was 2 hours 2 minutes, time at the top was 25 minutes and the descent was 1:30, resulting in a personal record (PR, in the lingo) roundtrip time of 3 hours 27 minutes.
Mr. Hamilton, should you choose to accept this challenge, we could lose, so we ask that you decline in order that we may revel in this one small, yet historical, feat of extreme sports.
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Colorado summit and the taste of truly thin air - we paused at the top to imagine what climbers (psychos, that is) must endure when going more than twice the elevation on Mt. Everest. With sore legs and Anthony's sunburned scalp, we're comforted by the thought that in order to win this challenge, we'll have to wait as long as we can to attempt another Colorado peak.
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.