So last week I took a hike up Little Devil's Tower in SoDak. It isn't very big as mountains go. Quite a bit smaller than Harney Peak which we climbed a couple of years ago when we were out there. And, which was our destination again this year. But things happen. Things like snow storms. Yeah even in late May. It wasn't expected. And we weren't prepared. Should have been. But weren't. So we looked at the empty parking lot at the trail head for Harney and decided to hike something that had a little less distance to it in case the clouds that were hovering in the distance and looked a lot more threatening than the ones we were being picked on by, decided to dump something much more substantial. Because you don't want to be blindsided miles up a mountain path without the right supplies. You don't want to be lost and be the ones too stupid to have the right stuff with you.
So we settled on Little Devil's Tower. And along for the ride in my heart? Some familiar names around RelayForLife.org... Mary Anne, who was having surgery the day after we climbed; and Cindy (aka chemogirl1963) who has had a recurrence of her cancer and is beginning chemo once again; and a new friend of mine from my home town, DickS, who also began his own chemo treatments on the same day Mary Anne had her surgery. He is also entering a long-term cancer trial due to the extreme rarity of his particular form of colon cancer.
It took us just over an hour to reach the summit, about a three mile hike. We saw two other people during that time. And one of those was jumping into his pickup truck at the trail head and driving away. The other was a guy who was photographing the arrows sign you see at the split of two trails if you go through the slide show I'm going to try and make into a video some day. It goes really nicely with U2's Beautiful Day. After he took that photo, he hiked back down the tenth of a mile to the parking lot and he too got into his car and drove away. We do not know if he did any hiking.
The fun part about having hiked that day was the story we were able to tell as a result. There was so much chatter going around about the crazy weather pattern that was happening with the very warm weather leading up to the weekend we traveled out and then that day and the couple of days around it very high winds and bad cold and even snow! It was crazy. So we let them chat for a while before we dropped the, "We were up on top of Little Devil's Tower that day," bomb. And then when they would exclaim with surprise that we were on TOP of it??? We'd say that we had wanted to climb Harney, but with the snow, we settled for climbing the tower instead and they'd be amazed that anyone would want to be out climbing in the snow and the winds that day. Because although you can't tell by the photos that the wind was bad, trust me. It was bad.
So Mary Anne, Cindy and Dick... I thank you for being the inspirations for my first Climb for the Cure. I had a fabulous time and want you to know that you were there with me in spirit. And most importantly, I wish you each great health, great peace and great joy.