August Adventures – Kilimanjaro (The Descent)

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“What goes up must come down.” You can thank Isaac Newton for those pearls of gravitational wisdom. But, I’m saving all my thanks for second-in-command John. That uphill terrain of scree described in the fifth day of ascending, well, it’s equally maddening a surface to descend on. Gravity grabs us and makes our strides swift, using an entirely different set of muscles and putting my knees through joint boot camp.  The slippery scree makes balancing an issue and within the first twenty minutes, I have fallen on my butt, toppled like a drunkard and rolled. John, identical to Harold’s gesture…

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August Adventures – Day 2: Arusha, Tanzania

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My travel companion and long-time friend, Mark Wyrick and I learned that our trek up Kilimanjaro would start tomorrow- a little later than anticipated.  It felt like perfect timing, given the combination of jet-lag, packing restructuring and curiosity of our surroundings – the city of Arusha. We were picked up from the Kilimanjaro airport last evening by a driver (also named Mark) who drove us through the blanketed darkness for nearly 45 minutes to the city of Arusha where we are to spend the next two nights at the Palace Hotel prior to our climb. The van plowed through both…

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August Adventures – Day 1: Flying to Africa

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My dad Pete, at 54 years of age, passed away in 1967 from a then little known heart complication called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.   I was 7 and I vividly remember thinking how old 54 sounded.  It seemed ancient – Chinese abacus ancient – and, never having had grandparents on either side, he seemed to be the oldest person I knew besides some of the ladies at church who always hugged too hard. And now here I am at 54, amused by the perception of what I once thought ancient and also sharing the same genetic heart diagnosis. His 54 was in…

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