This is my final trip report saved from my old Geocities website years ago. Everything from my old website is on my new website now! There are still a few old climbs I haven't written about yet, but everything from the old website is now preserved.
2 October 2006
Remember all those wedding ring sagas you've heard? Guess what happened to us today!
The Lizard realized amidst our celebration atop Point 12,540 he'd lost his wedding ring. Yes, it's loose enough to come off. So is mine. We've both lost weight.
He'd taken his gloves off, so he thought maybe the ring might be in his glove. He checked. It wasn't there. We searched the ground where he'd taken the gloves off. Nothing.
We finished our celebration, in a bit of a pickle, you might say. It was still exciting for me to make it up the third-class sections (first time since surgery) – he said without a single shudder. But we were not exactly pleased the wedding ring was gone. I said a prayer we might be able to find it if it was in a place it could be found.
I remembered he'd taken his gloves off when I gave him fresh batteries for his camera. He couldn't remember where we'd done that. I did. It was where we'd left my pack before crawling up this awesome peak. Literally crawling, I might add. At least for me. I had to be on all fours for most of the steep part. It was fun though, not too scary. The steep parts didn't have that much exposure, so I wasn't intimidated. I even thought maybe I could get good at this, with a little practice.
We made it down to my pack, and we searched the ground again. Nothing. Now our hearts were really sinking.
The Lizard remembered he took his gloves off at the car, at the trailhead. We could check there. We tried to keep our spirits up by walking the ridge of Point 12,567.
It was rather fun to walk the ridge. I was no longer out of energy. The ridge wasn't a significant gain or loss of elevation once we got up it. Just rolling bumps from one end to another, for maybe a quarter mile. We thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the views at each high point. And this time, I got to do the high points with The Lizard. That was awesome!
We made our way back down the trail via a circuitous route instead of coming back the way we went up. Thank heavens. The way we went up had a steep section that was a real killer for me. I didn't think I'd be able to make the peak after that steep section. But I've got to get used to this if I want to do some of the next level of difficulty on the 14ers. I'm not committing to the really difficult ones yet.
Back at the car, we searched the ground again. Nothing. Now my heart was really sad. I thought it was sad up on the peak, but it was no match for what I was feeling now.
The Lizard remembered he had taken off his gloves at the campsite, many, many miles away, when we stuffed the sleeping bags back into their bags. Maybe the ring might be on the ground near where the car had been parked, or maybe it might be in one of the sleeping bags. We unpacked the sleeping bags and searched once again. No luck.
We got gas and drove back to the campsite. We searched, and just as I was about to give up, I found a spent bullet shell, and The Lizard found his ring! Both of us found silver at the same time! Along the Silver Thread Scenic Byway at that!
As soon as The Lizard got back in the car, I took his hand and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. I am so happy we were able to find the ring. We could have bought a new one, but this is the one he picked after we became engaged. No one else would have known, but both of us would have known. It was somewhat symbolic. By finding the ring, our love seems more eternal now.
We headed down the road toward Wheeler Geologic Area. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It took about three hours to go less than 14 miles. Unbelievable! The time commitment required for this place makes it obvious why it didn't make it as a national monument. Holy moly! It might have been faster to hike the eight-mile trail! The Lizard thinks we could have easily beat that time on our mountain bikes, which is how I've been wanting to do it all this time.
If the road had had more than two jeeps on it, being on the bikes could have been slightly dangerous. That road is super narrow and very primitive. Downright four-wheel drive!
Yes, that's what 4Runners are for. But who would have guessed it would have been THAT bad!
We arrived at Wheeler just as the sun began to set, and the hoodoos we could see from the car were turning gold and red. As soon as The Lizard parked, I flew up the trail. UP. Yes, UP. I ran what I could and didn't stop, but got slower and slower as I went, and I missed the sunset.
Beautiful place, though. Maybe we'll get good shots tomorrow even without what I missed tonight.