Day Thirteen (CDR)… The Traveling Mac climbs Park Cone Mountain … 08/17/15

IMG 4283

It’s a Monday folks and it was a pretty damn busy weekend… I get up every morning and take a picture of these mountains… Little did I know I would be hiking what I am admiring today… I went into work and it was pretty slow, so I asked Chris if I could have the day off… He let me take it…

IMG 4182

So, I went back to my new cabin and asked John if he would like to take a #hike… That is when we decided to hike to the top of #ParkCone…

#MatchlessMountain is quite far away… You either have to take a #boat across the #TaylorLake or get a ride about 3 miles down the #road, just across the #damn and #river, to get up the side of her… Matchless seemed a little too advanced for me to do right away, so we decided to tackle Park Cone Mountain as an appetizer… There she is above, sitting behind the #cabins… I would soon regret calling this mountain an appetizer…

IMG 4284

So, John and I headed 20 minutes down the road to the #Marina… to pick up some needed supplies…

IMG 4286

I grabbed a BLT sub for the trip… We also grabbed a few beers to enjoy when we finally got to the top of Park Cone…

IMG 4287IMG 4290

A girl from the Marina convenient store told us there was a #trail leading up the mountain right along an #RVPark… So, we started there… I was actually under the impression that this was going to be easy… That theory was soon put to rest when we started #climbing…

IMG 4293IMG 4292

The first thing I noticed was I was constantly battling to catch my breath… I knew I was over the #AltitudeSickness but the air is so thin up here, whenever you climb a few hundred feet, you suddenly find yourself gasping for air… We hit the beginning of the hike pretty aggressively but soon we were stopping to take a break almost every ten minutes…

IMG 4296IMG 4298

If you have never climbed a mountain before, like myself, you start to learn a few things very quickly… First of all, it is not as easy and quick as you think… I was bragging at #TheNuggetCafe that I could climb Park Cone in a couple of hours… I am in excellent shape and can jump rope for 18 minutes straight but that doesn’t even remotely prepare you for this monstrous task…

IMG 4301

We were following a trail that was leading us around the mountain and up at the same time… For a long time we couldn’t even see the #peak and every time I turned to see how far I had #climbed, it was like I had climbed miles… The picture above is a #panorama of how far we had climbed so far…

The funny thing about climbing a mountain is when you are looking up, you feel like you are not making much progress at all but when you turn around and look down, you realize with every step you are climbing a huge distance, considering how #steep this mountain is… It’s almost like climbing up a ladder… When you are climbing up, you feel like you are making small progress with every step, but when you look down, you see you are climbing much higher than what you thought…

IMG 4302IMG 4303

Even if you took as little as 20 steps, you would turn around and would find to be a lot higher than you were 20 steps ago… It’s really amazing because looking towards the top, you feel like you aren’t accomplishing shit… that changes when you get really close to the top though…

Above you can see the trail leading us to an opening and finally we could see our #destination at the top…

IMG 4304IMG 4305

John and I were exhausted by this time and were struggling to catch our breath… I thought the hard part was done until I started to work my way straight up to the peak… I was glad to at least see our goal but would soon get sick of it taunting me as I climbed…

Look at how far that peak is in the above right picture… Here I thought we were getting close but the hard part had just begun…

IMG 4307IMG 4309

At this point we would take like 40 steps and then would stop to rest for a few minutes… Park Cone was so steep, you would lean on your lead leg with your hands, as you pushed your way up the #mountain… You could feel your legs cramping and shaking as they pushed for each step further.. At the same time you are breathing extremely heavy, trying to gasp enough air to make your next step… then when you got to around 40 steps, you had to stop because you felt as if you were going to pass out…

IMG 4310IMG 4311

We would try our hardest to keep standing, knowing if we collapsed to rest, it would be a longer intermission… But sometimes your body would just give up… I would collapse onto my back and pant as my lungs tried to get their needed #oxygen to the rest of my body…

IMG 4313

Every time I turned around I couldn’t resist taking a picture… With every forty steps, it looked like you had hiked for miles when you looked back and noticed the view… Slowly the #world was revealing itself to us on a large scale… What made me the most eager to conquer this #mission was to see what was waiting for me on the other side of Park Cone… There is not much out there that over shadows this mountain, so when you get to the top you are going to get the view of your life… That’s what I assumed at least…

IMG 4320

What I imagined existed on the other side of that peak, kept me going with every step… When I collapsed to rest, I would just look up at that peak that was getting slowly closer and closer as I hiked more and more…

IMG 4314IMG 4315

By this time I was losing John… You have to remember John is ten years my senior and the #altitude was taking a real toll on him… I got really worried when we stopped and he just sat there not responding to me… I asked him like 10 times if he was all right… All he did was sit and stare straight ahead…

IMG 4317

Finally he responded to me and said he almost passed out and couldn’t continue any further… I had to take his backpack half way to this point and it wasn’t very light… I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to continue but I still wanted to make it to this #peak… We had been hiking for about 3 hours and I wasn’t ready to quit considering I was so close to the top… So, I asked John if he would be alright by himself while I finished the hike… He told me to continue on… We never really discussed if he was going to wait for me or if he would head back by himself… I just jumped on the opportunity and continued the arduous effort of tackling this Park Cone beast…

IMG 4321IMG 4325

So, I continued up the mountain… taking 20 steps and then resting… I was completely exhausted by this time but I wanted to get up there fast just in case John decided to wait for me… Then it started to rain…

IMG 4318

So, I had to take cover under the #trees for #shelter… I made sure I was careful about the #weather because I saw some l#ightning in the distance… It’s not wise to be on top of a mountain during a lightning #storm… Your chances of getting struck go way up, up here… So, I did the responsible thing and took cover under the trees, not like I wasn’t looking forward to the mandatory rest, let me tell you…

IMG 4319

While I was resting, waiting for the #rain to stop, I noticed I was almost out of #water… I took off the top and set my bottle out in the rain, hoping to catch some of the fresh droppings… The rain soon simmered down to a pathetic dribble, so I decided to continue my mission to the top… I left my water bottle there to collect more water while I tackled the mountain… I figured I could pick it up on the way back and just maybe I would collect some water for the trip back to civilization… If not, it was going to be a thirsty trip back down this mountain…

I was getting pretty close to the top now… The closer I got, the steeper Park Cone became… but every time I looked up, it was like some force was beckoning me… The #sun was battling with the #clouds for superiority over this mountain after the rain stopped… I would get glimmers of light casting down on me as I struggled to make it to the top… I felt myself getting these delusions of #celestial grandeur, as the light would cast these beams down on me as #God’s warm fingers struggled to get through the thick #RainClouds…

IMG 4329

When I would collapse, after taking 20 steps and yes I was counting them, I would feel this defeatist attitude swarm over me… But when I would look up at the site at the top of the mountain, it was like this energy from the light would bring me to my feet and I would struggle step by step, moving closer to my #destination… I would struggle and take 20 more steps then collapse onto my back, cushioned by the #backpack John gave me to carry…

IMG 4331IMG 4330

I was hating the extra weight on my back by this time but was determined to take it up with me… This old, cheap backpack had now become apart of this mission and I was definitely cracking one of those beers open in celebration when I finally got to the top…

IMG 4322IMG 4326

The closer I would get to the top the steeper Park Cone got… I was literally climbing on my hands and knees as I got closer and closer… It was so steep at one point, I almost fell backwards… I knew if I did, it would be a long tumble down before I would be able to stop the momentum of the fall… So, I made sure to take many rests as I tackled the last part of this mountain… You would think crawling would be easier but as I climbed up, I found myself gasping more for air… At one point, I was only taking like 10 steps then I had to rest for a few minutes…

IMG 4336IMG 4340

The mountain was so steep by this point, when I would take those ten steps it looked like I had taken 100 steps when I looked at the distance accomplished… Every time I looked back I could see more of the beautiful #ColoradoMountains and it was a substantial reward for the effort… But the real reward was still waiting for me at the top of Park Cone… on the other side…

IMG 4341IMG 4342

Finally, I was maybe 100 yards from the top…. Just a football field away from my reward… Park Cone got so steep by this point, I had to hoist myself onto one of it’s boulders, holding me up as I tried to catch my breath… The mountain was so steep, you couldn’t even rest on your back without sliding back down the mountain… I rested on that rock for like 10 minutes, conserving my energy so I could tackle that last 100 yards in one swoop…

IMG 4334

Here I am after 10 minutes of rest… Look how steep that mountain is! I sat there and admired what I had accomplished so far, knowing the next time I look down, it will be from the top of this glorious stable monster…

IMG 4333

The light was really playing around with the clouds by this time… I hoisted myself up and eagerly hit the last 100 yards at a crazy pace… But soon all that energy turned into gasping for air and cramping leg muscles… I slowly crawled as I got closer and closer…

I swear to god folks, that sun came out of those clouds just as I was struggling to the top… It was almost symbolic as I  clawed at the dirt and pushed myself with all of my effort to the top… I started screaming as I took my last few steps, as the sun bore down on me, feeling it’s warm heat which, oddly gave me more energy…

It was like out of a movie folks… I felt like #Moses! My hand reached for the top, gripping at the grass and anything it could get it’s digits wrapped around… I pulled myself up, screaming at full roar, trying to ease the constant pressure on my body as I pushed myself to the limit, pulling myself to the top…

As I slowly appeared above the plateua, a huge gust of warm wind hit me in the face, as the sun light bore down on me, now completely peering through the clouds with all of it’s mighty glare… As that wind hit me it was like a huge burst of energy came out of nowhere… I leaped to my feet at the top of Park Cone…

IMG 4343IMG 4390

I screamed like a beast when I hit that top! I screamed at the top of my lungs feeling like a mountain lion, as I took my new conquered desolate peek! There was no feeling of exhaustion anymore… Just this urge to scream out while I admired my hard fought mind boggling view…

IMG 4348

Folks, there is no drug out there that can give you this feeling when you are literally on top of the world! I could see for 100’s of miles, the endless mountains… That rain storm had created these celestial beams that cast down on the mountains in different spots…

IMG 4349

The air was so warm it tickled my face as it tried to blow me back down that mountain… There were huge gusts of wind, blowing so hard, I could barely hear my own screams and boy was I screaming!

IMG 4350

I felt so free up on this mountain, like nothing else really mattered… All of lifes problems seemed so insignificant when you are on top of this mighty beast….

IMG 4351

This mountain has been here for billions of years and here I was on top of it… Not many beasts get to see this view and here I was soaking it all in…. One of the few of the trillions of creatures out there through out time… I was one of the few who struggled to the top and boy was the reward nothing short of #LifeChanging…

IMG 4352

I absolutely hated this mountain when I was climbing it, especially when I was close to the top… But every struggling step was worth it… Every single one!!!!

IMG 4353

I didn’t want to climb back down… I wanted to stay up here for the rest of my life! Seriously! I have never had this feeling before and I don’t think this feeling is accomplishable without climbing a huge mountain like Park Cone…

IMG 4368IMG 4370

I could scream at the top of my lungs up here and no one could hear me… Or so I thought at the time… The deafening sound of wind blowing and the view made the experience almost dream like… The surge of energy going through my body was mysterious to me considering I was completely exhausted on the way up here… Now I felt like I could climb 20 of these mountains…

IMG 4372

I no longer had trouble breathing and I honestly felt like I could fly if I leaped off the top of this mountain… I wanted to jump into the scenery and swim around in it, like some sort of angel, defying the laws of physics with a feeling that seemed to trump all reason at the time…

IMG 4373

My thrown was taken and the feeling was addictive… I felt like Alexander the Great, after he conquered most of the world… I could see how this type of powerful feeling could be my utter demise… The animal had come out of me and he was hungering for more…

IMG 4378

Park Cone is one of the highest mountains in this region, towering above at 12,500 feet… I could see the top of most of the other mountains around us, except for one…

IMG 4380

If you look to the left above, you will see another mountain that is higher than us, considering we can’t see the top of it’s peak… That’s #MatchlessMountain folks and I knew right then and there that I was going to conquer that mountain also really soon… Not only will I climb it but this time I will stay up there #overnight… And you better bet your ass this grungy, piece of cheap crap backpack is coming up with me… I just need to see if John will sell it to me… The sentiment is worth 20 bucks to me, to say the least…

IMG 4424

There was a #firepit up here, so that was a good sign people #camped on top of this mountain… With this wind, I don’t know how you could start a #fire up here… I don’t care if you’re #Grisly fucking Adams, there is no way you could get a fire going… I guess the winds are not so fierce all of the time…

IMG 4381IMG 4382

You bet your ass I cracked a beer open up here… I was so thirsty and had no water so that beer went down nicely…

IMG 4384IMG 4386

I started singing any song that came to mind as I tired to take in every view possible… The sights around me were overwhelming yet comforting at the same time… Every time I looked in another direction, I had to take photos because the light and clouds were different every time…

IMG 4387IMG 4388

I kept on day dreaming about how this moment in time has been captured by me and only me at the top of this mountain… Never again will the clouds, lighting and foliage be in the same position, for nothing can ever be exactly the same….

IMG 4391

I kept on thinking about the millions and millions of years this mountain has been here and how this one day, out of millions, has now been captured by me and only me… This was my day, out of billions of days already gone by, and I own this certain point in time on top of this mountain….

IMG 4414

I found myself happy John didn’t make it all the way up, knowing this experience would have been completely different and I wouldn’t be able to claim this mountain for myself, on this single day…

IMG 4395

Today, Park Cone Mountain was mine and of course I was visited by a single #butterfly… Now folks, I didn’t see a single butterfly climbing all the way up this mountain… I know there are butterflies everywhere but it seems every time I have these #SpiritualMoments, I am visited by a butterfly… No matter how many are around, there is always one who stays close to me…

This butterfly was not afraid at all… He fluttered around the mountain top with me as if he was happy to have the company all the way up here… I have now determined butterflies are my favorite creatures on this planet… Every time I am feeling this great energy one of these little #creatures shows up to enhance my experience… Even on top of a mountain, 12,500 feet up… Amazing!

IMG 4415IMG 4417IMG 4418

I know I look completely ridiculous above but this is the best picture to show how I was I feeling… I have never felt so free and connected to this #world in my life… Standing at one of it’s many highest peaks with no one or nothing to bother me… Only a tremendous view that is impossible to soak in, even over a lifetime…

IMG 4420IMG 4421

If you have questions about God or life, it’s at the top of these mountains… I felt like I could reach out and grab the sun as it constantly played with the clouds, casting down momentary waves of warmth…

IMG 4422IMG 4423

Being up here made me think about the #AmericanIndian’s faith…. How they worship every piece of this earth, as if everything that exists on this planet is a god…

IMG 4428

I like that faith because if you treat everything on this planet like a god then you won’t go around destroying it considering it’s such a #MightyBeing… I love how the American Indians never put themselves above #nature and constantly thanked anything this gorgeous world provided for them, even the #animals they killed…

IMG 4431IMG 4434

This world is so damn beautiful and gives us so much yet we treat it like a servant… Like it was put here for us to exploit instead of treating it like we are temporary tenants…

IMG 4436IMG 4439

Why do we have to put ourselves above everything, like we are the ultimate rulers just because we have superior thought? Why do we need to put ourselves above anything? Why can’t we see ourselves as equals to everything living and not living on this planet?

IMG 4358

I know I sound like a #TreeHuggingLiberal but the way we treat this planet and the creatures on it is atrocious… All this planet does is give to us and we put a human formed representation of trade above it’s safety… I’m talking about money here folks…

Money can’t do this!!!! Money can’t form breath taking views over millions of years, yet we choose our own financial gain over the actual force that allows us to live so we can make that money… It makes no sense to me… This planet created us.. Without it’s wonderful intricacies, we could not live!

IMG 4359

Why are our egos so huge? Why do we put our god above the sole creation that houses us like they have nothing to do with each other? When we discovered #America, we tried to slaughter all of the Indians under the guise that they were ungodly and #heathens… Does no one see a problem with this? We killed tribes of Indians because they believed the earth was sacred and believed with everything they took from the earth they should give back… In the meantime we were slowly industrializing the world, doing all kinds of harm to the world…

IMG 4360IMG 4363

Do you really think a God would punish a whole group of people because they didn’t worship him solely but chose to worship everything he created? Makes no sense folks and that’s why I choose to make these mountains and the world it peers over my God…

IMG 4364

Since I can’t explain the existence of this so called God, I have chosen to worship everything he has created and as this new #priest of nature, I say everyone who destroys this planet is going to hell because I can’t think of anything more sacrilegious than destroying what the #almighty has created… Take that Holy Communion and swallow it you religious nuts! Reason and religion should go hand in hand but somehow all reason has been thrown out of the window and we have lost our grip on what is real and what is not…

IMG 4366

Put that book away and come climb this mountain, then you will know what it is all about… Forget that book for just a week and everything you have learned from it, then this mountain will show you what it’s all really about… I find it hard to believe that anyone could take this journey and want to harm this tremendous world after… Up here there is no words or logic, just a feeling that is very hard to put into words… But that’s what makes this feeling so celestial… No #church has ever given me this feeling because this is God’s church up here! Out there! This world is his church! I know this just by the feelings this world gives me… I need no more proof! I need no #angels to cast down on me and tell me what’s important and what is not! This world has the answers, they are just not in our language and they have nothing to do with our obsession with possessions and power…

IMG 4365

The American Indians laughed at us when we wanted to purchase land from them and now I see why… You can’t own this! This will be here long after you are gone, so how do you own a piece of this earth? The Indians were right and I laugh at man who thinks he can conquer and own everything… Absolutely absurd if you really think about it…

IMG 4448

Well, off of my mountain box… I stayed up on top of Park Cone for a good 45 minutes… Then I heard a faint screaming from below… I looked down and I could barely see John way down the mountain… He had waited for me… I screamed back, letting him know I was heading back down… He looked like a little red and yellow dot, he was so far away…

IMG 4449

I honestly didn’t want to leave but it was now 5pm and we had a long hike back down Park Cone… Every time I turned around it was like the sun was beckoning me back, pleading with me not to leave…

IMG 4452

Now, the whole time you are struggling up this mountain you find yourself looking forward to making your way back down but don’t be fooled… Though gravity is on your side on the way down, it’s a lot of gravity and I could see it was a lot more dangerous on the way down, especially from the peak…

You are practically leaning all of the way back and using your stiff legs to practically slide down the mountain… I found it easier to walk down and across, in a zigzag, taking pressure off of my ankles as I propelled slowly down the mountain, back and forth like a character from the game “Space Invaders…” It was a fast decent yet a careful one… Not that I didn’t fall here and there… When you slip it is quite scary…

I did find my water bottle on the way back down and was surprised at how long it took me to get to it… I thought I had passed it… There was a little water in it when I found it… I quickly drank the little puddle at the bottom and put it away… I guess it was a much longer climb up from where I left the bottle than I thought… Apart of the mystery of these mountains is the loss of your perception of distance and time… I am clueless when trying to navigate the climb…

IMG 4463IMG 4464

I soon found John who kindly took the backpack considering I was completely exhausted by the time I found him… The poor guy was cold as hell… Without realizing, I took the back pack with his jacket in it… He said he slept for a little while but had a hard time staying warm… I think he was happy to carry the back pack, hoping it would aid him in warming up… I was happy to get rid of it… My ankles were sore as hell coming down that peak and the extra wait was a relief to get rid of…

John then informed me he could hear me way up that mountain… He could hear me screaming and singing… I was a little embarrassed but I had no control of myself up there… It just all came out of me with no thought what so ever… He said the whole area probably could have heard me I was so loud… lol…

IMG 4466IMG 4467

We finally got down that mountain and enjoyed a less steep decline… As you can see, I was pretty much ecstatic at this point… I had conquered a formidable foe, well, friend actually, and now I was reaping the rewards… I was a little tipsy at this point from that one beer and a shot of espresso vodka John and I took in celebration… It’s funny how quickly you get drunk at this altitude and boy did it make the trip back down so much more fun…

IMG 4471

There’s the conquered Park Cone as the sun is setting behind it.. I now had a new relationship with this mountain… Every time I looked at her, I smile in utter gratification, knowing I had climbed her highest peak…

IMG 4476

At this point we found ourselves a little bit lost… I used my compass on my #iPhone to direct us towards #TaylorPark…. We soon found this fence which was in the exact direction we needed, so we followed it…

IMG 4482IMG 4489

The fence soon lead us to this dirt road that was scaling down the mountain… We figured it would take us somewhat near Taylor Park…

IMG 4490IMG 4491

John and I had made quite the discovery going up Park Cone… We found some cow pie with shrooms growing out of it…

IMG 4492IMG 4494

Now by no means am I an expert on shrooms but I knew right away these were the magical kind… They looked like the fresh version of dried out shrooms I have seen in the past…

IMG 4502IMG 4505

So, naturally John and I decided to look for more as we made our way down…

IMG 4509

Then we suddenly wondered upon this big fella…

IMG 4515IMG 4519

He was absolutely gorgeous! A huge old Bull, who was making his way down the mountain…

IMG 4522

Then I noticed up ahead, three younger bulls…

IMG 4520

Now, I had to be careful passing this big son of a cow… He was very aware of our presence and kept on stopping to stare at us… Almost as if saying “You get too close, one of these horns is going to be right up your ass…” But soon the old #soul cautiously let me pass…

Look at him! He is gorgeous! Even those painful markings have become apart of his image… He almost looks like a biker, ready to fight at the drop of a hat…

IMG 4524

Now I was in between the old bull and all of the young ones… Right as I was taking this selfie, the old bull started charging at me from behind…

IMG 4525

I quickly ran up the side of the mountain, hoping he would not follow… He grunted at me as he passed me, as if he contemplated on teaching me a lesson, but he soon continued on…

IMG 4526IMG 4527

John and I cautiously followed the Bull as he took a left turn up the mountain… The younger bulls were far ahead of him and I realized this was some sort of a cow trail…. There was cow shit everywhere… John wanted to look for more shrooms but it was getting dark and I was exhausted… But trust me, #TheTravelingMac didn’t forget where these bulls detoured, knowing other friends of mine will want to explore this area also…

IMG 4529

I was soon relieved to see a red house up on the hill… A view I have admired from Taylor Park many times… I wonder who lives there? If you can see, you will notice a road on the mountain leading up to the house… Absolutely beautiful location to pick… I would live here in a second…

IMG 4535

John and I soon took a left on that road and were blessed with these sights below…

IMG 4538

The clouds were going crazy tonight battling with the setting sun, trying to cover us in rain…

IMG 4543

Sights you could only see up in the mountains where we are amongst the clouds, not below them…

IMG 4541

Taylor Park looked like something out of a fantasy, sitting there waiting for us as it revealed itself amongst an amazing backdrop…

IMG 4544

I’m a changed man folks… Never will I be the same!

IMG 4545

All these mountains do is give to us and we don’t have to do much in return… Everything comes with a price but the price is really cheap up here…

IMG 4546IMG 4547

I could sit and stare at these beautiful sights for a lifetime and still feel like I haven’t seen it all… Everyday I wake up, I take a picture of these mountains knowing something will be different… When I am out here, I don’t want to miss a moment, fearing I will miss something phenomenal…

IMG 4548IMG 4549

I crossed the bridge going back to Taylor Park a new man… A man who has now experienced something more powerful than him… Something that has made him realize a little more what life is all about…

IMG 4551

A man who doesn’t really know shit about anything but is a little more wiser at the end of this day… For there is no written knowledge on top of Park Cone but there is an #energy that knows everything…

IMG 4550

And now my energy is up there and will be up there for the rest of time… One of the few out of billions who got to experience Park Cone and all the wonder it is all about…

Tell the Traveling Mac what you think... be nice now...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s