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Pike's Peak (Mis)adventure

One of my sister’s favorite quips is, “There’s a fine line between tacky and tactful.” If that is true, then there is but a wisp between optimistic and foolish.

After our family’s mishap in Colorado a few years ago, I’ve decided that anyone who aspires to climb Pike’s Peak with a disability falls into the latter category.

Meet Calvin (not his real name), our friend who thought he could climb Pike’s Peak without telling us he had asthma. He also neglected to pack an inhaler. Without being unkind, I think we could say that was extremely…eh, foolish.

When our children invited Cal and his wife to go on vacation, they had no idea this 25-year-old optimist suffered under the delusion that he could survive in high altitudes with minimal oxygen, while keeping up with my husband and the rest of the group. And, as I said, he didn’t bother telling us he had asthma as a child.

To his credit, Cal did keep up for over half the climb. After several hours of climbing, resting, half carrying Cal up the mountain, however, his weary friends thought he may be going to his eternal reward.

Drawing each breath painfully, our friend had reached the timber line, about two miles from the top. He was almost expiring, but this frugal young man was reluctant to pay $2,600 to be lifted off the mountain via helicopter. I guess money talked pretty loudly to Cal that day.

It was then our daughter noticed the search and rescue team higher up, helping another unfortunate climber.

“Help! We’ve got a man down!” she shouted.

The gallant team performed a heroic rescue, supplying oxygen and helping Cal and his wife down the eleven miles to the bottom.

As for Cal, I'm still casting sidewise glances toward him. He really doesn't look all that strange. But then, as my dad said, "Looks can be deceiving."

How about you? Know anyone who had crazy experiences on vacation? Feel free to comment below.

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