The Mountain and I: Chapter 1 The Crash

May 26, 2010
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I don’t want to go. But I have to. For the sake of my family. I gaze out on the treacherous icy cliffs below me and know how difficult this journey will be. But with my three-year-old daughter, Rose, and my five-year-old son, Samuel, waiting in the cave with hungry stomachs, I have to go down. To bring help.

I have thought long and hard over the last couple of hours of what I was going to do, but I have come to this. I will go down the mighty mountain. Alone. Bringing Rose and Samuel along is out of the question; they would slip and tumble down the side of the mountain in ten minutes. I have to do it alone, leaving them with the instructions to never leave the cave. I have doubts about leaving them, but I have no choice.

It all started when I decided my kids needed a break. We booked a round trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, that promised a sensational view of the mighty Pike’s Peak. They didn’t let us down. We had just passed the powerful icy cliffs of Pike’s Peak when we heard the flight attendant announce that we would be beginning our descent shortly. We were headed for a clearing where there were no mountains. I was buckling Rose and then Samuel in when the flight attendant’s quavering voice once again came over the intercom. She said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we will be experiencing some turbulence. Please find your seat and fasten your seat belt.”
I quickly finished with Samuel and found my own seat. I thought nothing of it until about five minutes later when I began to wonder. No one else was the least bit troubled, probably because they had called for seat belts many times along the flight. But in the pit of my stomach I had a feeling of dread and great worry. When the plane started to noticeably pitch back and forth, I began to sense that something was very wrong. My thoughts were confirmed when a huge jolt sent everyone flying forward, and before I knew it there was a large drop. It had that rollercoaster feeling and it made my stomach turn. By now, Rose was bawling and Samuel had that wide-eyed frightened look to him. I quickly unbuckled them and followed the instructions. The flight attendant told us that we were going to try to land on a flat spot on one side of the mountain. Before I knew it, we crashed onto the platform. The plane burst into flames in front of my eyes.
Looking back, I realize how lucky I was that Rose, Samuel, and I were right by the emergency exit. I managed to wrench open the stiff door and I jumped out with Rose under my left arm and pulling Samuel behind me. Soon we were safely on the frozen ground and running to safety. The mob trying to follow me was horrific. On my way out I felt constant hands grabbing me trying to come with me. I was forced to pull them off because they were holding me back. I was most frustrated with the people grabbing Samuel. I had to rip him away, injuring his shoulder, to get him away from the crazy crowd. Once we were settled safely away from the plane, I turned back.
What I saw was the most terrible sight you could ever imagine. I saw people with their clothes burning off their backs and oh, the sounds. The air was filled with ear-piercing screams. I quickly turned Rose and Samuel away and covered their ears. I was trying to distract them by the pretty scenery, but they were obviously rattled by the chaos. I watched the struggling stop and the screams slowly die down and I instantly knew we were more than likely the only survivors.
But I had other worries now. The wind was beginning to pick up and it was starting to snow. There was a storm coming. I quickly scanned the surrounding rock for shelter and I spotted a small overhang about 30 yards away. I quickly took Rose and Samuel to it. There was a dry bed of gray rock underneath the overhang and it was tall enough for me to stand up in.
If this had happened just a week earlier, we could have just walked down the trails leading up the mountain. But the trails were closed for the month, due to high snowfall and a high danger for avalanches. The snow made climbing virtually impossible and the avalanches were a constant danger. So we were stuck here.
I reviewed the supplies I had. Both Rose and Samuel had pants, a shirt, a sweatshirt, and a raincoat on. They each had a personal backpack with sunscreen, a water bottle, extra socks and underwear, and a peanut butter sandwich. I had what I was wearing and some extra clothes for them. I also had two more peanut butter sandwiches and one water bottle. I was thankful for what we had, but I knew it wouldn’t last long. We pulled on extra clothes and huddled together to watch the wind pick up and it begin to snow heavily.
That was yesterday. When we still had food, and I still had hopes of us being found. Now we are out of everything, and I know now is the time to journey down.

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dotdot29 said...
Jun. 9, 2010 at 10:08 am
Hi. I like this
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