July 23, 1998
| July 23rd|
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Like San Angelo, Texas a year earlier, was a breath of fresh air. It was bright, clear, very open, and mountainous. I loved the wide open spaces. I got a rental-car and played war for two weeks with my subordinate, Jamey (the guy I didn't like). My office in Korea was Theater Missile Defense so our job was to develop strategy against the looming surface-to-surface missiles in North Korea pointed down our throats.
To my luck, while I was in New Mexico the Tour de France was on...so I got to see it! I settled into my room after work, watched the latest stage in the race, read my Bible and a book my sister gave me (didn't finish her book until 2006...sorry Brenda), and worked out. I phoned Ha a few times--it was pleasant, but Brent was with her. I told her I was feeling much better.
I'd planned to make a marathon 1000 mile round-trip drive to the Grand Canyon and back, and finally see it close up. I had just enough time on the first weekend to do it, but after getting many warnings from the people I was working with that they would not back me up if I ran into trouble, I figured it wasn't worth my career.
The weekend before I left, I shaved off most of my hair, drove to the foot of Sandia Peak outside of Albuquerque (unrelated to the hair thing), walked to the summit at over 10,000 feet, and back down, a walk of about 19 miles--although new information tells me it may have been closer to 15. I was a little concerned about park restrictions (see photo).
| It was exhilarating!!! I made the summit in just over two hours. It was completely covered in fog at a lower slope,
about a mile away over a saddle ridge, and a few hundred feet higher, according to the
information I had, was the real summit. I got there as quickly as I
could and when the fog cleared I took some quick photos. I know God was
with me because the moment I put the camera away and turned around to
descend, thunder and lightning started. It had been threatening all the
way up but waited until I got my photos. It never caught me.|
I sang all the way down because there were rattlesnakes up there and I didn't want to surprise them.