Richard Carnes


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August 5, 2013
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When all else fails

Watching the boob toob last week, I saw that immigration reform is going nowhere, Republicans voted for the 40th time to symbolically repeal Obamacare, Ted Cruz (Idiot-TX) is threatening to shut down the entire federal government if he doesn’t get his way, and the rest of Congress was so tired of accomplishing nothing they went on vacation.

Charlie Rangel used the phrase “white crackers,” while Chris Christie and Rand Paul slung bacon jokes in an attempt to outwit the other with media-fueled insults.

Putin provided asylum for Edward Snowden while doing his best to imitate Iran’s ignorance toward homosexuals.

The pope was suddenly OK with gays and non-theists, but like most supernatural belief systems, still against women in general.

All superstar athletes, former and current, are or were on steroids.

And to top it all off, some people care more about the return of Twinkies than the return of the American economy.

So an Aspen-transplant friend of mine joined me Saturday to do what any level-headed mountain man (or woman) would do when confronted with such worldwide absurdities beyond our control — we went for a hike.

Not just any hike, mind you, but a long trek to the tippy-top of the most iconic peak in all of Happy Valley. This is the peak seen in just about every photo ever taken that immediately screams “Vail” without any other info provided. It, of course, helps having the Clocktower in the foreground for most of those photos, but the point is the peak is highly recognizable, and by now most of you know of which I speak.

The Grand Traverse.

Looking east along Gore Creek drive toward the legendary corner with Bridge Street, one can never miss the beauty in the background.

I had not been atop the pyramidal peak in more than 20 years, and believe me when I say it has not become easier with time.

In fact, it was quite a bit tougher, especially for a couple of 50-somethings living under a cloud of constant delusion that their bodies are still 20-something.

Beginning the trek from the East Vail trailhead, our path meandered east to Deluge Lake, north up to a saddle and straight west along a precarious ridge to the top.

At this point we had the absolute most enviable view of Happy Valley that will never be witnessed by 99.9 percent of locals.

Luckily, we had cameras.

The best part, however, is anyone fortunate enough to stand where we stood can forevermore point to this peak from anywhere below and say, “Yeah, I’ve stood up on top of that puppy.”

That little egotistical tidbit is what made the nine-hour trip, followed by quality time in the hot tub and a smooth adult beverage, worth every painful moment that I am still feeling today.

But if I turn on the TV this week I’ll probably ignore the news and stick with the Dog Channel. When they do something stupid, at least it’s funny.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.


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The VailDaily Updated Aug 5, 2013 09:16PM Published Aug 6, 2013 02:41PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.