"December 9, 2011
My hands are still bright red. If they were burned, wouldn't they have died down in color? Dirt continues to gather under my nails. I ran out of tissues yesterday. Bogus. I peed right outside my main tent opening last night (between the outdoor zipper and the zipper into my tent) because I didn't want to go outside in the cold. It was cold. I didn't sleep very well. A lot of tossing and turning.
We hung around Lava Tower this morning for a number of hours because there is "nothing to do" here at Arrow Glacier, per Herman. Herman gave me a demonstration of their hyperbaric chamber- that thing is one scary looking device. Per Herman, they've never had to use it much. Thank goodness. We eventually left and basically went straight uphill for an hour and a half. I appreciated the shorter climb. The views were ever-changing, given the fog. I do wish that there was more blue sky. Perhaps that comes in a different month? I'm just blessed that it hasn't been raining the past couple of days while we've climbed-that would be miserable.
So we made it here to Arrow Glacier- 16,500 ft. The highest I've ever been outside an airplane. I'm so thankful that I felt better enough to continue on with this climb. Arrow Glacier is another foggy, isolated campsite. I have been shocked by the isolation of this trip. There have been no other climbers at any of our campsites. Is this normal? And to think that I was nervous about sharing the trail with tons of Independence anniversary climbers!
When we got here to Arrow Glacier, I asked Herman to ask Ronaldo to turn his radio down. He quickly obliged. I felt bad, but I am the customer here. I don't think Ronaldo spit in my food or anything. In fact, he made pasta. It was the first time I ate the entire hot dish. I also ate watermelon. Yum. Unfortunately I'm still overly cautious about what I eat due to the cheese incident. I do miss dairy. I wonder how much I weigh right now- that would be interesting. When I left, I was around 157 lbs.
I hear water running. It's odd to me that there are streams at this high of an elevation. There is snow around- quite different from the rainforest earlier this week.
I woke up yesterday morning to find that a pair of underwear I had washed had turned frozen! Brrr.
I asked Ezekiel at lunch today how you say "Happy Birthday" in Swahili. I asked him when his birthday is. He replied, "January the 25th." I told him that mine was in two days. He proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. Gosh, I love that kid. He makes me smile."
I spent the afternoon and night writing in my journal, drinking tea and reading my book:
As it got dark, I recorded this video:
I didn't take many photos of myself on this trip, but here's a WONDERFUL one of me before I went to bed that night (yes, I slept in all of those clothes):