Monday, September 5, 2016

Randy's luggage found - all ready to go!

This is Judy  -- aka Randy's wife, mission control back at home in the good old USA, and surrogate blogger while they are in Africa.  All is well in Arusha; just a quick update that Randy finally received his very much needed gear bag by about 10pm Africa time!  Phew. The other team members had spent time during the day organizing for their kick-off climb tomorrow.  They've been sorting their gear, checking in with their head guide Mike, shifting things between their back pack, duffel, and leave-behind bags to get down to 33 pounds or less.  Now, while the rest of the teammates were likely trying to sleep, Randy was about to spend an hour going through his VERY carefully planned and packed gear bag to do the same.  He was cool though; this is not his first rodeo!  

Here's a picture of the boys leaving our Delaware home the other day all packed and raring to go.

It was almost ironic that of all the people to have their bag delayed, it was Randy.  He is the ultimate in terms of planning, rethinking, making lists, double-checking, researching newer and higher performance gear, and packing and unpacking his duffel bag. I'm always amazed by how much thought and planning goes into all this. I honestly could not count how many UPS boxes arrived at our house over the past couple months. Let's just say they are very well prepared, and if one of their teammates needs some duct tape or something, they are in luck! Anders (our oldest son and Randy's usual climbing partner) has of course been through this preparation process many times both with Randy and on his own adventures. Now Alex, our youngest, has been inducted into the world of gear planning with Randy.

Here's a little glimpse of what our house looks like in the days before they depart.  Yes, it's a little scary for someone (me) who has been trying to get rid of stuff for the past few years, but I am happy they are well-prepared!

Also for this adventure, our very dear friends, Dan and Paula Barr, and their awesome daughter Caroline, are part of the Kili team and have been going through their own gear planning and organizing in the past months and weeks.

Here's a picture of the Barr crew at the airport:

They look pretty chill, but probably weren't quite as relaxed when their floor looked like this a few days ago.  Now that Paula and Dan have downsized into their ultra cool modern digs, one might wonder where all this stuff is going when they return!

In any case, since they are 7 hours ahead of us on the East coast, I'm sure they are all at least trying to sleep, excited and a bit nervous about their impending adventure.  In the morning, they'll be driven a couple hours north and enter Kilimanjaro at the Machame Gate, then hike 7 miles and 4000 vertical feet to Machame Camp at about 10,000 ft elevation.  For those of you interested, here's a map of Tanzania showing the locations of Arusha and the imposing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
More tomorrow; positive thoughts and prayers for a fun, safe, and successful climb. Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in their favor!

1 comment:

Mommy said...

So excited for you all and this epic climb! Congrats on reaching 10,000 feet!!! One climb closer!! xoxo Joyce