Truckster Summits 14er - Crew Along for the Ride!

We wanted to close out this 5-week journey at the top of a Colorado Fourteener, but were a little pressed for time. Not to mention climbing a fourteener would require us to leave the beloved Truckster, essentially the 5th member on this odyssey, behind at some remote parking lot waiting for our return. Wed be like those people who tie their dog to a parking meter while they enjoy dinner at a restaurant.

To us it was important that said Truckster be along for the final adventure. So, as we rolled towards Denver, we found the perfect compromise: a side trip to the highest paved road in the United States, Mount Evans (14,260ft.).

Our biggest concern was whether or not the Truckster could make the climb without dying. After all, were talking about a beat-up 13 year old Astro van loaded to the gills with 4 guys, a ton of outdoor gear, 4 downhill bikes (38lbs. each), and 4 kayaks w/gear. Already it was towed once on this Expedition... and that was during a relatively level stretch of highway. Driving up Mt. Evans the Truckster would encounter steep inclines, tight turns, and high altitude with little oxygen.

But we figured, "What the hell." Either the Truckster would summit the mountain or die trying. This was our last adventure and what better way for the Truckster to leave this world than to blow up while struggling to ferry our sorry asses to the top of a huge mountain? Ka-POW!!! Out with a bang!

So up we went...

In the end, the Truckster performed like a trooper. We jammed it in low gear and grunted up the incline. Most important, the Truckster bahaved-- it didn't veer off the narrow road, jump off a cliff, and kill us all. We were damn thankful for that!

So not only did the Crew get to the top of a Colorado 14er, but so did the Truckster. How very cool.

The parking lot of the Highest Paved Road in North America is actually about 100 feet below the real summit of Mt Evans. So the guys and I made the rest of the ascent by foot.

It was a grueling trek. We had to walk along a path with a slight grade. There were rocks here and there. Skeletons of those who previously tried and failed littered the slope. But we remained undaunted and pressed onward. Why? Because we had booze with us, and damnit we were going to drink it at the top!

All sarcasm aside, storm clouds enveloped the summit while we were up there. It got very cold-- to the point that by the time we would head down we would see snow flakes! And this was the middle of summer! But I digress. Back to the party...

At the peak we broke out the bubbly. After all, this was the celebration to end the celebration of the outdoor lifestyle. It was also the highest altitude we reached on our trip-- quite a fitting location for the finish line.

To me it was a melancholy moment, because this summit party represented the end of our Journey. The final adventure (an easy adventure) for the Expecition4am Crew. Once we made our way down this mountain, no longer would I be living out of an Astro van with these three guys I'd grown to know so well. I wouldn't be relying on them to make sure my climbing harness was doubled back or whether or not we had passed our next turn off. I wouldn't get shit from them, or be able to give them shit. The camaraderie would be over, along with the adventure.

5 weeks o' fun was coming to an end. So we raised our glasses in a final salute!

Partly because all good things must come to an end, and partly because we were freezing our asses off, we headed back down the mountain. Of course we saved one last gulp of champagne for our 5th comrade, and good friend, the Family Truckster.

There ya go, old buddy! See if that doesn't grease the gears a bit!

Don't go away!

We still have short WRAP UP POSTS on the way!

Some fun, wacky, and retrospective stuff is in the works!
So keep checking back!