Sunday, July 26, 2009

A new high

Juan López

My vision was blurry, I felt like I was about to vomit and all I wanted to do was crawl in to bed and sleep – I was higher than I had ever been in my life.
Yep, last Sunday I traveled to Pikes Peak, one of the highest mountains in Colorado, which has a summit that reaches 14,110 feet and is not for the faint of heart.

I was there covering the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, in which rally cars, motorcycles, quads and other types of vehicles race up the mountain, some going more than 100 miles per hour – which is ridiculous considering there are 156 turns and no barriers separating the drivers from flying off the edge.

Anyway, while these guys were busy flying up the mountain, I was busy flying to the bathroom. Apparently, high altitude makes my urge to excrete bodily fluids increase by about 500 percent. I had about four and a half sips of water the whole time I was up there and I literally used the bathroom about every 20 minutes. I was baffled.
But other than the fact that my bladder was running wild, my vision was as good as a blindfolded Cyclops’ and my stomach felt like a bubbling mess, my experience at the summit of Pikes Peak was unbelievable.

The scenery was exquisite, the races were amazing and the people were friendlier than normal.

Because of all this I’ve come to the conclusion that high altitudes change things. It changed how my body worked, it changed how people treated me and it changed how my laptop worked. Due to the thin air, I had to shut down my computer every 30 minutes because not enough air was flowing through the hard drive. Never has technology let me down so much.

Despite the transformations I experienced at 14,110 feet above sea level, I would not hesitate to go back again – except next time I’ll be sure not to drink anything before I go.

42 comments:

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