Let’s take a step back in time. If you read last week’s post, you’ll recall that a bunch of us headed up the mountain by bicycle. We all brought luxury goods (including chips and salsa) as well as excess items (ahem, like a bike lock). By the time we had reached about 4,000 feet in elevation, a strange conviction overtook us: get rid of this stuff. Maybe it was exhaustion, perhaps it was elevation sickness (doubt it though), but most likely, we just felt celebratory. Since it was all downhill from the top, why we wanted to jettison it then, after all the work of getting it up so high, was a real mystery.
Josh had coconut chips, their silver bags expanded like well-inflated balloons by the lack of atmospheric pressure. I’m pretty sure these weren’t too heavy. Vince and I had cookies. Lots of cookies. I had at least a pound of them. I never saw more than a few of Vince’s cookies at a time, so he must have had a bunch, since he was more insistent than I that hikers we encountered took some.
While debating whether to go on the last few hundred feet into the snow zone, we ran into Holger, who’d gotten a late start coming up the hill from base camp. We chatted for a while, and tried to foist some cookies off on him.
From our high vantage point we appraised three twenty-something “Euro-kids” (as Vince described them) coming up the road. They weren’t hiking, and they weren’t exactly biking. Their steeds looked like a cross breeding experiment gone awry between an e-bike and an adult scooter. I don’t remember if the things even had pedals, but we were impressed that with such small wheels and an electric motor they could even make it up the hill. When they arrived at the snow line helmet-less, clean cut, and with obvious Eastern-European accents, they didn’t look seem your typical hikers.
“Hey, you guys want some cookies?” I asked them.
They eyed us a bit wearily, staying back from the snow, perhaps out of fear of getting their neatly ironed polo shirts, khaki pants, and nice sneakers damp.
Our bikes were leaning on bushes at the side of the road.
“I bet you could just leave your wheels right there and hoof it the rest of the way up,” Vince suggested.
“The view at the top is absolutely amazing,” I added helpfully.
Their leader said, “Three of you, three scooters.” They smiled.
We smiled too, never thinking that we’d have any interest in trading our steeds for theirs.
Then they turned around and started down the hill.
A few minutes later, they looped back up to us, parked their rides on the side of the road, tiptoed through the snow, and headed to the top.
I think it was my cookies that made them trust us.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.