Conclusion

Bitter sweet.

That's how I described this adventure. Bitter sweet.

I would be kidding and fooling myself if I didn't say that I am disappointed. I'm disappointed that I wasn't as successful with something that I had been thinking about for almost three years as I would have liked.. I've said it before - I only have myself to blame. Nothing limited me except for me. That's the bitter part.

The sweet part - I made the effort to try something that I had never dreamed of doing. And I made that effort for me. I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I went further than I had ever gone before; I learned to bring my own toilet paper; I learned about the types of gear you have; I learned about the types of food that I should bring; and what food I shouldn't. There wasn't any way that I would have been able to learn this until I tried it for myself. No amount of reading or talking was going to teach me what I learned while sitting in the snow at 11,000 feet with full moon lighting up a volcano.

I had to experience it for myself.

There was only one regret during all of this - I wish I had trained harder.

Make that two regrets. I wish I had brought some Dots along.

2011?

Once my life had returned to normal - work, home - and I had a week to process all that had happened over the last four days, I came to the conclusion that once I paid for my Safari in Tanzania, I would plan another Rainier Climb.

Even under-prepared, I made it to the Ingraham Flats. The next part is the most difficult and once you're past that, you're practically at the top. And it's downhill once you make it to the top. Yes, I realize that I'm still not guaranteed a successful summit, but I know a lot more about everything involved this time around. Like with the half marathons that I've ran, I know what worked, and what didn't work.

And the pocket angel will again accompany me. Along with my San Diego Rock.

One day - I will say that I was on the top.

[picture galleries]