Salty Dog Cantina, by Susan

I laughed when Susan shared this story with me, so I encouraged her to write her first Danger blog post.

from Susan’s vantage point
As I strode into the Stray Dog Cantina, the proprietor yelled “Keep it clean, boys; there’s a lady in the house.” The only others in the cantina were nine burly men lined up at the bar, trading salty tails of mountain bravado. I took a table as far in the back as the tiny bar allowed. The proprietor walked up to me saying, “Sorry for the crowd, but it’s all I’ve got.” I ordered their only red and felt so conspicuous, I was compelled to explain that I was meeting my husband soon, as he was descending from the summit of Wheeler Peak. To which he said, “I hope he’s alright, because those three guys getting sloshed at the end of the bar are the mountain rescue team.” This was not particularly reassuring, and overhearing their slurred conversation that went something like this didn’t help:

“A local gets killed up here and nobody gives a @*#!……but let an outsider die and we never here the  @*#!  end of it…….and if a kid bites it, all hell breaks loose…those  @#$@*%#  reporters! They really rake us over the  @#$@*%#  coals.”

Maybe I should have waited in the Jeep, but the freezing weather drove me inside. Hoping Robert was close, I nervously refreshed my “where in the world is danger?” iPad app.

Susan & Robert at the difficult to reach Wheeler Peak Trailhead

Susan & Robert at the difficult to reach Wheeler Peak Trailhead

This was my second trip up the steep winding road to the mountain. In the dark of morning, I drove Robert towards the trail. Finding several roads closed, we jogged back and forth to gain access to the trailhead. Finally, we made it to a steep, snow covered trail just wide enough for the Jeep. I put on my brave face, locked in the 4 wheel drive and forced the Jeep up the icy terrain until the trail narrowed to a horse’s width. I said a prayer, kissed my husband good bye, and promised I’d be on the other side of the mountain by nightfall, awaiting his return.