June 21, 2007 – Greeting Cards at 15,000 ft and a secret "55" Joke

It was a cold morning when we woke up at our camp at 13, 600 feet on June 21 but the sun came pretty early and we were all outside our tents enjoying the beautiful morning light. One of the first things that I saw was Steve Nipper along with Caroline, big smiles on their faces, opening cards, reading cards and I looked closer, they were hand drawn cards.

It turns out there was a note to open these on June 21st  and they came from Steve’s kids, his children back in North Carolina, Sarah, Mason and Leigh.

Deke on the trailSarah, Mason and Leigh, your drawings are beautiful and the entire team enjoyed reading your greetings today.

Sarah, Mason and Leigh’s mom, Susan, is going to be on a plane soon to come join us  along with Becky and Elizabeth, the rest of the Martin’s girls, we are going to have a great adventure as we come off the mountain and join up with those girls and continue on safari.  We are really looking forward to it and we wish them safe travels on their flights over Africa.    

We are having great time with the team. I mentioned about Jackie and Caroline doing a lot of giggling; it turns out that Doc and Dennis; those 2 guys when they are together they are just as bad, I would say even worse. They got something in between them; I don’t know all that is going on; they keep referring to some joke about the number 55 and they just both break up laughing and they keep on going on a bit longer; most of them just enjoying one another’s company; I am not sure all that is going on between those two but they are having a lot of fun together, a lot of laughter.

We are in a most beautiful place now, you couldn’t believe it, it is called Lava Tower camp and we are over 15,000ft; there are giant lava rocks all about it, it looks sort of like moonscape and up above the lava tower itself there is a lot of new snow and the big glaciers of Kilimanjaro. So we really feel like we are really getting up against the mountain now.  The team is excited, they are tired, and they are doing well on the trail each day. I have a good feeling as we move around the mountain but we still have a long ways to go but we are going to take one day at a time.

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