Kilimanjaro: Day 4, Tent City

On Mount Kilimanjaro

I awoke early in the morning, just before dawn, so got up to wander a bit and watch the sun come up.  When we arrived at the camp the night before, the first thing we noticed was that this camp was a junction for the other hike routes up to the summit.  This meant there were dozens more hikers than we had seen at the camps previously, and the term “tent city” came to mind.  

Kilimanjaro: Day 1 on the Mountain

Group Starting the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro

We got to Tanzania! After a three day trip with stops in Detroit, Amsterdam and Nairobi, including almost a full day layover in Amsterdam that we spent touring the city and sleeping in the airport terminal, we got to the hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. After awaking from the night before our hike, we enjoyed a nice breakfast in the hotel, and a long shower, knowing it would be my last for almost a week. We got into a LandCruiser driven by Goodsell, Goody for short, and off we went.

Kilimanjaro: Day 3, The air is getting thinner

Porters on Kilimanjaro

On the third day we woke to another short but strenuous hike, just over five miles, but because we walked very slowly to help acclimatize and not get too winded, we did okay. The first three miles or so were a long but gradual uphill climb through lava fields. We sang snatches of songs we couldn't remember all the words to, and played movie trivia.

Kilimanjaro 2013: Mount Olympus

Summit of Mount Olympus

Sam and I are getting short on time, only two weeks to go before the trip. Most of the equipment is ready to go, just picking up miscellaneous stuff now. Still need more hiking, and I am still worried about the altitude changes, though getting more familiar with the route, altitudes, etc. We’re getting pretty excited, I can tell because Sam talks about the trip in words with multiple syllables, really extending himself out there past the usual “yeah,” “duh,” and “no” we’re familiar with from our fun-loving teenagers.

Kilimanjaro: Day 2, Short but Steep

Kilimanjaro camp 2

Day two of the hike was relatively short, only a few miles, but very steep and rocky, and about another 2,500 feet of elevation gain.  Everybody in the party did well, and the day felt much easier. This was due mainly to the fact that it was dry instead of drizzling, and we had the whole day to make the hike, instead of just a few hours on the day previous. 

Kilimanjaro 2013: First Hike

Sam at the top of Indian Trail

I’ve camped and hiked most of my life, and 21 years in the Army as a reservist always reminds me of the best methods for not being miserable while hiking (and the Army being the Army, how to be miserable while doing it as well) and the need for being in shape if you’re going to be walking up and down roads and hills. I’ve also tried to bring up my kids to be as active as possible, and my three sons are pretty fit and used to the deal as well. This time, however, we’re striking out on new territory.