June 12, 1987

6/12/87 Mt Kenya

near Mt Kenya access road

Last night we had a slide show of Mount Kenya. I just can’t describe the pictures. The whole group was awed. We just sat there in silence and drank in the majesty of the mountain. I never imagined scenes such as these.

Later we all sat around a campfire and sang. It was the last time the two groups will be together. This morning, the first group left for the mountain. It was kind of sad because a lot of us had been together almost a week. Frank and Seth were the first NOLS students I met once I arrived in Nairobi, and they were in that group.

We left Naro Moru about 2pm in the land rovers. I must tell you that our land rover had no suspension. So the first two or three kilometers to the main highway was a bone crushing, teeth mashing ride, especially since I sat at the very back. We took the highway north to travel around to the eastern side of Mount Kenya. At first, the terrain was rolling fields, very green with wheat and sugar cane. Like the roads around Nairobi, the shoulder was covered with a mixture of maize (corn), beans and potatoes. Plus a lot of the fields between us and the mountain were used for grazing.

Our drive had two breaks. First we had to stop because of a bad wheel and then we were stopped by the police at one of their checkpoints. It turned out the land rover’s registration had expired a week before and a mirror was busted. We thought there would be a big hassle, but the policeman let us go if we promised to get everything fixed.

As we neared Meru, the terrain began to get very mountainous and steep. But that didn’t seem to stop people from growing coffee and bananas in this area. From there, we soon started moving directly toward the mountain.

The road was so muddy, our truck slid off the road.

The road, unfortunately, was dirt and mud. The road out of the NOLS headquarters was smooth compared to this one. Steve, the NOLS director, was our driver and he was very aggressive on this road. We moved along way, maybe ten or fifteen kilometers before the vehicle began to get stuck. As it started to get dark, we turned back about a kilometer to camp in a meadow.