June 19, 1987

6/19/87 Mt Kenya

back at the campsite near "The Gates"

The banquet was a great success last night. Maria whipped up a magnificent pasta-vegetable soup. It was so good, it was the first thing gone. The other great delight was a chocolate cake with a nut-chocolate icing, some of the best cake I’ve ever had.

Later that evening, Mike and Lisa announced Maria was going to be evacuated in the morning back down the mountain. All of us were divided into three groups. Lisa, Mbugua and Becky were to be runners. Their job was to travel light and fast, trying to find transportation for Maria once we made it to the road. Then eight of us were to be the litter team which included Mike, Charley, Harvard, Dave, Margaret, Bo, Angus and me. Our job would be to carry Maria in an improvised stretcher if needed and to carry gear to support the litter crew. All of the rest of the group took any leftover gear and headed up to Lake Michaelson to pick up our next food drop at Hanging Tarn.

We woke up at 5am, cooked breakfast, broke camp and were on the trial by 8am. The litter group and Maria made straight up and out of the valley to the trail on the ridge. Maria was one stubborn girl. She walked the whole way down the mountain and refused to let us carry all her gear. We dropped off some gear at the cave we explored at our second campsite. We reached the road head proceeded on. After about two or three kilometers, Becky met us on the road telling us just to wait for the vehicle.

Taking a break on our evacuation hike.

A few of the guys went fishing while the rest of us learned how to play pinucle. Maria was in pretty good spirits. Finally, Mbugua and Lisa arrived. Mike and Maria would join them and head for the lodge farther down the road to wait for Maria’s transportation. They were to spend the night at the lodge and go on to Nairobi tomorrow. Mike and Lisa told us that they were afraid she had a blood clot in her leg and that if it got lodged in her lungs, it would be very bad. That evening, the whole litter crew had a feast. One reason was that the food drop was the next day and second, we didn’t want to carry what we could eat.