The Rocky Mountain National Park was one of many parks we visited before and after heading to Burning Man this year. Upon reaching the tip of a mountain, from which we scaled by navigating a one way, narrow dirt path that included steep drop offs and hair pin turns, I discovered something very important about myself. And that is my body doesn’t like extreme altitudes at all! I was doing alright in Estes Park, roughly 7,500 feet elevation. But upon being dragged up the Old Fall River Road to some god forsaken mountain at 12,000 feet, my ears were plugged, my heart was racing, my bladder was constantly requesting a release, and most noticeably, I was huffing like I just got done running a triathlon. The view from atop would have been a beautiful sight to see had I not been more concerned about just trying to stay alive. Upon my rapid descent back to *gulp* 8,000 feet, my inner ear canal was put through an industrial size washer. High spin cycle. Needless to say, this cycle destroyed my appetite for the next couple days.
Once I was able to regain control of all my bodily functions, I set a personal limit that I will never again exceed 8,000 feet on any of my future treks. “Well I guess climbing Mount Everest is out.” states my travel mate. This is fine with me! I’m not suicidal. I wouldn’t even make it to base camp. I will forever stick to the beaches and coastlines, where my soul belongs. Luckily Machu Picchu is only 7,970 ft above sea level clearing just below my personal elevation restriction. This makes me happy enough.