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space.gif (52 bytes) The Outsider's Scoop: (by Josh)

December 15, 1998

"I realized that I had met a couple of real champions..."

As has been described in an earlier story, I happened upon these two fellows en route to Dole (one of the villages along the Everest trek). Being alone in a sense (I was trekking with my 18 year old sister Debbie - a neophyte when it comes to world travel, and Jim Morrison - a real cool dude, but 30 years my senior), I was surprised and rather pleased to find myself in Dole staying at a lodge with six other guys my own age - Mike and Jeff among them. I sat alone for a time, just eating my fried rice with egg and ketchup, and observing the activities of my new neighbors. I watched Mike school a dude in cribbage. That dude had just schooled another dude, who had talked a lot of trash, so that kind of made Mike the king. He accepted his new role of king quietly and without loud guff, and so I figured that he might be worth getting to know. I had mistakenly assumed that Mike and Jeff were trekking with all these other guys. Jeff informed me that they had just met them an hour or two ago on the trail. To make a long story short, I ended up trekking with Mike and Jeff all the way to Gokyo and eventually back to Lukla.

I realized that I had met a couple of real champions when I watched them offer my sister the encouragement she needed to get up Gokyo Ri. I was sitting sick in the lodge watching everyone slowly climb the Ri. My sister had attempted it the day before and had failed. I was bummed out to see that she was struggling again this second time. Just at the point of her turning back, however, Jeff and Mike met up with her. They gave her a Kit Kat and told her that she would not be allowed to retreat. They taught her the Kaji Sherpa rhyme, and she followed them up to see Mt. Everest - a couple of champions.

Following the Everest trek, Mike, Jeff, Aaron and I proceeded to take in Pokhara together, enjoying the pleasantries, and then came back to Kathmandu. I won't bore everyone by retelling the stories.

As everyone has heard, the two convinced me to come with them to India, and I'm glad they did. It has taken some doing, but I have finally tracked them down in Delhi. We are looking forward with anticipation to what I'm sure will prove to be six weeks of unrelenting activity, never-before-seen Indian shenanigans, and positively insane madness on the streets of this ancient country. We will revel in every minute of it.

In conclusion, the coolest thing about getting to know this dynamic duo is knowing that our friendship will carry back to Minnesota. I am also very curious to meet all of the people I've heard so much about: Curtis, Adam, Rachel, Ross, Mike G., Drey, Eric, Laura, Evan, etc. I wonder what they might think if they knew I know all that I do?!?