September 29, 2010
Another super Kilimanjaro expedition has come to an end, and what an end it was. The safari (almost) couldn’t have gone better. Weather remained perfect and did we see animals! The capper was at the end of our last day of viewing in Ngorongoro. We thought we were pretty much done and that we wouldn’t be seeing cheetah on this trip. So we thought. First, one cheetah was spotted. Then, another. The last was in the process of running down a Thompson Gazelle, only to have it snatched away after the kill by a hungry hyena. The cheetah is too small to fight with this scavenger. Again, we thought we were done and began heading for the lodge. One last stop was in order as two old bull elephants decided to say good-bye while standing in the road. We snuck by so close that you could have reached your hand out of the Land Cruiser and petted them.
But the trip is about people and we had another great IMG group. 10 on the true summit. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.
I can’t sign off without mentioning a special summit on this trip. An old customer/friend, Ken Maclaurin, signed up for this trip with his mom. Ken’s been with me on numerous climbs and I respect his judgment. As I read his mom’s sign-up information, I notice that she was 71. Like a said, I trust Ken. I was right. After watching her walk the first day on the climb, I had no doubt I’d be giving her a hug on the summit. Kathy Maclaurin climbed Kilimanjaro in great form and stood on the true summit of Uhuru with her son, Ken. Well done, Kathy. You too, Ken. (Read Kathy Maclaurin’s well-written story of her Kilimanjaro summit climb!)