"'We have fortified our stronghold! We will barricade ourselves inside! We will not budge!'"
"The shouts of the soldiers ring loud through their fortified stronghold. The siege has lasted 12 straight hours with no respite in site. The men sit, covered underneath their fortress. Their eyes stair intently upward as if the ceiling would suddenly do something amazing. No such incident occurs. Just the consistent and unrelenting barrage from the enemy...."
"It has been nearly 24 hours since the men were forced to hold up inside. Morale is being slowly drowned. They only dare to step foot outside their enclave for necessary needs for the risk of being ambushed is too great. The end does not seem to be coming. Hope is weeny. The men begin to wonder if they will ever get to see their paradises again: those feelings of warm embraces; the air beneath their feet; the views. All these hopes and dreams seem so far away now."
"In the middle of the night, a sound awakens the men - the sound of absence. There is no tumultuous sounds of enemy barrage. They bolt up in their cots. They stare hopefully at the walls and ceilings but they do not dare go, or even look, outside for the risk of defeat is surely guaranteed. The men lay back down and continue to blankly stair at the ceilings. 'Maybe in the morning,' they ponder hopefully, 'Maybe....'"
"With the rise of the sun comes yet more defeat for our worn and weary soldiers. The siege has taken a great toll - greater than one could have expected. The men have gone stir crazy; cabin fever has set in; some have dared to think of waving the embarrassing white flag of surrender. It is when all their hopes are nearly beaten into the earth that our Hero emerges."
"The men have begun to wonder what had happened to their bright and wondrous hero. The hero had been absent since the beginning of the siege. Many thought the hero had died, others muttered words of treason, treachery and switching sides. The hero held within itself the lifeblood of the men; the ability to muster their strength and raise their morale. Surely, with the return of their hero, sure success was in the future...."
"The men wait through the night in hopes that at dawn their Hero would rise with mighty strength and vanquish their dark enemy. The men would rally underneath their Hero and victory would be theirs! As dawn approaches, the men grow anxious. The sounds of onslaught are absent. 'Could this be it? The end is surely here!'"
"The men grow brave with the thought of victory near. They ventured outside their fortified walls in hopes to catch site of their retreating enemy. But to their dismay, the enemy was not vanquished; it lay still beyond the trees and mountains. Their Hero is no where to be seen but the un-endless attacks have ceased...for now."
"The men huddle together. They try to formulate a plan. They are uneasy with moving forward without their Hero. 'But their is no barrage of enemy ammo! We must move on,' musters one brave soldier. 'Yes, this is true but our enemy still exists and without our hero defeat is nearly guaranteed.' These strong words of a well-traveled soldier struck hard with the men. They all hope to live to live another day! Our men decide to not push further as the risk is too high. Instead, they work on expanding their fortified refuge, tending to their wounded and increasing morale."
"As evening of the third day draws nigh, hunger is beginning to set in . The fact that no ground was lost yet no ground was won is welcomed among the camp. They spend their evening eating, drinking and being merry. Yet, each of our beaten men know deep inside that the fight has yet to be won and that tomorrow is another day...."
"The day broke on the fourth day of the siege. The soldiers drearily and pessimistically wake to begin the day. One by one, the men stepped outside their fortress of safe-haven and their eyes needed to be shielded - for their Hero had arrived and banished the foe beyond the mountains! The men rejoiced as their sanity has been saved! The men gathered their gear and eagerly and excitedly, as with a new passion, ventured out in the wilderness to conquer new heights. Our soldiers have lived to live this day!"
It rained for three days straight. We were at the mercy of precipitation. It was tough. We climbed, fantastic climbing at that, on day one but were held up in our car and under our tarps after that. The sun never showed itself for two days straight and barely came out for an hour on day three. It was a rough three days, needless to say, but when the morning of day four rolled around we had nothing but splitter (read amazing!) weather in store for us.
The weather forecast was known. We knew to expect rain for the weekend. However, when the only things you want involve being outside all day in dry weather - rain is the relentless enemy you hope to never have to face. But we survived. We battened the hatches. We lived to climb another day.
Written on September 6, 2013 by Patrick Betts