Post 1 in series here: Zombies on Sawtooth – part I
Mountain: Mt Bierstadt and Mt Evans (Colorado)
Hikers: Author, Uncle, and Cousin
Distance Hiked: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 3000 ft
Route: West Slopes
Hikers eaten by Zombies: 1 😦
I was reclining on my couch, enjoying the refreshing taste of Mountain Dew, recovering from my previous hike of Sawtooth when my relaxation was interrupted by sharp banging on my door. Fearing the zombies had broken into my apartment complex I grabbed my shotgun and said a quick farewell to all the things that I would miss about this place. The hot tub which was big enough to fit me and twelve other middle-aged men or seventeen younger men, the lap pool that was always cool, the wide open grassy areas, the bird that lived outside my window and…… I’m forgetting the last thing. Oh well, I should open the door and, MY FAMILY, right, right, my family; I’ll probably miss them to.
Gripping my shotgun tightly I turn the handle and pull open the door. I’m surprised to see my uncle lying on the ground, panting and clutching a bloody stump of a leg, face scrunched up in pain. “Uncle” I exclaimed and pulled him into the apartment, relieved that I could live here for just a little bit longer. After I had seen him jump off a cliff, hundreds of zombies in tow, during our hike of Sawtooth, I had assumed he was dead. I hid the Mountain Dew (I didn’t have much left) and got him some Mellow Yellow while I started bandaging his horribly smelly leg. In-between gulps and cries of pain he told me his harrowing tale.
He had awakened at the bottom of the cliff, his severed leg lying a few inches from his head. He had been lucky, the zombies that had followed him off the cliff had been dashed upon nearby rocks resulting in thousands of fingers and toes crawling all over the place. He had been close to giving up hope when the ghost that had appeared to us at the top of Sawtooth appeared to him again. The ghost told him that he had made a mistake, the secret recipe for the magical pale ale that could save us all from the zombies was not on Decalibron; it was on Mt Bierstadt. My Uncle knew he had to tell us what the ghost had said but, there were more zombies making their way up the basin and he had to go six miles just to get to the trailhead. He fashioned a club using the lower half and foot of his severed leg and used the femur to make a spear.
I wrinkled my nose, this story is disgusting!
Fighting and crawling his way down, he made it to the trailhead, but no one would give him a ride as he was seen to be one of the undead due to the fact his leg was missing. Over the past five days he had crawled the fifty miles to my front door, surviving off of small rodents and the five year old power bar he had found in his fanny pack.
I sent for my cousin and spent the next few weeks nursing him back to health. With my cousins help we fashioned him a prosthetic leg out of a shotgun, a hamster wheel and a couple of hot dog roasters because of that movie we had seen that one time and it seemed like a good idea. Once he felt strong enough the three of us began our dastardly plot to storm the slopes of Mt Bierstadt and solve this zombie crisis once and for all.
Two Weeks Later
We silently closed the doors to my 1984 Toyota Tercel and looked at Mt Bierstadt in the glorious light of the new day’s sun. The mountain itself didn’t appear to be too hard. From the trailhead we could see the path all the way to the summit 3.5 miles away with 2,850 ft of Elevation gain. The only problem that we could see with the beautiful hike that was laid before us was that there was no way to hide from the zombies. The slope was easy, gentle and clear of the usual rocky debris; if zombies saw us they would be able to get to us eventually. We finished the Big Macs we had purchased from the 24/7 McDonalds in Georgetown, strapped on our hiking boots, and hit the trail.
The trail immediately dipped down into a small valley with marshes and willow bushes stretching out as far as we could see both to our left and our right. It was dark and eerie in the bushes and we all stayed quite, listening for the moans of the unfortunate brain eaters that certainly lurked somewhere nearby. After thirty minutes or so of quite hiking we emerged back into the sunshine and the base of the slope that would lead us to the summit. Energized by the light on our faces we kept a brisk pace up the grassy slopes. Checking behind us occasionally, we were relieved to see that besides some other recreational hikers; we were the only ones on the mountain today.
In no time at all we found ourselves on the summit. The views were wonderful and there were few clouds in the sky to stop the sun from touching the dew moistened greenery below. We took a break to drink some water and take some pictures; then we began scouring the top of the mountain, searching for the hidden recipe. A few other hikers came and went and after three hours we were becoming desperate. Suddenly, the ghost from Sawtooth was before us. We cried out to him, asking where we could find the beer recipe that would save all of mankind.
Much to our anger he informed us that he had lied to us…..again. This hike had been a preliminary test to see if we were worthy to undergo the trials to find the actual recipe. At this point we were fairly miffed and my uncle tried to shoot the ghost with his leg shotgun; alas the ghost was unharmed. After calming down and deliberating we informed the ghost that we would undergo the trial for the sake of humanity and to keep the number of viewers high for our favorite TV shows (the zombie apocalypse had hurt the viewership ratings and caused the cancellation of many fine shows).
The ghost seemed pleased with our answer, smiled and clapped his hands together. He informed us that the first trial would be starting immediately and he pointed his shimmering hand down the mountainside. We looked in the direction he was point and cursed quite loudly. A horde of zombies was running up the mountainside. Hundreds of them were groaning with both the exertion and the need for brains. We couldn’t go back down the trail and if we went down any other direction that led back to my car they would cut us off. We did the only thing we could do, we ran in the opposite direction, towards a “Sawtooth ridge” (a steep and difficult ridge) behind us. As we ran I risked one last glance back at the ghost; he was rolling on the ground laughing his ass off. Stupid ghost.
We made it to the Sawtooth in short order but the moans of the zombies were growing louder. The Sawtooth ridge we were going to cross was steep and loose and it slowed us down, but it might give us the edge we need. Once we were half-way across, the zombies crested the summit of Bierstadt and headed striate for us. When we were most of the way across they reached the ridge and started crossing. But what was this? Smiles leapt to our faces as we watched wave after wave of zombies attempt to cross the ridge with most of them falling to create small little undead puddles below. Silly zombies. However, some of them were doing a decent job navigating the rocky terrain and we continued crossing. The ridge we were on connected Bierstadt to another fourteener, Evans. Our plan, once we reached the other side, was to run up to the top of the mountain to the tourist parking lot that we knew would be close by.
Upon reaching Evans we turned and saw that at least three zombies were still making their way towards us. Calling upon skills we had learned while watching “The Lord of the Ring” trilogy we picked up rocks and hurled them at our enemies. My cousin got the first two and in the end I was able to take out one super spindly hippie chick that had uncanny balance considering she was dragging her liver behind her.
For a few seconds we breathed a sigh of relief as all fell quite. We congratulated each other for having survived the first trial and headed up the hill to the parking lot. Unfortunately, once we reached the parking lot we were greeted by another hoard of both fast and slow zombies. We had little time to think and we started running back the way we had come with those pesky brain munchers hot on our tail.
The back slope of Evans was gentle and covered in young, green grass, just as Bierstadt had been, and we made fantastic time down the hillside. My uncle led us the whole way down by balancing on his fake leg, using the hamster wheel as a tire and rolling down the hill. I really wished I had a fake leg. After running two miles down the mountain we had made some distance but we still had to get back to the car, and in order to do that, we had to go through three miles of willow bushes and marshes.
Knowing we had no choice, we dove into the bushes and started pushing and splashing our way through natures version of a wet spider-web. Several minutes later we heard the zombies crash into the wall of willows behind us. We hoped they would have as much trouble as we were having. After two hours of slogging we knew we were near the end, we were actually going to make it. Then my uncle became severely entangled in a willow bush. We tried to free him but we were really tired and it was his own fault for creating little hooks out of the hot dog roasters we had attached to his fake leg.
As we reached my Toyota and headed down the road we could hear his shotgun firing in the distance. It was fairly poetic, listening to the blasts as we drove through the beautiful countryside, marveling at the sunset.
As we drove home we wondered what our next trail would be or how we would even learn about it. One thing was for certain. My uncle was a super unlucky guy!