The Journey to Pride Rock
by Christy Ihlo -- August 1st, 2012
It was late afternoon, the air warm and the sun bright. We climbed into the faithful truck “Old Sally” and wound our way through the steppe towards Lorkimon, a mountain with gorgeous sunset views. Along the way we saw black-backed jackals, a bit of a surprise to catch a glimpse of one. Eventually we turned off the beaten path and started to climb the mountain. Buddy and Laly have made this trip before and know the way to the top. We slowly wound our way upwards, ducking thorn branches from time to time. About half-way up, Buddy stopped the truck to investigate the best path and to our dismay, faithful Old Sally decided that she just didn’t want to restart. This is not a totally new situation. Sometime she requires a bit of a push forwards or backwards to get going. So, that’s where the interns came in. Everyone got out of the car, leaving Buddy to steer, and we started pushing the truck, down the mountain, backwards, off the beaten path, leaving Buddy to dodge angry trees and maneuver the truck away from the brush. It was one of the more intense moments I’ve had here. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous watching him roll backwards down the hill (and by hill I mean mountain) trying to get the engine to catch! But it finally did, after several rather harrowing attempts, and we continued to climb the mountain, eventually reaching the crest.
The view was incredible, even with the dry season haze. I’m sure the view is downright unbeatable during the rainy season when the air is clear and the savannah is rich with green. We settled on a rocky overhang that surely was the inspiration of the infamous “Lion King” Pride Rock and soaked in the view. The sunset was spectacular, the air calm and quiet, and for that moment, the world was simply at peace.