Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 6th, 2009 Final Nepal Journal Entry

10/06/2009 6:08am (Del) 7:40pm (OKC)

I have been spread out and sleeping for I guess 3/12 hours. Our flight path is taking us East of where we flew last time. We have 3900 miles to go at a speed of 523 miles per hour, we are cruising at an altitude of 34,998 feet, and the outside air temp is -57 degree’s. I am getting ready to edit pictures for a while, or until my eyelids get heavy again. There is a power outlet under my seat so I have electricity!

GOING HOME!!!!!!!!

10/06/2009 1:15 am (OKC)

We are ½ way through Quebec, and 1:57 from Newark. We are traveling at 509mph, at an altitude of 37,995 feet. We have 928 miles to go and it is -66 degrees outside. I will not get to see the sun on this flight because it is following us. I went back and stood in the galley earlier, and talked to some of the flight attendants. I ask her if I was going to get through customs, and make my connection. She assured me that the pilot on this flight was headed to Houston and since customs does not even open until 4:15 am, so I should not have any problems. We are getting close to Quebec City, 872 miles from Newark. I am starting to get excited. We flew into the Arctic Circle, pretty crazy. Spent several hours over Greenland. It is amazing to think about all of the places, and faces I have seen over the last month. All of the people who's stories have impacted my life, and I hope there is at least ONE person, who I have touched as well. I do know one thing for sure. There has not been one person, guide, trekker, Sherpa, office staff, hotel staff, stranger on the streets of Thamel, Lukla, Kathmandu, Gorek Shep, or Island Peak, that does not know I am in love with my family. Wife, daughter, son, mother, dog, cat, brother, sister, every friend, co-worker, etc… This is the longest I have ever been away, and I have never traveled to a place so distant, or dangerous, by myself. I think that is the thing that impacted me the most! I had a mission, a goal, and once that was accomplished, there was a new goal! To get home to the people I care about and who care about me as quickly as possible. I wanted to buy everyone a gift. I will be bringing everyone home a gift, the gift of love, the gift of service, my desire to help those who can not help themselves. To spend more time with the ones I love, and those who love me. To bring some joy to someone’s life to make someone smile, to wipe away a tear. My duty now is to be a giver. So many people gave so much to make this dream, goal, obsession, a reality; it is my turn to repay the favor. Sherrie, Jordan, Trey, Ricardo, Miriam, Applebee’s, Kay Morton, Chad Duggan, the Klinka’s, Brummitt’s, Howell’s, Mark and Mickey… I can’t name them all but you know who you are. My co-workers, Jodi, Cindy, and Gaymarie…. Without their support, this dream never would have come to life. Sheri Stoner, Dr. Walton, Dr. Keller, Dr. Brussard, and all of the staff at FBH, all of my boy’s and their families at 805! We are just about to head over Montreal, then into US airspace, coming in over Niagara Falls, then into New Jersey. Ready to get through customs, and to my next gate. 2:01 am in OKC!

10/06/2009 9:00 am (OKC)

It’s been a couple of hours since I was able to write. We were the first flight into Newark this morning arriving at 4:00am. We had to wait for 15 minutes for customs to open. That went really smooth, from there you go pickup your luggage, and recheck it into domestic flights. It was good to see my bags, there in the airport. At least I know they are in the right country. From there I went straight to my gate and it was time to board. I was in the last row, window seat. The flight was pretty nice; I saw the sun for the first time in 30 hours. It was amazing. I kept watching the horizon and when the sun peaked up I got a little emotional. I knew it would come up…. It always does, I just wanted to see it. It is a lesson in faith. You have to have faith that the sun will rise everyday, just as you have to have faith the God will see you through you daily struggles. There were so many times over the last several weeks, that without prayer and fasting, I felt closer to God than ever before. I was closer to God at an altitude of 20,305 feet, but what I mean is it takes faith to travel to the other side of the planet, to trek 200 miles, climb a Himalayan peak. It takes a boat load of faith to fly into or out of Kathmandu airport. So many people gave me tokens to take along…. Curtis ask me to say hello to dad! I am happy to say Dad, and Pepaw were going fishing, and Memaw was cooking fried squash. I wore four necklaces everyday! One was dad’s dog tags from the air force, with my 805 Fight Club dog tag. One was my strength necklace with a beautiful St. Christopher medallion that Miriam gave me. One was a beautiful St. Christopher necklace Mike and Marilyn Isbell gave me, and one was the dog tag that Sherrie, Jordan, and Trey gave me the day before I left. It say’s…. Live your dreams! On the other side it say’s Love Sherrie, Jordan, and Trey 09/15/2009. I did not take any of these pieces off during the trip. They were my since of security. Something else I did not let go of were the handkerchiefs, my mother gave me the day before I left. One was my Grandfathers, and one was my grandmothers. While I took thousands of pictures, none of them can do justice to the beauty of the mountains, and its people, or the struggle of everyday survival in Kathmandu. All they have is tourism, Industry is nonexistent. Government is pathetic. There are no public schools, libraries, clinics, or hospitals. It makes me wonder…. Is this where we are coming from or headed to. :-/ On a different note: Highlights…. So many to list. The first view of Mt Everest, just below Namche Bazaar. Ama Dablam, which I must say is the most beautiful mountain. The Sherpa people. They are soooo strong and proud. You will never see a Sherpa beggar! Those people really know how to work. My first view of Island Peak. It had been shrouded all day by clouds, on our trek from Loubuche to Dingboche and that evening when I was walking to the dining hall… The clouds parted and there it was…. Only about a minute! Everest Base Camp drew tears to my eyes. All of my life I wanted to go to base camp; It was the culmination of tens of years of dreaming, planning, and a couple of years of vigorous training. All of the new friends I met along the way. I have probably written this before but right now it seems appropriate…

Naba Raj Amagani, owner of Himalayan Glacier Trekking.
Prem Tamang from HGT, my friend, and guide.
Deil Sherpa, my porter and coffee mule.
Mr. Tenzing Sherpa, My climbing guide.
Temba Sherpa, Our climbing Sherpa, and cook.
Anu Sherpa, Owner of Himalayan Lodge in Namche Bazaar.
Dowa Sherpa, Anu’s son.
Cheeky from Japan.
Giles, from England.
Harriet, from New Zealand.
Nancy, from New Zealand.
Mark, from France.
Enrico, from Italy.
Jochen, from Malaysia.
The Japanese team.
The team from Denmark.
The team from Israel.
The team from Korea.
My boy’s in Kathmandu.
Wolf from Holland.
Coco from Germany.
Krista, Dan, Nicholas, and the rest of Felix’s group from Canada.
The Aussie team that went to Rum Doodle with us!
Suroge my guide in Kathmandu.
James, James, and Ceri, from England.
Christina from Belgium, and Dewar her boyfriend from Nepal.
Jeff Wilson from Canada.
Anna and Larry from Singapore.
Most of all… Wolf from England, My new brother!
I am probably leaving out 20 or more people. They will come to me. This is not the last chapter in “Mat’s Quest” it is only the beginning. My only question right now is…. How do I top this?

As of right now I have been traveling for 32 hours straight. I have no idea what Sherrie has planned for this afternoon. I would love to have some lunch, swing by the hospital and see mom, go pick up the kids from school, and give lots of hugs! 40 minutes outside of OKC…. Getting antsy! Eye’s burn, butt hurts… I wore khaki pants and black spandex shirt, new blue Everest base camp shirt, new balance running shoes for the first couple of legs of this trip home. After we boarded in Delhi, I changed into my sandals, and at Houston I changed into my “Quest” Shirt. I thought it would be appropriate. I am near the back of the plane, and I hope everyone is in a hurry to deplane… 33 minutes to go! I feel dirty, and a Jacuzzi or really long hot shower would be really nice. For the next couple of days I plan on eating like a pig, sleeping like a baby, and loving like a Frenchman!

10/06/2009 10:18 am (OKC)

Just came on the PA and said we are going to be delayed a few minutes, flying further west than anticipated due to weather. We are going to be 45 minutes late!

10/06/2009 11:07 am (OKC)




I ran from the gate to security, into Sherrie’s arms. I knew at that minute…. I would never do anything like that again. For the next five days, I pondered on how crazy, and dangerous, my journey had been. It was then I decided….. I have to get back to the Himalaya’s! It is a second home now! It is where I find my peace, my place in the world. Just like Anatoli Boukreev said to Anu Sherpa, “My cathedrals, my places of Worship!’

Mat Jones

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