Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nightmare at 13,000 Feet

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nightmare at 13,000 Feet

Article excerpt

"I told you so" can be the most satisfying sentence in the English language.

If so, Janet Keller has enough satisfaction for the rest of her life. "I've got 50 years of I told you so," she said.

Janet told her husband, Tom, and her son, Dan, she didn't want a vacation in Colorado. She knew something awful would happen.

It did. At 13,000 feet. Above the timberline. Miles from the nearest theater, restaurant or concrete sidewalk.

But they wouldn't listen.

"I married a man who has visions of being a cowboy," she said. "He likes to get out on the open range."

Janet figured Tom liked the wilderness because he didn't know anything about it. "He was born and raised in St. Louis. I grew up in the Ozarks. There has to be a reason why there's a million people in the city and 100 in my home town."

Janet lived happily ever after in the city. But Tom and Dan wanted the manly mountains, with Jeeps and horses, flies and sweat.

"We rented a Jeep in Silverton to see the ghost towns," Janet said. "We were on this real tall mountain with a tiny shelf road running around it. The road was so narrow, there was only 10 inches on either side of the Jeep.

"I was so scared, I was crying, `Let's go back. Please let me go back.'

"We weren't even sure we were on a road. It could have been a washed-out creek. We came to a curve and wondered what was on the other side. I got out to look. My leg went down and I went down and I heard this snap. I knew my ankle was broken."

Janet began swearing in fright and anger.

"I yelled so loud, the campers in the meadow below heard me, which was a good thing. I don't know how else we would have gotten off the mountain."

One of Janet's rescuers was a nurse. One was a minister. While the campers turned the pickup around on the narrow road, the minister said, "Can I pray over you?"

"I said, `Hell no, get me off this mountain. …

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