27 Mar 2009: It should be noted that altitude illness tends to be less in those who are older...

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Its Johnson Brother's blog day...I actually offered to assist Mike, but appears I must put down a few thoughts on the blog.

As I left KTM with a cold and enough particulate matter in my airway to qualify as a "superfund cleanup site," my day started with coughing up something disgusting at 4:30am and awakening Michelle from a coma induced sleep. Obviously I was not going to join the group on the Thame marathon hike today (see Mike's note). A group of us who wished to "conserve" our energy went on a great walk from Namche to the Sherpa museum, then off to the Everest View Hotel, Khumjung for apple pie at the world's highest bakery (~12,500ft) and then off to Kunde and back to Namche. A great view of the local mountains and Ama Dablam, but Everest was clouded in today.

It should be noted that altitude illness tends to be less in those who are older, maybe because their brains have shrunk over the years. Hence my older brother Mike is tolerating the altitude well and was one who joined the "fit" group to Thame....

Here's Mike:
After omlets and flour tortillas the strong hikers trekked to Thame which is the old traderoute to Tibet. We hiked under sunny skies through the "jungle" of rhododendrons and variations of blue spruce, douglas fir, white fir, and juniper. The forest smelled like a forest after a rain. We passed through several small villages with potato fields. We spotted an Impeyan Phesant, Nepals national bird, and three Himalayan Tahr (similar to a mountain goat). We also passed numerous porters carrying 10-12 pieces of green propanel roof segments (they were 8x3 ft in size and weighing about 200 pounds). After six miles, we arrived at Thame for boiled potatoes, cooked greens and toast.

Thame is the source of hydroelectric power for four communities in the area including Namche. The return to Namche was a tiring hike with clouds moving into Namche. The hike was about 7-8 hours of trekking roundtrip. Dinner brough tears to the eyes of the strong hikers -- yak steak, french fries, veggies and an apple. As a sidenote related to Eric's message above, Eric is a mere two years younger than me... just something to keep in mind.