This is my low point as a Royals fan. Really. We finally make it to Death Valley, but we're both sick as dogs with a strong cod/flu, our noses running like the Kauffman fountains and more fluctuations in our body temperature than a Missouri spring. We're standing on salt flats almost 300' below sea level, salt flats as crusty and desolate as David Glass' soul. I prop my trusty Royals hat, one that has never seen a live home win, on the sign to document this special moment.
I look up at Telescope Peak, glinting there 11,000 feet above the basin floor, where I'd really like to be, and it seems like the World Series to get there. We have a shiny rental VW Beetle, sportier than what we need and acquired only after a hellish day of rental company fiascos. We paid too much for it, but it only gets us up to 6,000' before the pavement gives out. Given how we feel, I think of it as Big Fug Bug. Nice car, but not enough to get us over the hump.
The good news is, standing there halfway to the summit, as far as our shiny expensive rental can take us, looking up at the snow-capped peak, it feels like, in a way, we climbed it. It'll have to be enough.
In my virus-addled state, sleeping 12 hours a night in our tent, I hazily compose the Royals' 23rd Psalm in honor of Death Valley:
The Royal are my shepherd; I shall not want (nice things).
They maketh me to sit down 'fore green infields: they leadeth me beside fountain waters.
They restoreth my grit: they leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for baseball's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no Tigers: for they art with me; their bats and their gloves they comfort me (ok, one out of two ain't bad).
They preparest a lineup in the presence of our enemies: they anointest their faces with hand signals; my beer runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Royals for ever.