by Kelly Cordes
Dude at curbside didn't budge from his chair. Gave me a bored look.
"Can you take my bags?" I asked.
He sighed. "How much they weigh?"
"'Bout 65 pounds each. I already checked 'em in online."
"Still gotta take 'em inside," he said, barely moving. "They're too heavy."
"You sure? Because I'm allowed three 70-pound bags and I only have two," I said, with a hint of smug pride at coming in light for a climbing trip – a lifetime first. His boredom shifted to confusion, like he knew what this meant but it didn't jibe with what stood before him: a scarred and scraggly dude in a baggy T-shirt who limped from the car in a bad mullet. Side note: in a case of mistaken brilliance, I gave my mullet a homemade trim before leaving for the airport. I botched it. Bad. It now looks terrible.
Dude stood up. Looked at his printout.
"First class, Premier Status," I said, flashing a nonchalant sideways glance.
"I'd be happy to help you with that, Mr. Cordes! Going to Anchorage, correct?"
[Above: Kelly Cordes descending London Tower after the first ascent of the Trailer Park. Photo: Scott DeCapio]