|Not Me on Mt. Everest|
In retrospect, coming off a central NJ winter during which I barely crossed the threshold of my home because it seemed to snow every other day and the wind threatened to muss my hair, my obsession with Everest may seem strange to you. Well, it seems strange to me too. After all, I don't care for the cold, snow or ice, peeing off the side of a ledge 25,000 feet up, yak meat, the threat of avalanches, or cerebral edema (that's swelling of the brain at high altitude). And, oh yeah, my lips get chapped when the humidity gets too low. (Like a papercut, that's the absolute worst). Me? I would never be tempted to climb Mt. Everest simply because "it's there" as George Mallory so famously pronounced.
The only way I can explain my obsession is through my admiration for the indomitable human spirit - that small, still voice that whispers "You can do it!" when one is discouraged, tired, hungry or screaming "MAMA!" while dangling from a fixed rope at 27,000 feet, watching ones oxygen mask fall into Tibet. (The last time I heard that voice I was almost at the bottom of a pint of Cherry Garcia, and I didn't need that much urging).
Fortunately for me, the Cafe Everest Diner is only two miles from my home on terra firma. You might reasonably ask me why, living in chain restaurant paradise as I do here in the unnamed city I call home, with Chile's, TGIFs, and Ruby Tuesdays almost around the corner, I would choose to eat at the Cafe Everest Diner - where they don't even serve yak steak.
Why indeed? Because it's there.