Anyone following my writing may think I have a thing about these billowing formations. Somehow there is a connection.
So what’s it feel like to hang out in a cloud? There are times when some might have suggested being in a “fog,” or that muddled thoughts might be similar. But have you ever been in a real cloud? Where you are high up in the altitude, like flying in a plane, only there is nothing between you and the cloud. Yeah, that kind of cloud.
Since most do not possess the ability to fly like birds, getting high enough to be in a cloud in the first place may seem a little daunting. The easy way, of course, is to find something high enough where a cloud might be likely to pass over. Like say, a mountain top!
Ok, so pick any resident mountain top for your cloud experience. Got one in mind? No? Let’ see if this will help you out just a little. Go with me to Quito, Ecuador, to the top of a peak right behind the city. It is one of the peaks of Mt. Pichincha named Cruz Loma, at roughly 11,000 feet above sea level.
Now the road up to the table on top of this peak can barely be called such. It is more like the worst kind of riverbed with no water, where ruts nearly big enough to swallow a Jeep are threatening all along the way. Speed is not an issue because there isn’t any! You could almost go faster walking, except the altitude for those not used to it would leave you panting and gasping for breath.
So you endure the wild, bumpy ride that reminds you of what it must feel like for clothes being rubbed over the ole’ wash board. Or maybe you remember in the Five and Dime Store those penny boards where you could sorta “gamble” to increase the number of pieces of candy you could buy.
When you put the penny in the slot at the top, remember how a coin going down one of those boards would hit those little pegs in it, causing the coin to erratically bounce all over the place. That might best describe your ride in the Jeep going up the trail to the mountain top. No, you don’t get extra candy!
But when you arrive with a chance to stretch your legs, and adjust the rest of your body, the panorama that greets you erases everything it took to get there.
No longer are you looking at buildings, or the sides of the road covered with overgrowth blocking any sort of view on the way up. Now you are treated to the absolute splendor of a panorama enjoyed by few in their lives. Up over two miles in the air, you see the city of Quito sprawled out in front and below you. Even the arriving jets were well beneath your height as they used to approach the runway at the Mariscal Sucre Airport, now located out in the valley.
Arriving takes your senses away for just a moment, before realizing you have a camera around your neck. And photos to prove you’ve been there to everyone back home are an absolute must for bragging rights! And then it begins to dawn on you just how far above everything you are.
All that you see below is in miniature, nearly the same as when you see through the window from inside a jet as you approach any airport. Only you’re not in a jet, and you can feel the cool breeze blowing all around you to prove it. So you start snapping photos of each other, the city, the surrounding peaks, when all of a sudden you begin to feel a lot of humidity and it seems like fog is surrounding you. Say hello to the clouds.
The moisture begins to coat your eyebrows, clothing and all the others around you as they stand somewhat awed that they are actually engulfed in a cloud. Your skin now feels the dampness as well and you can see the undulation of the moisture as it passes by. Everyone has changed their appearance as water droplets coat everything, and the breathing feels strange because of the heavy air.
There is no way to know how big the cloud is, or if it will pass soon. It all depends on the time of year, as during the months of the rainy season the peak is generally surrounded by clouds all afternoon. There are rarely clouds surrounding the peak through the 6 month dry season.
But you have just had a most unique experience, of being in the clouds. Your camera can tell the tale, as you most certainly have taken some photos…or did you? Were you so in the clouds that the suspense erased your conscious thoughts to capture the moment? If so, you could claim to have been on “Cloud 9!”