Once step up, two down, it seemed on that interminable mound of fine sand, nearly vertical as I approached the top. When I finally got there, I was so worn by the effort -- even though I was in about the best physical shape of my life -- that I fell to my knees and threw up. Then I looked up and there was my travelling buddy at the time, Jan of Nuremberg. He had chugged up the dune twice as fast as me, and had spent easily the last half hour sitting on top and admiring the scene ... and smoking.
My travelling buddy this time is Unni of Austin, and he has got to the top of this one ahead of me, but not fueled by smoking. He wandered over here while I was occupied with a call elsewhere. When I get there, he points me, first to the cellphone tower I mentioned earlier, second to the two large stones.
Each has a rectangular plaque embedded in it, and here are what the two plaques say.
Patrick Michael McAfee
C de P 1985
Died piloting his plane to his class reunion
June 8 1990
In Loving Memory of
Cameron Sinclair Duke
May 25 1965 - February 21 1990
Casa de Piedra 1983
From his family and friends
We stay there for a while, thinking of young lives cut short.