We got a late start and I knew it. Kids hike slowly. But I was finally going up Horsetooth Rock! I hate to admit I’ve lived here eleven years and hadn’t climbed it before. We stopped for lunch during the best part of the day with a bright view of Horsetooth and hikers appearing and disappearing in silhouette on the top of the stark ridge. Dark clouds manifested as we scurried toward the tooth and just as we reached the base, it began to sprinkle lightly. I deemed the final climb unsafe for the boys, so they started back down the trail with Dad. Melody and I made the scramble up, and she found a secure, sliced-out shelter to enjoy the clouded view while I explored across the top. Just then burst out a roll of thunder, and the sprinkle turned to rain. I know about lightning strikes on Horsetooth; I know too about fatal falls. Suddenly that lichen-clad rock was fast becoming slippery as slug slime. I dropped to my hands and knees and tried to fend off panic as I inched back toward Melody, still patiently sheltered near the exit pitch. I flipped over and scooted down the wet rock on my backside, afraid to move, terrified to stay. Soon we were climbing down, and the storm began to pass. Perfectly wrong timing. So now I’ve been there and done that. The kids (even the boys) love to point out the mountain from Fort Collins and say they climbed it, yet for me it is still an unfinished story. I need to conquer it and stand firmly on the top gazing at Longs and Meeker with my head high, fearless.