2006, before Drones were everyday conversation, helicopter and jet fighters were the deal. I was on the exposed ridge about a mile away from telescope peak, Whitney to my right, and badwater to my left, alone on the mountain, having a soul searching moment about life, career and married life.
Out of nowhere, two helicopters pop out from the valleys below, hover over me while I'm on the thin ridge, the wind from their fan blades were strong, I hugged the ground, no time to take off my pack, felt that I would be blown off the mountain. Mind you I have experienced the famous Santa Ana Winds, and the Gayle force wind before. My heart was hyper beating. my face on the ground, I see a dead frozen mouse looking at me. surreal. The helicopters leave after 30 secs, then some jet fighters pop in the sky for some Tom Cruise Top Gun movie practice dog fight.
My heart beating rapidly. The jets were at a distance now, I was shaken up. I try to calm down. My moment of zen relaxation is now fight or flight, but fight what? I think about finishing the last mile to the peak, then a hail storm with ping pong size pelting, again, out of nowhere on a blue sunny day in DeVa.
I was solo, the flight instinct kicks in. This is too weird, I run back down trail, get to the truck, the choppers, jet fighters and hail storm all gone now.
I was trying to figure out what happened, did this really happen? I didn't believe myself. my camera broke. A few days later at home I downloaded the video from the broken camera to my laptop. still surreal thinking about it.
My family has medical history of heart attacks and dementia, thought I had both!