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October 15, 2010
A mountain next to your town - scaled.DSCF3078

Missoula, Montana is a town tucked in the center of a ring of mountains. Sentinel Mountain watches over the University of Montana campus. Waving grasses bump up to long switchbacks in a trail that begins from a city road. Imagine, anyone who lives at sea level, as I do, or in flat places, or far from mountain trails, an ordinary morning in Missoula. You take the dog, perhaps, over to the trailhead, finding there a supply of extra leashes just in case you forgot yours. Within 20 minutes you are hiking past a gigantic concrete "M" painted white, set into the hillside for the past...

September 21, 2010
Legs begin to move, thoughts begin to flow - scaled.DSCF2858

I am back from a trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I climbed Owl's Head, the subject of a previous "Get This," and five other mountains. I climbed to the ridge where Mount Monroe waited behind freezing rain, a few snowflakes, high winds, and fog. My friends tell me I already summitted Monroe. I like the uncertainty. Most of all, as Thoreau said, "Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."

Which thoughts? First just realizations. By day four or so I realized that back home I wasn't getting enough sleep, was...

August 23, 2010
The mountain I said I would never climb - Owl's Head scaled

This mountain, the lopsided, bulbous ridge on the right, is much lower than the one on which I stood to take this picture, but it intimidates me more.It's known as Owl's Head, after a portion of its long ridge. Except for the smallish procession of people called peakbaggers who want to climb all of the mountains in New Hampshire over a certain elevation, no one would climb it. It doesn't seem to want to be climbed. It wants to be by itself.

There's something scary about it, off by itself there. It is completely in the trees. So to climb it is to understand that you...

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