Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Outdoor Goals

Don't waste any more time!

In the past ten years or so I've been frantically trying to climb every mountain that was on my old to-do list of places to see before I croak. Time is short. Barring an accident, I have maybe twenty or thirty years left to crawl across this mudball. And of course I have no way of knowing how much longer I'll be physically able to hike up steep slopes and pull myself up rock walls. So time's a-wasting!

I've almost exhausted the East coast of the USA of my major hiking goals. The Black Mountains are just about my favorite hiking spot, but I've been there many times. Mount Rogers and the Grayson Highlands in Virginia, likewise. The heights of the Smokies have been among the most beautiful hiking destinations I've had, but I've mined them out. Katahdin, in Maine: got it done. The White Mountains of New Hampshire, yes, with Mount Washington bagged--an amazing climb!

Just about the only major spot of eastern highlands that I want to see that I haven't experienced are the high peaks of the Adirondacks. I'd like to climb Mount Marcy and some of the other higher Daks before this mortal coil unwinds.

But, for now, my focus lies on the west coast. Carole and I have been trying to book our spots at Yellowstone for next year. But so far we haven't had much luck in getting lodging in the park. We're going to keep trying, though, because I want to climb in the Tetons and I want to hike into the back country of Yellowstone and see the land where the old Pleistocene megafauna still hang on, and where I'll be nothing but a lonely visitor.

With any luck, though, we'll have our western itinerary mapped out and we'll begin making serious plans to visit western USA's true high country. Life goes on.

The beauty is out there. Waiting for us.

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