Wherever I go, things related to the mountains always catch my eye, even in mundane places. My doctor’s office has a small, exotic poster of Lohtse and Everest from the north hidden by the door to the lab to honor a doctor who recently passed away — it once hung in his office and I admire it every time I go for an appointment. At garage sales and used book sales I enjoy finding used climbing books (stories, guides and coffee table books). I recently stumbled upon this…
During my brief visit to Buffalo, New York for my 10-year college reunion, I dropped into Wolter’s Bakery for a frosted sugar cookie. I found two slightlyfaded magazine clippings of Mount McKinley / Denali on a clear day. They were taped to the glass by the dining area they way a high schooler would tape up photos of his favorite celebrity.
The owner of the bakery and I spoke for a moment. She wanted to visit the mountain and Alaska but hadn’t done it yet. “It’s a life dream,” she said.
I spend a small amount of time mentally flogging myself for missing the opportunity to climb Mount Rainier a few years ago; I thought there would always be time and resources. Instead I visited Denali National Park. At least the time wasn’t completely lost.
The baker hadn’t made the pilgrimage to see the mountain for herself yet. I told her to “just go.” I should have emphasized the urgency: You never know what life might bring from new responsibilities to financial commitments that can preclude your dream from coming to fruition.
Some of us pursue the dream, some of us just dream. I hope the baker and all of you get to do a little of both.
As an aside, I spoke briefly with Joanna Croston from the Banff Centre yesterday about the Book Competition portion of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. The review process of the nominated books is well underway. The more-than-35 pre-readers are reading over six books each and submitting their evaluations. When the finalists are announced, I look forward letting you know.