Looking Backward, Leaping Ahead – Travel Planning


Where it all began – Summit of Kilimanjaro, July 2011

I couldn’t miss at least one allusion in the title to that rarest of days last week – leap day! One does wonder if anything that happens on that day really counts – or perhaps all the events of leap day fall into some alternate universe that contains only four days each year, or that takes four years to create a year….but enough of such ruminations.

It’s time for a brief retrospective and for a glimpse into future trips. It will be five years ago July that J and I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro – an experience that, as cliched as it sounds, changed our lives forever. Call it mountain fever – or as a friend puts it – mountain head, we couldn’t wait to reach another summit. That trip led to Mt. Hood, the Grand Canyon, the Inca Trail, Mauna Kea, Mt. Elbrus, Mount Washington, the Ecuador volcanoes including Cotopaxi, Pico de Orizaba, and even the little known Puzzle Mountain in Maine.

And a lot of these trips remain to be written about, especially Kilimanjaro. This blog was born when we decided to go to Russia to climb Mt. Elbrus in 2014 and I thought it would be a convenient way to update friends and family. Little did I know that two years later I’d still be blogging.

So what’s on the horizon, both near and far? Well, in the short term, we have a visit to the swamp coming up in about three weeks – that is, a weekend in New Orleans. It’s only one of my favorite places of all time, and of course is home to daughter S (who has wholly rebelled against being referred to as daughter #2, Dr. Seuss allusions notwithstanding). And we follow that with a trip to Boston, more specifically Cambridge and Somerville, where daughter A and a 30th year law school reunion await. Ironically, we were preparing to climb Kilimanjaro when we attended the last reunion and I still remember our visit to Eastern Mountain Sports.

The mid horizon reveals the Whisky Trail in the Scottish Highlands, and there will be much more to come on that. We’ll see if I develop a taste for scotch as part of the training for that hike. It may not be a “summit” per se, but the last day is an ambitious 17 miles. And that will be followed by a week in Scarborough.

As for the distant future – I think there are still more mountains in me. Perhaps another attempt in the Cascades – Rainier may have my name on it.

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