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What’s On Your Mountain?

Updated: Oct 19, 2022


On my desk are the usual tools. Paper. Pens. Markers. But there's also a few reminders of my travels.


When we go hiking on hilltops or mountaintops, I will scoop up a stray object or two as mementos of our adventure.


Nothing exciting. Mostly rocks. (Apologies to my geologist friends.)


They are pleasant reminders of uphill journeys past that sometimes felt like we’d never make it to the top.


What I always find curious is the discovery of seashells on a mountaintop.


Where did they come from? How did they get there? After all, sea level is ten thousand feet or more below.


Turns out, these shells are remnants of sea sediment dating back between 550 million and 250 million years ago, when the mountain wasn’t a mountain.


In the introduction to my book, Mountain Life, I wrote, “One person could be standing on a fourteen-thousand-foot mountaintop in awe of the view, and another might be checking his cell phone for a signal.”


I should have added, “We should also look down and appreciate what we’re standing on.”


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