I posted this picture because I couldn’t go through another day being greeted by Ugly Bat Boy (previous post), although I’m sure he’s a very sweet kitty.
The above is Longs Peak, my favorite mountain and sort of a personal mecca. At 14,255* feet, it is the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and has towered gloriously over most of my vacation adventures since I was a kid. I climbed it once, back in the ’70s (approximately 16 miles round trip, taking 12 hours for this then-flatlander, followed by three days of virtual immobility due to sore muscles).
Colorado has 54 peaks over 14,000 feet, known locally as fourteeners, and 14 of them are higher than Longs. Some overachievers, peak baggers like my brother, who have lived in Colorado most of their lives, have climbed them all.
James A. Michener’s novel Centennial included the history of the “fictional” valley where Estes Park is now located and the pass to the west through what is now Rocky Mountain National Park. In the book, Michener speaks of a landmark peak recognized by the Indians and trappers as the one with a beaver climbing up its left flank. If you use your imagination, you can see that beaver climbing Longs Peak. Here’s a hint:
3/4/2009: For the imagination-impaired, here’s a different view:
Still don’t see it? Click here.
For more on Longs, see this page about a header I used for a while.
*The official elevation was 14,255 ft. when I climbed it. A new survey in recent years changed that to 14,259.