Because it’s there

Longs Peak, Colorado

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:

The "beaver"
The “beaver”

3/4/2009: For the imagination-impaired, here’s a different view:

The beaver is on the left, facing right and up
The beaver is on the left, facing right and up

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.

8 thoughts on “Because it’s there

  1. Hey 30!
    Wow, what a gorgeous area you live in. One thing I really miss is the mountains. The east coast is pretty but doesn’t have the mountains of the southwest. Sigh. Sorry, but I really couldn’t squint right to catch that beaver climbing. 😉

    1. East Coast mountains aren’t the same, ’tis true, but you do have those spectacular autumns there.

      I guess I’m going to have to PhotoShop that beaver for everybody. Maybe I should have specified “4-legged beaver”? 😉

... and that's my two cents