Yesterday I added a new job to my Must Have job list (which previously included "writer" and "Scenic Overlook Decider"). After hiking through Chautauqua Park with Duncan and Traci
I decided I want to be a Namer of Mountains. Although I'm not sure I could compete with the guys who've been doing it, I'd at least like the opportunity. It won't be easy; I mean look at what they came up with: The Great Smoky Mountains, with their rolling smoky mornings, the Sawtooths, which do indeed look like the giant blade of a saw sticking up from the shore of Alice Lake, and the Tetons. Okay, maybe the Tetons don't exactly look lik giant breasts, but their name does give some insight into the frame of mind of those randy, French trappers who christened them. And then there are the Flatirons, just outside of Boulder (such a pity the best scenes along the Front Range are located in such an annoying little town), which local women named because they looked like the flat part of the irons with which they ironed their clothes. I'm in awe of the namers of things and only wish there was some range or valley or creek I could take a shot at naming.
Our hike was wonderful and Duncan far outperformed Traci and myself. Traci had the double excuses of having only just arrived from Chicago (elevation 579 feet), and being asthmatic (she's so lucky!). I had no excuse whatsoever for my difficulty in breathing or my knees which felt as if they were on the verge of blowing out. Duncan, on the other hand, didn't seem to notice. He bounded up the trail to Royal Archway like it was a couple of steps, dragging us behind him. It was a busy trail, but the people were incredibly polite (damn Boulderans!) and we were able to take some nice photos.
We need to do this more often. The sound of the wind blowing through the Ponderosas and the rocky silence of those narrow little switchbacks were amazing. There's a reason I always wanted to live in The West. I just need to remind myself of that every now and then.