After the demonstration today I walked up The “M” trail at the University of Montana. I discovered a few things that were made painfully obvious on the way up and down this climb. I am out of shape and should not be going on impromptu hikes up the sides of mountains. I have not done much hiking in a while and so I forgot until the way down that I regularly wear a knee brace when I participate in sports like Hiking, Skiing and Snowshoeing. I obviously didn’t have one with me and I made it up and down the “M” trail in one piece. But I was sucking wind like a fiend.
I was concerned about how badly I was sucking wind and then I looked up the elevation of Missuola Montana. It is 3232 feet about sea level. I spent much of my time in places like Falmouth Cape Cod where the elevation is 10 feet about sea level. In my attempt up to The “M” I was walking those last 620 feet up a 3000 footer to a 4000 footer. No wonder I was sucking wind so badly. I mean, I do that when I get to the top of 4000 footers. But yeah, I am mostly out of shape. No amount of elevation justification is going to cover that up.
I was however glad that I went up to The “M”. For one thing I got my Photo-A-Day and included my climbing buddies Anthony and Alexis. They were faster than me both up and down and Anthony continued on even higher, running. Sheesh… running. He didn’t go all the way to the top, the elevation was getting to him as well but he did power up to The “M” pretty easily.
When we got back to the hotel a woman behind the front desk heard us talking about the “M”. She had never gone up but her boyfriend did and he is a photographer who made an amazing photo of Missoula at night from the vantage point of The “M”. She secretly submitted the photo to a tourist guide and it was selected to be published. The photo is amazing. I gave the woman my card, I’d love to see more of her boyfriend’s photos, the ones I saw were amazing.
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