Archive of: Mountain Echoes



NASA success, Olympic triumphs: How can we not be inspired? August Issue 4 2012

NASA success, Olympic triumphs: How can we not be inspired?

After learning by radio that NASA had successfully landed a 2,000-lb. rover on Mars, I quickly turned on the television — not to see the unmanned craft’s first photos — but to see the reaction by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team in Pasadena, Calif. They were literally bouncing off the ceiling with excitement and jubilation.

Getting squared away on Triangle Peak August Issue 3 2012

Getting squared away on Triangle Peak

The three words that kept rattling around in my head July 25 as I left the shores of Symphony Lake and angled up-slope toward Triangle Peak were “how we forget.”

August Issue 2 2012

Kuskokwim “dream job” was learning experience

Sometimes in life, if we’re extremely lucky, we stumble into the perfect dream job. That was my fortune in 1971 when I landed a job with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and was assigned to the Kuskokwim River—near Sleetmute.

August Issue 1 2012

Part 2 — Evolution of the two-party political system

In the first installment (July 26) we discussed how the two-hemisphere brain is designed and structured to perform a variety of functions. This week we take a look at the two-party political system, how it evolved, and how it might it some way replicate the functioning of the human brain.

July Issue 4 2012

Is our political system a model of the human brain? (Part 1)

College professors are increasingly crossing disciplines in their exams. For example, what if one of them combined the fields of psychology, neurology and political science to create this final exam question: Compare and contrast the two-hemisphere human brain with the American two-party political system.

July Issue 3 2012

The Angel of Procrastination is a thief

For most of us there is just too much to do these days and not enough hours in the day to do them — even with our long, summer days. The shed can get painted next week. Sometime after that we’ll take the broken lawnmower to the repair shop. The car’s oil change can wait.

July Issue 2 2012

Mt. Marathon — maker of champions

Anyone who runs the Seward Mt. Marathon Race in under two hours, or even finishes for that matter, is a champion in my book. I’ve never run the race, but I I’ve been tromping up and over and around the 3,022-foot mountain for nearly 60 years.

July Issue 1 2012

Do bear encounters come down to bad luck?

This summer — if you can call 50-degree temperatures and new snow at the 3,000-foot-level of the mountains on June 13th summer — there seem to be a rash of human-bear encounters that haven’t turned out very well for either the former or the latter. I suppose if we calculated the number of people out on the trails and the amount of area covered, we’d determine that the number of incidents is not that far above an average year.

Reaching new heights on Austin-Helmers Pioneer Ridge trail June Issue 4 2012

Reaching new heights on Austin-Helmers Pioneer Ridge trail

Branches of trees and bushes leaned down over the trail, bent by the weight of recent snows. Even after I had tapped the snow off the branches with my hiking stick, they still drooped low, blocking the trail and making me crawl on my belly like I was passing through a gauntlet.

Mountain Echos June Issue 3 2012

Mountain Echos

Bivouacked June 21 high on the flanks of Bold Peak in the Chugach Range about 15 years ago, I thought about this story from my boyhood in Seward in the 1950s when on Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, a friend and I sneaked out of our houses and prowled the town until the wee hours of the morning.

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