Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Mountain List

Mountains play an important role in scripture as well as in literature. The other day I got to asking myself, “What are the important, impactful mountains in my own life?”

10. Long’s Peak

From the time I was five until I left home to go to college, I always lived within sight of mountains. And for the first five of those years, the main peak I could see just about any time I looked for it was Long’s Peak. I loved the Rockys and the times we spent up in those mountains. I particularly remember a trip to camp out at Lost Lake. I read now that there is a range and a peak there called Mummy, but I didn’t know it at the time.

9. Mt. Capulin 

Every year that I lived in the shadow of Long’s Peak we took one or two trips back down to Texas. And on that drive, I always looked out for Mount Capulin. A small volcano in the middle of a flat land, you would see volcanic rocks it had spewed out for miles before and after viewing the cone. It is the first volcano I ever went into, and at the time I was afraid because I thought it was going to be like a Tarzan movie I had seen on TV once. Reality was pretty dull by comparison.

8. Poas

The second volcano I went into came years later when we moved to Costa Rica for a year. It was one of the few day trips we took out of the city that year. (Learning Spanish consumed most of our time.) This crater was a little more like the one in the movies. We didn’t really go into it. That would have been deadly.

7. Osorno and El Puntiagudo 

Once we had moved into the Southern Andes, Volcanoes became constant companions. A little far from home were the impressive ones in the tenth region of Chile. Osorno is massive and its cousin nearby is one of the most recognizable ones I have seen to this day.

6. Villarrica 

But closest to home was Villarica. It was constantly glowing at the time I lived there. It has since erupted more violently again. I have rocks from Villarica that have followed me around the world since.

5. Cierro Nielol 

OK, not really a mountian, but a hill dear to my heart. Just outside of Temuco, Chile, I spent many an afternoon hiking or riding up and down its paths and roads.

4. Kanzel 

The year I actually lived in Austria I lived on a mountainside. That said, it was a small one at the far eastern end of the Alps where they meet the Carpathians. Interestingly, it was named the pulpit, so it felt like an appropriate place for a preacher to live. Also, it seemed covered in snakes. I don’t know what that meant.

3. The Dolomites, The Sella Group 

My favorite part of the Alps is everybody elses, the Dolomites. We only ever went there one time, and it was a day trip drive at that. But I would love to go back there for a longer, more pedestrian time.

2. Torres del Paine 

My most beloved mountains, though, are the ones I lived near during my High School days, the ones at the end of the Andes, in the national park with no roads. Torres del Paine National Park is a place for hikers. It is the Dolomites of South America. And the namesake peaks are not so much pretty as impressive. I used to hike there once a year on week-long trips. There…

1. Cuernos del Paine 

…is where my favorite peaks are. The “horns” are, for my money, the most amazing, picturesque mountaintops in the world.

(Pictures of Puntiagudo, Villarrica, Kanzel,  Dolomites, and Cuernos are mine.  The rest are from Wikipedia.)

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