Hatching A Grand Strategy

Summit of Mount Elbert 1985

Atop Mount Elbert - The highest peak in Colorado

As we grow, we manifest our destiny.

In my youth we watched TV documentaries, read books and magazines (the internet was yet to be invented). I began to identify role models doing what I would want to do myself. Regrettably, there’s not much youth can do beyond that. We don’t have any money, we are too young, and besides our parents wouldn’t ever let us do such fun things anyway! And that is how it was for many years.

I loved nature. Hunting, fishing, camping, you name it. I was lucky that I had the opportunity to do these things periodically with family and friends. Growing older, and more independent, all I really wanted to do was get out there and explore. Living in the farming mid-west, I could find long walks along the hedge-rows and drainages to occupy my time. Basically, just bidding my time. Waiting to mature and be able to strike out on my own.

During those last few years of college, I began studying maps -- plotting in my mind places to go. I began to focus on the green areas on the maps. Generally, "green" areas designate national forests across the continental United States. I noticed a large ring of green splashed across the western half of the United States. That green ring stretched from the front Range of Colorado down south through New Mexico and Arizona and back up the middle of California, Oregon and Washington and then crossing through Montana before circling back through Wyoming back to Colorado. I wanted to see that ring and explore it. It was then and there that my strategy was set. I would try to r0am that ring of green.

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Contained within my r0am zone are 72 (more or less) mountains over 14,000 feet high. Fifty-two in Colorado, thirteen in California and one in Washington state. My mountaineering goals included all those and more.

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