Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today had a brief and interesting exchange with Dr. James Loewen, preeminent author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America – two powerfully insightful and influential historical masterpieces.

I e-mailed Dr. Loewen this story about how San Francisco might name one of it’s sewerage plants after Bush. Dr. Loewen replied in kind with the following:

“Cute. I proposed that Delaware name its highest point "Mt. Reagan," as part of a major initiative Republicans were waging several years back to name something important in each state after The Gipper.

Delaware's highest point is a pile of dirt on the grounds of a mobile

home park....

My offbeat response to Dr. Loewen follows:

Dr. Loewen,

Thank you for your response.

I should pass this on to a mountaineering man I met near Idaho’s tallest peak, during a 1990 visit I made before moving here. His name was Adrian Crane and when friends and I met him, he was 90 percent through his quest of hiking to the tallest point in each of our fifty states.

Mr. Crane was well-versed as to where each of the high points are; and he told us that during the course of his adventure that whenever a state had a high point that was seemingly insignificant, he still made a ceremonious occasion of it, by warming up and jogging around the area for a few miles, before officially reaching the ‘summit’ for a photo-op. (to verify his achievement)

The next summer, we noticed that The Guinness Book World Records recognized Mr. Crane’s unusual accomplishment with a small tribute in the mountaineering section of their hardbound edition. Turns out, he summited each of our tallest peaks in a total of 101 days! As Guinness sometimes likes to rotate eclectic records such as these, it disappeared into thin air after a few seasons. However, I believe that interested mountaineering data miners and high-altitude-historian-buffs can still unearth this tip-top record from somewhere deep in Guinness’s archive.

Below is a photo I shot of Mr. Crane (on the left) during a break in his descent, standing next to my friend 3V3T5 at an appropriately named turn in the path called, Chicken Neck Ridge.

Borah Peak named after Idaho Senator William Borah

No comments: