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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

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