For years, I saw the list of the 48 four thousand footers in the AMC White Mountain Guide, and never thought I’d get around to doing them. Maybe this was a sense of inadequacy, maybe a sense of “that’s something others do.” Then, one day, something clicked.
The time is now.
Along the way, there will be room for other things as well.
Update: Well, it took about as long as expected, and as I write this, I’m nearing the end of the New England 67 four thousand footer list. So maybe you’d be interested in what I wrote for my essay to the AMC Four Thousand Footer Committee.
Update the second: So, it’s been almost two years now. I’ve done all 48 in springtime, and am about halfway through the summer and winter 48 lists, and a quarter of the way through the autumn 48. With two hikes, I can have a second 48 (across more than one season) done. I’ve decided my next goal, after the 48 in four seasons, is to do the grid.
Oh, and stay tuned. The Appalachian Trail, starting in spring 2020.
Those mountains, rivers, and trees, it would seem, are quite addictive.
Life is getting to the good bit…
So what does “Protean Wanderer” mean?
In Greek mythology, Proteus is the son of Poseidon, and referred to by Homer as the old man of the sea. He was able to see into the future, but this was something that came at a cost: the seeker had to catch and hold Proteus. To resist being caught, he could change his form at will as a means of escape. Thus, the term “protean”, or being malleable. No-one walks across the same river twice, because both the river and the person undergo constant change. So too, no-one climbs the same mountain twice — we see changing seasons, weather, even the plants and animals.
When I took that first step up Tecumseh, I never could have imagined how much different I’d become.