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Several false summits tease my energy. I imagine I look like a half-crazed goon stumbling solo among the rocks, but I climb higher and higher and eventually relocate the trail in time for the final push.

At the top, I huddle against the stony lean-to and gaze at northern Arizona’s diverse, spreading landscape. The Coconino Plateau can be seen for hundreds of miles on all sides, and the Grand Canyon's deep gash into the earth is plainly visible 40 miles north. Incredible!

The air is arctic, and I don’t stay for long: long enough only for a gracious stranger to stand up against the wind and take my picture. Bunched up in a ball, I take a moment to appreciate the achievement.

I’ve now climbed the tallest peaks in three states: in addition to Arizona's Humphrey, I've bagged California's Mt. Whitney and Guadalupe Peak in Texas. Forty-seven left to go!

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Javajoe25 Jan. 20, 2012 @ 11:27 p.m.

That's a nice piece of writing, Daniel. Well crafted descriptive sentences, and the imagery is superb. I could almost smell the pines. Keep your water fresh and your hiking boots dusty. I look forward to your next forty-seven.


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