Recently, I read “Into Thin Air” about a man who climbed to the top of Mt. Everest. It got me to thinking about the heights that I had reached in this lifetime. We have all had mental mountains to climb, right, but how about the real physical places.

Hills

I have climbed a number of hills, even as a kid. I would see them and have to top them. And, I did. It was a thrill for a kid. Looking down and having topped another anthill. Hey, you have to start somewhere. No equipment needed and only a few steps away. They are hills!

Dunes

These were more challenging. Tall and formidable. And made of sand. These were tough, as your feet kept slipping. It even made me sweat. But, how rewarding when you reach the top. You could see other sand dunes and the ocean. It was worth the effort. Calories burned, plus a wonderful view. Usually, I felt done in by the dunes, but how sweet the success.

Mountains

Nearby, in Wilkes County lies a mountain not made up of dirt, but of rock. Hence, the name, Stone Mountain. As a teenager, I climed to the very top of this one. An effort, yes, but once again to reach the pinnacle – it was a great feeling. Out of breath, somewhat, but I had gotten into thin air right here in N.C. Neat. Not even a bad place to picnic. And, what goes up must come down, which I did.

And, now for the ultimate height to ascend for me, a climb that will take all I’ve got. The Beast of the East – Mt. Mitchell. It’s the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. The beauty of it is that it is just a few counties away. This has taken months of preparation. Getting in shape and getting the necessary extra oxygen it will take when on top. I’m excited – as I will do this this summer. I just hope my car is ready. I plan to drive it, eat a bite, and then drive back down. Hey, safety first.

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