Rome wasn’t built in a day. The mountain is Rome. We are simply building a wall around it to keep it standing. We are not trying to make it any easier to summit, nor to make it pretty in any way. We actually do our best to keep Rome’s natural look.
I know every step of the path to my world out here. I know the best places to pump water and find fresh mushrooms, where the rabbits hang out, where the goats like to eat and how the mule deer sneaks around the perimeter of camp. I know how to find my tent in the darkest of nights, letting the stars guide me. I know what phase the moon is in—always. I know where the last of the flowers are still beautiful and which steps to take to avoid smashing them. I know the rocks and how the water will spray around them, where to walk when it has been raining for days and where to cross the river with ease and dry feet. I know exactly the time it takes to get to the split and then to stretch circle and to the lakes and the peak! These rocks are my road signs. These animals are my neighbors. This crew I work and live with is my family.
Find your Rome, wherever you call home. Know your world and get out in it. Help take care of it, extend its life, just like we try to do to the mountains.