Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quest For The M

Missoula, Montana is a bustling college town set in a valley. The airport is nestled right at the base of a mountain. Landings there are always exciting, because the pilots have to use what they call 'high performance maneuvering;' if they don't dive hard enough, they'll miss the airport completely. My first landing there was the first time it actually occurred to me to call the pilots and ask if there was anything wrong with the plane.

There is also, as you can see, a mountain with a big M on it. Stands for Missoula. Some college kids made it out of rocks back where all there was to do was wear knickers and roll hoops with sticks like in the woodcuts, and then in the sixties, more college kids remade it out of concrete. Apparently it's the thing to do in college towns with mountains. We have a big U in Salt Lake... not sure what that one stands for. Anyway, I got into Missoula with plenty of daylight left, and it had been a while since my last quest, so I decided to go for the M.
It kicked my ass. See that zig-zag line leading up to it from the right? That's a two-foot-wide road, and the M itself is a hundred feet across. I made the first two zigs with vim, but after that, I had to stop after each one. There were people jogging this thing. Not this flatlander. Took half an hour, but I made it. This is me on the lower left leg. This isn't just a cool-guy pose... I'm lying down because I couldn't stand up.

After I could see anything but black stars again, I noticed there was more mountain. And I was stupid enough to keep going. Didn't make it to the actual top... you know, I have to save something for next time I'm there. But I got up high enough to feel like I really climbed a mountain. See what you think.

It looks like I'm peeing, but I'm really not.


Blogger Indigeaux said...

Yup, Tempe, Arizona has a big "A" on their mountain. . .er, hill.

9:45 PM  
Blogger nicardo1 said...

Are you taking the pics or someone else?

4:04 AM  

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