Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slide Show: Mount Carrigain

John Muir said, "The mountains are calling and I must go." I think Atticus and I can relate.

When I was in the intensive care unit recovering from surgery and fighting septic shock I set a goal for Atticus and me to be on the summit of a 4,000-footer on the first full day of autumn. We reached our goal today when we climbed Mount Carrigain, the first 4,000-footer since surgery. It wasn't easy and I have a long way to go, but it sure felt great to be back up there again. All along I've felt that little Atticus and I were being called up to the mountains we fell in love with five years ago.

I chose Carrigain for a several reasons. First, the views are spectacular and is a perfect place to see autumn unleashed in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Second, from the tower on top of the summit we could see nearly every 4,000-footer. (Carrigain ranks first in number of 4,000-foot peaks you can see from the top.) And I wanted to say hello to them all again, especially since I'm writing about them. Third, mountains are a lot like people. Sometimes, for no special reason, someone just doesn't like you. Mount Carrigain has never liked me very much, and the feeling is mutual. Nearly every time we climb it (I think it's eight now), it knocks me on my behind. So I chose my least favorite and most difficult mountain as the first 4,000-footer to climb to let me know how I was doing. Once again, it knocked me down again and again! It wasn't an easy climb, was very painful and it took me an hour longer than I was hoping, but we made it. We're now back in the game.

Here's the
slide show. You'll notice autumn is coming alive in the mountains!


John said...

Beautiful picts Tom. It wasn't an easy day to take good landscapes. I've never been fond of the Signal Ridge Trail either; I'll gladly do the extra miles to go up Desolation instead. I'm so glad you got your peak on the day you wanted after such major trauma. Pretty gutsy.

Thomas F. Ryan said...

John, funny you should say that. That's exactly what I was thinking while I was taking the photos. The clouds were like a white sheet worn very thin and threw off the lighting no matter which direction I put the camera.

I think we've done Carrigain eight times. Perhaps next time we'll try Desolation.