Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Day and Interesting People

If you will remember, in the last blog I vaguely complained about driving over an 11,000' mountain pass. When one is in Colorado, you will get laughed at for that - literally. “Why?” you ask. Because these folks climb, yes climb on foot, mountains that are much higher than that.

Omar has climbed all 54 of Colorado's peaks that are over 14,000'. Omar's friends and climbing companions, who have also climbed all of the 14ers were here for a few days and since they had nothing better to do they went out and climbed a 'minor' mountain that was only 13,800'. The climbing friends were Walter and Marlene Borneman (more on the Borneman's in a minute) and Tim Duffy (Tim's wife Chrissie hung out with us at the B&B). The actual reason for their climbing North Carbonate is that since Marlene has summited all of the 14ers, she is now working on climbing the 100 highest peaks in Colorado. Honestly, it is fascinating to listen to them tell tales of their climbs but it tires me out just listening to them!!

These people just have climbing in their blood I guess. There is a book on climbing that Omar and Tim contributed to “A Climbing Guide To Colorado's Fourteeners” that was authored by Walter Borneman and Lyndon Lampert. (Lyndon is Anne's brother – I told you to remember names). This book is in it's 3rd edition, has been in print for 30 years and is considered the Colorado climbers' bible. Anyway, for years I have heard climbing tales of Omar and Walt since they have been best friends since age 16. For all we knew, that is what Walt did – climb. Not so – climbing is only one of his many pursuits.

We enjoyed Independence Day dinner with Aunt Anna, Omar, Anne and the Duffy's and the Borneman's. Chatting with this group and learning about them and their fascinating lives was great.

It was during this time we learned that Walt by profession is a lawyer but, his true love is being an historian and is the author of 11 or is it 12 books. Books that include Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land; 1812: The War That Forged a Nation; The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America and on and on. Needless to say I was flabbergasted to be in such esteemed company. But, the best was yet to come.
The next evening we were able to watch Walt on Book TV on CSPAN giving a talk on his newest book Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. And here I was, believing that James K. Polk was a minor blip on the radar during the expansion of the USA into the western lands. Oh, how little did I and do I know. After hearing Walt's talk on TV, I am very much looking forward to reading his book.

I must also tell you that we are now the proud owners of a Walter Borneman autographed copy of his Alaska book in which he inscribed a personal note to Monte and I while he was here. It is next on my reading list!

What a plus it is to our travels to get to meet such interesting people – great Americans one and all. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate America's independence.

From left to right: Omar Richardson, Walter Borneman, Marlene Borneman, Chrissie Duffy, Tim Duffy, Aunt Anna, Anne Richardson, Monte, Shelley

Thanks to Marlene for the use of this picture. Without her this moment would not have been recorded.

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