The hike through the woods was spectacular. The two girls were usually way ahead of us, their 17- and 21-year-old feet stepping surely. Maria and Joan had hiked in the mountains many times with their father, of course, and stamina is taken for granted at that age.
“Wow, you have to see this,” they insisted.
I lagged behind; perhaps working in an office much of the last two decades had made me a little soft. No, I told myself, that’s not it, as I hustled along trying to catch up. But then the real reason I was lagging became obvious.
“Wait, let me snap this photo,” I insisted.
“Haven’t you taken forty photos of that glacier already?”
“Yes, but this is from a different angle,” I insisted, as I snapped photos number 41 through 50 of the same river of ice winding its way down the valley from the snow-capped mountain.
Patrick struggled to maintain his center position, close enough to the girls in front without losing site of the less experienced – and more enthralled – trekker behind.
In truth, the views were amazing. Bright and sunny, the snow and ice in the mountains felt cool to us. At first. As the kilometers stretched one after another the light shirts joined the heavier pullovers stashed in our packs. As the backpacks got heavier we lamented that perhaps we overestimated the need for warmth. Later we would be happy we had brought all the extra layers.
Again the girls insisted we race ahead to the top of the nearly vertical cliff.
“You have to see this.”
And I did because they insisted. They were right.
David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.