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.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Fat Man of the Mountains

(Dave & Lucas Olson from a photo lifted from their site

You’ve heard of the Old Man of the Mountains (boy is he ever missed), well here is a link to Dave Olson’s blog “Fat Man of the Mountains”. Atticus and I met Dave and his son Lucas on the Champney Falls Trail climbing Chocorua last summer. It was a beautiful day enhanced by the chance meeting on the trail. Then, later while Atti and I were on the summit, we visited for a bit with them again and I snapped some photos for them – one of which is used in the banner to the blog.

On his blog Dave writes:
I’m a newspaperman and writer living on the Massachusetts coast. I love the ocean, but I’d rather be in the woods. This summer, I’ll be climbing all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains to raise money for Kestrel Educational Adventures.

He also writes:

The vast majority of hikers, however, take years, even decades to complete the list, so it would be pretty significant accomplishment if I could reach all the summits in 90 days. A fat but fairly fit guy like myself can pull off a difficult hike every once in a while. A summer-long series of difficult hikes — including a handful of traverses taking several days — is another thing altogether. It’s been a long time since I challenged myself physically, and the longer I wait the less of a chance it’s going to happen. I’ve spent the winter in the gym, getting as ready as I can. I’ll do some training hikes this spring. This summer, all I’ll need is a well-thought-out plan for getting to and from trailheads. The hiking’s the easy part; it’s the driving that takes its toll.

The hikes will also give me a chance to repay, in a small way,
Kestrel Educational Adventures, which started the conservation club that fueled my son’s already strong love for the outdoors and started us on a journey that’s changed both our lives for the better. I’ll have more details in my next post, but I plan to use my hikes as a fundraiser for Kestrel, with donors offering a specific amount for each mountain I climb. A dollar a mountain would mean $48 if I finish them all. Get enough donors and you’re doing some good for a great organization that does a lot of work with a little money. Again, more on that later.

Having the shortest glimpse of Dave and Lucas together last summer, I have an inkling that it will be fun to follow the two of them throughout their summer long adventure. To donate to their cause simply visit their website. Or simply visit it because it will be fun to follow along from wherever you are.

Father and son are about to have one heck of an adventure together.

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