Tuesday, September 2, 2008

N.O. On The Mountains

All the excitement about Hurricane Gustav hitting New Orleans reminded me about N.O., the world famous mountain-climbing stuffed toy penguin.

"N.O." stood for "New Orleans," and was a gift from my previous wife Tina. He got his name because Tina surreptitiously hid him in my luggage on a trip we took to New Orleans, and thereafter he became my traveling companion on various trips, including mountain climbs. And taking a photo of N.O. on the summit soon became a ritual for me.

For example, here's N.O.at the summit of Humphrey's Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet. Somewhere down behind him is the town of Flagstaff:

San Bernardino Peak rises to 10,649 feet in the-----surprise!------San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. Here N.O. relaxes below the summit marker after reaching the top:

Telescope Peak towers 11,049 feet above the floor of Death Valley, and N.O. looks down on the summit register for that peak:

N.O. also accompanied me on my climb of White Mountain Peak, and got his photo taken at 14,266 feet as a result:

And finally here is N.O.at Trail Crest on the Mount Whitney summit trail; this is at 13,777 feet with Trail Camp, the main overnight camping spot for Mount Whitney climbers, below at 12,039 feet near the lake at right:

Somewhere in all my moves from California to Nevada to Texas, I lost N.O. But if there's an afterlife, N.O. will be waiting for me there!