RELATIVE(LY)

Where I live we have hills. Mostly we have hillocks, but here they call the very high hills mountains so we have to call the hillocks hills. It is a question of relativity. Einstein understood relativity.   He was born near Feldberg which rose nearly 4900 feet up. He lived in New Jersey where you could find the Kittatinny Mountains, reaching a majestic 1800 feet. My brother in law lives on a quiet mesa, flat and so often desolate, with mountains in the distance. My brother in law doesn’t look down on Einstein though he could from his house at 7000 feet. But he looks nearby at Wheeler Peak at 13000 feet and feels relatively small. Einstein never visited Wheeler Peak. I have never visited the Kittatinny Mountains. Einstein and I both have climbed hillocks. Relatively speaking.

One thought on “RELATIVE(LY)

  1. As a former Coloradan and 14ner bagger, I understand this concept completely. We called the 7000-9000′ peaks behind Denver “hills” and the taller stuff beyond that “mountains” even though the elevation gain from Denver to those hill summits was often only a few hundred feet.

    In the Rocky Mountain hiking community, you didn’t get credit for scaling a 14000′ peak–a 14ner–unless you cleared 3000′ feet elevation gain from your starting point. I discarded this rule outright. If you haul your cookies all day along ten miles of steep, rocky, exposed trail until you can’t go any higher, you’ve climbed the sonuvabitch. Beer earned.

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