“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”

Since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by mountains.  I remember reading books about all the ranges and peaks of the world, and I could probably still rattle off the list of the highest peaks by continent that I took great pride in knowing (much like Rosie Perez in “White Men Can’t Jump,” I am overwhelmed with more useless goddamn information than any human being on this fucking planet).  Having used to live in the Pacific Northwest, I miss having mountains around; it was nice to be able to just look through your windshield at Mt. Hood or Mt. Adams or Mt. Whatever (although I must confess that the trade of beautiful mountains for epic Midwest thunderstorms might be a push).  Most of my family still lives in Tacoma, WA, where on any reasonably clear day you can get a look at what is easily the coolest yet most uncomfortably terrifying mountain in the world, Mt. Rainier.  The Cascades have a remarkable number of gorgeous peaks.  Small wonder, then, that the Northwest would be the settling place for music’s all-time mountain lover, Alan Hovhaness.

Mt. Rainier with Tacoma, WA in the foreground

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