Climbing to Tuckerman’s Ravine

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and my dad, God bless him, when it came to practical matters outside the legal profession, had a lot of inexplicable difficulties finding the right way to do anything.

Bob Lloyd’s not here to back me up on this, but his son Mac will, I expect, and Tom Cleveland and Chester Lucy. When Bob Hartshorne started a home improvement project, the verdict was always, “Well that’ll all have to come out.”

In fairness, ours was an 18th century farmhouse that had had two centuries to sag just a tad, so nothing was plumb and nothing was square.

Turns out there’s a right way and a wrong way to hike up to Tuckerman’s Ravine.

The wrong way is to wear your ski boots and carry your skis on your shoulder. Ouch. That’s the way Dad and I did it. The people going by us in a steady stream were wearing hiking boots and had their skis strapped to their backs, with their ski boots in the bindings.

That’s the right way to do it.

But on that hike I discovered the reserve of energy we all have that kicks in when you think you can’t possibly take another step.  Dad used to say, referring to my feet, “Pick them up. They come down by themselves.”

That’s a lesson I’m truly grateful for, one that has expanded my knowledge about who I am and who I can be, the lesson about that secret reserve we all have when we really need it.