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Monthly Archives: July 2009

So here it is the 14th of July and I am at the dining room table as Sam and Isaac cook up some tortellini carbonara. My right wrist is a bit sore I just did a full end over end on my fixed gear urban assault bike. Much as I wish I was chasing Lance Armstong through the Pyrennes I was simply riding home from the Farmer’s Market when the canvas shopping bag full of garlic got caught in the front wheel.

Over I went and I landed on my hands and cut my foot. No big deal. I just imagine what the mega pile ups in the Tour de France are like. Spokes, de railers, handle bars akimbo amongst a stack of finely honed athletes. Hats off to those guys.

And go Lance. You are the man. As we say in climbing, “Send it!”

Back to the more pedestrian reality of my day to day existence. On Father’s Day our family got together with the Pope family. Ben is a nascent senior in Bozeman High School, as is our son Sam. Maddy is Jenni’s best friend and Chris is my friend. Chris is one of those unsung heros we have in every community across the world. A champion for the just and fair. He is also involved with the local parking garage and public transit. You take these things for granted ~ yet there is stacks of work that goes into making these things happen. Much of it volunteer.

Here we are hiking up the lower slopes of Baldy Mountain with the verdant Gallatin Valley in the background.

lowe & pope family father's day 09

Hiking is just about perfect. It provides us a chance to breathe fresh air, exercise our bodies, walk (which is what humans have spent 100s of thousands of years perfecting and some how we are loosing this to the automobile) and most importantly a chance to process the never ending stream of information and data that our minds are bombarded with. Hopefully these words and pictures are a welcome relief and in some way relaxing.

The previous post was from London. I had a part of a day to explore the city and I choose to visit the British Museum Founded in 1753, it is home to artefacts and art from around the world. “The Marbles” are one of many fascinating windows into history on display. The Marbles, in the classic sense, are the friezes that adorned the top of the Parthenon in ancient Greece. In the early 1800s they were rescued or stolen (depending on how you interpret history) from the majestic building and brought to the United Kingdom. The Marbles have been in the press recently as the newly opened Acropolis museum is asking for their return.

british museum

Far be it from me to decide on this matter for I merely a mountain climber. What I did notice at the British Museum were the people from all around the world enjoying the art and history under one roof.


My view is to have museums of this caliber around the world displaying a similar range of history. Imagine the great museums around the world that would share their prized collections so that all could see the variety of humanity. That being said, I do feel a portion of the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Athens, Greece and their new museum.

bm clocks

Also on display were a variety of time pieces. Being a bit of a watch and clock aficionado it was fascinating to look at time. Reliable time pieces were very key in the quest to discover longitude, the east west position on our planet. The transition from big clocks to multi functional time pieces like the Timex Expedition WS 4 is rather amazing. I wonder what the motivation was to create a fairly quotidian scene of farm life out of gold with a integral clock. Then again I climb and I have no sensible explanation why I do that silly and dangerous activity.

Climbing is dangerous and this brutal reality reared it’s head this past 5th of July when the sport lost John Bachar to a solo fall. John was one of the driving forces in climbing – a steadfast traditionalist he eschewed the practice of rappel bolting climbs preferring to tackle a section of rock from the ground up. He also took the art of ropeless climbing to another level. John will be missed and I extend heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his son, family and friends. The following link is a tribute to John on the climber’s forum.

Antarctic Sunset

Thanks John for the inspiration.