For Mike Herwood

Hi Mike,

You and I talked about your desire to hike the Dolomites in Northern Italy. At the time, we just couldn’t get a grasp on the logistics, so we decided to revisit the topic another day. Well, buddy, you ran out of time…

The original tribute can be viewed here.

Jayne and I eventually figured out the logistics and finally made it there recently. Paulo, a local guide, drove us around to various landscape destinations. I had told him that I wanted to photograph the famous Tre Cime at sunset, so that is what we did. We ended up hiking the loop  from the parking lot at Rifugio Auronzo. I did this in your memory, Mike. I knew this would be the place you would have wanted.

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Although the loop  was an easy three miles one way, it was extremely difficult for me. My severe asthma has been getting worse, and so far, the doctors have not been able to help me much. The last half of the loop out was all up hill and at times steep. I really thought I was not going to make it up there. Jayne and Paulo were worried about me, but I kept pressing ever forward, thinking of you.

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Finally, we made it to the top, just ten minutes before official sunset behind the peaks. Here is Jayne and Paulo.

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And there I stood, facing Tre Cime, almost 9000 feet up, in complete silence with only a handful of other hikers there. It started getting cold, so we put on hats and gloves, and just reveled in the awe and beauty of the landscape. It was dead calm and we basked in the golden light, at the top of the world!

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We stayed until twilight and then made our downward descent back to our car at the parking lot of Rifugio Auronzo.

And I knew you were with me, Mike, every step of the way.

Miss you, buddy…

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