An Interview with James Montague on His Trip to the Highlands

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Dispatches from the Highlands

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May 24, 2018
San Francisco, CA

Tell us about your upcoming expedition.
My lad, we will be embarking into the highlands come the next full moon. Past the rolling hills and up, beyond where the highland farmers terrace their twilight gardens, through blunt cliffs and over the falls, o’er treacherous terrain will we ascend, until we reach the bridge of no return.

What is the bridge of no return?
It is one of the highest places you can traverse. Only when we cross the bridge of no return, spanning the vast crevasse of the crystal lake, will we find the ancient alpine castle. Upon entering its gates, we will be at the highest, highest point you can reach in the highlands.

What will you do when you get to the Highlands?
That’s the thrill of it! You never know what will transpire….of course, half the party will probably fall asleep from the altitude. The others--there’s no telling! See a show! Visit the emporium, or meander ferociously through the eateries and vendors of frills and junkets! Years ago, upon one journey into the highlands, a fellow climber announced that we were to arrive at the Grand Canyon by dawn. The Grand Canyon! And that’s exactly what happened.

What was the inspiration for this expedition?
My grandfather used to tell me, “Jameson, someday all this will be yours.” And he would point to his cherry red 1962 Austin Healey Roadster, and the rest of his elaborate garage. He was a retired race-car driver, you know, we shared that passion. One time he even gave me his speedway goggles. I remember the day he passed away-- they handed me the keys, and I raced down the highway. It was exhilarating. Later I looked in the trunk, and found an old photo of Mt Kilimanjaro. And that was the day I decided to climb mountains.

Who will accompany you?
10 of my closest friends, our cook, 2 sherpas...and Bessie.

Your wife?
Our pack mule.

Do you have any reservations about the inherent dangers?
You speak of my age--a mere three-score and a decade? The challenge is not one of strength and endurance, lad, but wit, and strategy. One secret is that the body lightens, ever the higher you journey.

Famous Last Words?
Windward! Windward, dear boy!

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