My brother Bryan had a surpise for me when I visited him last weekend in Vermont. He just bought a new house so he has been spending time at garage sales and Burlington's Recycle North trying to find things to furnish and fix it. In his search, he came across a real gem for me. It was an old photo of Kilimanjaro, which came along with a mystery. The date on the bottom is 6/10. I am not sure if that means June 10 or June 1910. According to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the first documented attempt at the summit was made by Baron von der Decken and Charles New in 1861. Hans Meyer reached the top in 1889 (it was his third attempt). So 1910 would not be out of the question.
The photo, by Dr. Michael Weidman, is inscribed to Betty Bandel, "who has known many heights." I will spend some time in the coming weeks trying to find out who they were and what connected them to the mountain that I love so much.
My favorite part of the photo (other than the plentiful snow on Kilimanjaro) is the silhouette of a hiker, embarking on this great adventure. It makes me think of the possibilities for the dozen hikers who will be joining me up the mountain August for the docu-series. What a wonderful journey we have ahead of us!