Climb Every Mountain

When I wore a younger woman’s clothes — almost two decades ago now — I tried my hand at rock climbing. Not just the clambering over boulders variety, but the dangle from a rope on the side of a cliff face variety. It was thrilling to say the least.

For all those rock-climbing friends I lost touch with long ago — I wish you were here! France is a climber’s paradise. You would love it!

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Montagne Sainte-Victoire.

We bussed to Aix-en-Provence from Marseilles this morning to climb a mountain made famous by Paul Cézanne. Montagne Sainte-Victoire made several appearances in a series of the artist’s paintings.

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Not exactly a Cézanne!

John and I determined to climb as much of the 3,317-foot piece of limestone as we could.

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Starting up.

On a very hot, spring day, that turned out to be about 800 feet shy of the summit.

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A bandanna beats a sunburn.

While we didn’t make it to the Croix de Provence, a 57-foot cross that notably stands out on the ridge, we did enjoy the attempt and the great views along the way.

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When we stopped to eat our lunch and drink some water, two young men came down the mountain with their ropes and climbing gear thrown over their shoulders. For a millisecond I longed for my youth — no body fat and lots of energy.

But only for a millisecond.

These days, the only rope I want to dangle from is one that holds up the hammock John and I share.

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Waiting on the bus after the big climb.

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