Over the course of my project this season I've gained a total of nearly 200k feet of elevation and covered well over 400 miles on foot. (In fact I've lost about 15 pounds since I started, and my legs might be as strong as they've ever been!) Truth be told, though, the vast majority of this elevation and mileage involved long, tiring stretches of forested trail or mountain slopes, bushwhacking, scrambling up loose scree and talus – a lot of strenuous movement, and plenty of pain and even some misery. But it's funny how even the briefest of moments on the summit, and especially those first few minutes when the morning sun paints the surrounding mountains and ridge lines, makes you so thankful to be out there. We're beyond fortunate to have these wild places to experience, protect, and pass on.