Fate and Luck: The Incredible Mr. Hillary

edmund_hillary

Ed Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the Lebron and Steph Curry of mountaineering — yet all they could do was wait. They were holed up in a small tent on the South Col of Mount Everest while the ‘varsity’ team of two climbers was aggressively attacking the last 2,000 vertical feet above them. Their colleagues would become the first climbers to summit Everest, the world’s highest and most unreachable peak. In contrast to other climbers, Hillary and Tenzing were imposing physical specimens. Hillary was 6 foot 5 inches of lean, sinewy muscle and abounding energy. Norgay was larger than other Sherpas and his elite acclimatization to altitude enabled him to climb near the summit two times recently.

Norgay sat cross-legged in the small tent with a three-foot flame from the camp stove shooting up between his legs, while the others slept. A similar fire may have burned inside him. He had a score to settle with Everest. At 3:30 p.m. the first assault team of Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon stumbled back into the South Col campsite — weary and beaten. According to Hillary’s official autobiography Reaching The Summit by Alexa Johnston, they ran out of time and oxygen to reach the summit. Now the stage was cleared for Hillary and Norgay.

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A Wonderful Getaway From the Busy Cities

Willow Falls - Courtesy of Forrest McCullough

Summer has finally come to Minnesota. The sun burns late in the day and green has crawled out of the darkness to cover the trees again. Parks are filled with eager children. Beaches are occupied by van-loads of families. The swooshing noises of the boats buzzing past each other on the lakes are accompanied by the gleeful barking of the family dog.

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Highlights of Southern Ireland

the blarney house

I used to think the idea of Ireland being completely and richly green was probably a stereotype, but that didn’t last for long. That idea was dashed before my plane even landed. As I gazed out the window, as soon as the clouds dispersed the first thing I saw was emerald as far as the eye can see. It took my breath away from that very moment and I didn’t get it back until I left the country.

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Wanderlust: My Seven Wonders to the Pacific Northwest

yellowstone

For most of my life I have had this desire to live anywhere besides Minnesota. No offense to Minnesota or anything, but I have this feeling that I wasn’t meant to live in the Midwest my whole life. I told friends and family about this dream for as long as I can remember; so I think the decision to actually do it at the age of 26 was a soft blow to them.

For the past three years I have resided in the great city of Minneapolis. It felt like home. But, that strange feeling of wanderlust was still in the back of my mind. So, after many months of talk, I quit my nine to five job, notified the landlord of the beautiful apartment I lived in (very sad about leaving this apartment behind), my boyfriend and I packed up our materialistic lives and drove to Portland, OR. This is my experience of the highs and lows, differences and similarities of the Midwest to the West and everything in between.

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Amsterdam: A Friendly City

amsterdam city

When I took my first step outside the Grand Central Station onto the streets of Amsterdam I felt immediately engulfed by the city’s unique atmosphere. The bustling squares and many narrow alley-like streets were intimidating at first because the layout is so different from what I’m used to in a typical American city. But there is little in Amsterdam that resembles a typical American city.

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A Trip Seeming Into the Past — Edinburgh, Scotland Highlights

The Royal Mile

Being in the heart of Scotland’s capital city is like drifting into another era. The small city is dominated by the large castle which rests at the top of Castle Hill and marks the beginning of the Royal Mile. Strolling along the medieval streets that make up the Royal Mile is probably the best way to achieve the Edinburgh experience, as a lot of the main Edinburgh sites are in this area.

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Northfield Ranked One of the Best Small Towns

 Cannon River in Northfield, MN (Jpellgen)

Livability.com recently named Northfield, MN, as the second best small town (less than 20,000 residents) of 2014 (Los Alamos, New Mexico somehow got the better of it). For those of us who have stayed in the not-so-sleepy community on the Cannon River, this comes as no surprise. In Northfield the level-headed Midwestern foundations (common throughout Minnesotan communities) mix with an almost European-like downtown riverfront, a love for eclectic events and a fine arts addiction.

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RiverSouth Hopes to Bring Tourism to Scott County

RiverSouth

Step aside North Shore and Wisconsin Dells, there’s a new travel destination trying to make a name for itself. The new “RiverSouth” is a collaboration between Scott County cities Shakopee and Prior Lake and the area’s main site attractions: The Renaissance Festival, Valleyfair, Mystic Lake Casino and Canterbury Park.

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Tips for Adjusting to Life in the Big City

travel tips - london - minnesota

Sometimes people reach a point in their lives when they need an adventure. For most people it happens after high school or college, and they have a grand adventure to mark the beginning of their adult lives. For some people it never happens or they just don’t act on it when they do. For me, my entire life has pretty much been an extenuation of this point.

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View from Big Birch Lake: A Pastoral

birch lake

I am a self-confessed and unapologetic spouter of Minnesota pride. Whether scanning a state-themed “Top Ten” clickbait countdown making the social media rounds, for a mention of anything Minnesota, or catching up with college friends who were born and raised in other Midwestern states, I cannot help but confidently crow about the virtues and possibilities of my home state.

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