When I first started hiking, I knew only of names: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Si, Sauk Mountain, Mt. Pilchuck. I loved Mt. Rainier for its ruggedness and how it reminded me of my insignificance, but never once did I consider how these mountains were all connected or why the roads leading to their bounty were where they were. Then, in 2011, I visited Zermatt for the first time, where the Matterhorn lives.
I wrote that the ski weekend had sparked an idea to go back to the Alps for one final weekend. I knew in my mind exactly where I wanted to go — Zermatt — but every instinct said not to go. At 3:00 PM on Christmas Eve, however, I decided to drive for the last time toward the Swiss border.