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Caring for the Mountains

So TMT is making another go at Mauna Kea.

I need to acknowledge my upbringing before my opinion. I grew up in Tacoma, Washington, in the shadow of Mount Rainer. We would visit the mountains, go to Snohomish, Snoqualmie Pass, go to the yearly fair in Puyallup. The mountains have always served a purpose in my life, and I tend to feel most at ease living in the shadow of one. They have always been a special place to play, hike, walk, and reconnect with nature. I've climbed St. Helens, and Mt. Baker. I grew up with the expression "pack it in, pack it out", which included a personal waste bag when climbing Baker. (Not going to lie, it was pretty funny seeing the target sticker at the bottom of the bag). Today, while considering Mauna Kea, I decided to look up Mt. Rainier's original name, Tacoma. It got me thinking... I grew up surrounded by towns not with western or European names, but with the names given by people of the Pacific Northwest's 'aina.

A few summers ago I took a job cleaning the dorm rooms at UHH, and while it was a tough job the people were wonderful. It wasn't until the group photo that I realized I was the only white person in the group. So while I know my maiden name is Erickson, I can promise I'm much more the "pack it in, pack it out" exploring type, not the "hail the conquering hero" type.