The header, above, is new. It’s a composite panorama of the Cathedral Spires, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and one of my favorite spots. Scrambled around it last summer, and climbed Spire Four with my cousin HJ.
On a more somber note, the pines in the Southern Black Hills are under serious attack by pine beetles. The area behind the Spires has been logged in an attempt to check the infestation, but the hills in the Pine Creek Natural Area, and all along Grizzly Bear are seriously threatened. Unfortunately, the dead pine needles are a prime target for lightning, and eventually the whole area may catch fire. Natural selection at work.
HJ used to have a hilarious account of our climb up Spire Four. The crux is a small wormhole which you have to wriggle through. Of course I was too fat to get through it. Several other more experienced climbers were watching me struggle, and laughing. Quietly, of course. Finally, I gave up, and climbed a harder route around.