Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column looking for a decent tree to climb.It occurs to us – after reading this handy press release sent to us by the International Society of Arboriculture (you think you get some weird junk mail, you got nothing on us) about the recently completed 28th International Tree Climbing Championship – that there aren’t as many people out climbing trees around Summit Up Land as one might expect. In fact, we can’t say that we’ve ever seen anyone climb a tree (except for this one time, our buddy Elmer, he was peeing in the bushes and this moose pokes his head up over the top of the bush, looking Elmer right square in the eyes … We’re pretty sure Elmer would have broken any tree speed-climbing record these arborists might have set).
And it’s somewhat of a shame when you think about it. All these trees, and no one climbing them. Granted, lodgepole pines have to be about the cruddiest trees you could pick to climb, what with the branches being all weak and spindly. Still, though, there has to be some good trees to climb.You’re probably still wondering about this competition: Two weeks ago, all these arborists, tree conservationists and overgrown boys and girls met in Pittsburgh, where there are apparently good trees to climb. The patriotic among our readers will be disappointed to learn that, for the third year in a row, a German has taken the men’s title in tree climbing. Yes, while our best and brightest athletes are over wasting their time with those silly games in Athens, we’re losing important bragging rights right here on our home turf. We don’t know if tree climbing is a national pastime in Germany, but something has to be done about this (Kathy Holzer, of Washington, won the women’s side, so we’re halfway there). Maybe first we should dissect this guy, Berndt Strasser’s, philosophy.
“You have to have a love for the tree, not just for climbing,” Strasser is quoted as saying after winning.We would be happy to lead the charge in ramping up America’s tree climbing team. However, after a dastardly fall at age 10 from an oak tree, we promised our mothers we wouldn’t get up on anything higher than a step-ladder. This doesn’t inspire much confidence in the athletes you’re coaching.We’ll leave it to you, good people of Summit Up Land.
***We’re done for Thursday, dear friends. It’s time to start sending us your “What I did on my summer vacation essays” at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just narrate them Garrison Keillor style on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237. Remember, we do mark off for improper spelling and punctuation, even on the voicemail. We’re out chasing cats up trees …
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