Sepia Saturday - The Mile High Mountain

There is a mountain in Maine called Katahdin. The name comes from a local the local indian Penobscot language meaning "the great mountain." It's summit is the northern terminus of the 2180 mile Appalachian Trail that stretches from Maine to Georgia. I have climbed this mountain that has beautiful views from the top.

The height of Katahdin is 5260 feet above sea level just 20 feet short of one mile. This is according to official statistics by US Geological Surveys.

Foreground: survey marker
Background: summit cairn
But what is Mount Katahdin's unoffical height? For years hikers have added stones to a summit cairn. A legend is that the summit cairn adds 20 feet to the height of the mountain making it exactly one mile high.

I was reminded of this legend by a movie I recently viewed "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" staring Hugh Grant. This movie is a hilarious story about a quaint Welsh village that takes pride in its local "mountain." But to officially qualify as a mountain it has to be at least 1000 feet above sea level. This town always thought of their mountain as a mountain and not as a hill. When two government surveyors came to town they found out otherwise. I loved this movie.

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Jon said…
First of all, kudos for climbing Katahdin - it looks beautiful! I was raised in California, where they have "real" mountains. I was really amused when I moved to the Missouri Ozarks, and the locals referred to small hills as "mountains".
I've never heard of the Hugh Grant movie that you mentioned, but I'm going to check it out.
Nancy said…
I love the 3rd photograph with the picture of the pile of stones. I remember the movie you mentioned. It was funny.

I wanted to let you know that the link at Sepia Saturday didn't work for me. (Maybe it works for others....)

Thanks for another interesting post.
like NANCY, i couldn't connect via your link. i commented on SEPIA SATURDAY, but got no reply... then, since you yourself had written a comment, i click on your name and voila. you can't hide from me!!

the laurentians here provide many mountains, and the appalachian do start on our territory, so, more mountains!! mountains always make for an intriguing sight, inspiring awe perhaps...

Alan Burnett said…
Yes I remember that "Englishman who went up a hill ... " film well. As for your featured mountain, I am always surprised by the scale of your mountains. Majestic.
I have always wanted to watch that movie but have somehow always missed it.

Isn't it fun how possessive people become over mountains and rivers, etc? Those that live close to them personalize them in ways those passing through never will. But ultimately we're all just passing through and the mountains and rivers will be there for the next group of possessive people.

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