The Skeptical Liberal: Hike to the "M"

The Skeptical Liberal

How can we live together in peace, prosperity, and harmony, while retaining our liberties as autonomous individuals who can, and must, create our own values? -- J.M. Buchanan


Hike to the "M"

I finally hiked up to the "M" (see picture) this morning. I biked up to the parking lot at the base of the trails (about 5 miles) and hiked from there (one-and-a-half miles). At the base of the trails, one is faced with the choice between the "rigorous" path and the "popular" path. I took the path more often taken. But half way up that path, I was presented with another choice: continue on the path I had chosen, or take the "M" cutoff. Thinking the cutoff might redeem my earlier choice (and maybe save some time), I took it. I proved to be half right: the cutoff made up for my earlier decision to depart from the narrow (but not so straight) path. Consequently, it did not save me any time. But I finally arrived at the top, and sat down to enjoy the view of Bozeman and its environs. Then I walked down the same path I had taken coming up, and biked back to the apartment. Total time: a little more than 2 hours (I was back before 9 am). About 50 minutes of biking, and a little more than an hour of hiking. The combination is great, and I hope to go again over the weekend, assuming it doesn't rain.

I've begun work on converting my May and early June writings on Malthus into a PERC Policy series paper. I also attended two graduate student seminars in the last two days. One was on a strategy to reduce noise pollution at the intersection of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait (in order to help the resident killer whale population). The other was on groundwater governance structures. The graduate student fellows at PERC have to give 3 seminars over the course of the summer. Each seminar has the same structure: the student has 5 minutes to use as they wish, and then the audience begins to ask questions and make comments (basically, an adaptation of Chicago rules). In a sense, the seminar turns into a collective working session on how to solve the problem the student is addressing. Lots of ideas, disagreement, discussion, etc. Wonderful experience for the students, and enriching for me also.

This will be a working weekend, in the hope of getting ahead on my own project because next week there are several more seminars and meetings with graduate students. I also plan to interview a couple of PERC fellows who undertook graduate studies at Chicago. But I do plan to go down to Bangtail Bikes on Saturday and Sunday mornings to watch the Tour de France live.


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