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Manhattan Tip-to-Tip Hike 2005

Brooklyn Bridge at Night

The Brooklyn Bridge as seen from East River Park

Hiking Mount Everest is as easy as Googling "Hike Mount Everest." Pony up the same cash you'd pay for a nice car to commute to a dull day job and any number of luxury outfitters will take you there, cater your food and carry your stuff for you. Thousands of people have made it to the top, including senior citizens, blind people and double-amputees. 40 people made it to the top one day in 1993, more than I've ever seen at the top of any of our local California mountains. Wharton runs teambuilding seminars up there. Everest has become almost as popular as Maui.

Even at today's historic 40-year low in crime, more people are murdered in New York City every six months than have died in the past 85 years on Everest. In a normal year like 1990, more people are murdered in Manhattan each month than have died of all causes in the entire history of Everest. In addition to murder, in Manhattan you can be run over by a taxi, get hit by a falling scaffold or penny from the observation deck of the Empire State Building, get caught in a building collapse like the World Trade Center, catch AIDS from a stray hypodermic needle or meet your maker in many other less-savory ways. That's why I was so scared of the city as a kid. It was dangerous before Giuliani.

We decided (OK, actually our friend Doug suggested) it would be more original and more dangerous to hike the entire length of Manhattan Island. We'd never heard of anyone crazy enough to brave that. The pizza's better, too. We've done it each summer for the past couple of years. It's about 13 miles as a cryptococcosis-infected pigeon flies. We weren't on a vanity tour to get a plaque for our cubicles. We wanted a good time, a little danger, and plenty of good sights, sounds and smells. We wanted more interesting scenery, better weather and better food than Everest.

Not content with a trek across some of the free world's most dangerous territory, Doug threw in three extra secret islands! With these included we covered about 18 miles on foot, and we carried our own gear.

I made these photos with my Casio EX-Z750 point-and-shoot carried in my pocket. It's battery easily lasted all day for hundreds and hundreds of shots.

In case anyone misses my weird sense of humor, I'm only kidding poking by fun at people who take package hikes of Everest and the great City of New York. New York is my birthplace and the city is the world capital of finance, art and of course photography. You've never been downtown until you've been to Manhattan.

Click the first image below to start the journey. The "next >" arrow on each page gets you to the next photo.

The index shots below are for the time and date, or for reference after you've seen the trip the first time.

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