Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE, and good ol' Nancy Drew found THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE; but if there isn't a mystery called THE LONG STAIRCASE, there should be. The mystery is, why anyone would want to climb one? These behemoth stairs wind upward to Mount Baldhead in Michigan, which is a giant dune. The view at the top is supposed to be spectacular--I have to take my husband's word for it, because I, sedentary woman that I am, only made it halfway before nature mocked me and told me that I was old, corpulent, and out of shape.
Here's my son about halfway up; at this point I was above him, taking the photo; that's about as far as I made it, though, and he continued up all the way to the top. The next day it was rainy, and I stayed in our cabin reading RED LEAVES, but the boys went back out and climbed the same mountain from the other side, this time straight through a hill of sand.
Here's the same view, taken by my husband from the tippy top; you can see that it never looks as intimidating as it really is. As I type this my legs are aching from the effort that going halfway required. :)
It wasn't surprising that my husband and children could make it to the top (although it was embarrassing that I couldn't), but what really made me look bad was the young woman who was training for something--her own personal workout or a triathlon or fighting Rocky--who knows? But she ran up and down that darn staircase three times while I panted at the midpoint, trying not to faint.
There are drawbacks to sitting and writing all day, and this is a huge humbling example of one.
I was glad, though, of the view that Jeff got when he made it to the summit, which looked like this:
Thank goodness for digital cameras, so that I can have the victory vicariously. :)