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            The following is a guest blog from Luke Mehall, Crested Butte Magazine contributor who recently moved from the Gunnison Valley to Durango. This piece is an excerpt from Luke’s new book, Climbing Out of Bed, available in print and as an e-book.

Dammit all, the world is real and everybody carries on like it is a dream, like they were themselves dreams… Pain or love or danger makes you real again.”  --Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

What is a real mountain person? This is essentially the question John Fayhee, the editor of the Mountain Gazette, posed to me in an email. Since then it’s been lots of thinking, writing, throwing away (recycling), thinking, and here I am again, writing.             

I’ve come to the conclusion I am both unable and unwilling to define a real mountain person. The main reason is that if I wrote about what a real mountain person is, I’d be saying that certain people who live in the mountains aren’t authentic. Who am I to judge who belongs in a mountain town?