The Yellow Map Magazine

September 12, 2007

When I was growing up my parents always had a subscription to National Geographic magazine. I was always fascinated with the maps, and looked forward to new ones.

While I was in high school I did a couple of back packing trips to the Tetons and during one I took a one-day climbing school course. The guide was introduced as (then) the third-best rock climber alive. He had completed a frightfully difficult climb at Tierro del Fuego - 4,000 feet up a sheer cliff that was separated from Antarctica by only ocean. The introduction indicated that the details of the climb could be found in a recent Geographic issue. When I returned home I dug through the issues in my parent's basement and found the one in question. Fascinating. I knew a guy who was in National Geographic.

Sibylle had a collection of National Geographic magazines in her home when we met. She had allowed her subscription to lapse, however. Over the summer we were talking one day about random stuff and I said, "I really like the maps that came with...," and Sibylle completed the thought by saying, "Me too." Neither of us said aloud the words National Geographic. We both just knew where maps came from.

A couple of weeks later I got a gift card in the mail from the National Geographic society telling me that a subscription in my name had been given to me by Sibylle. Now I am someone who gets the Yellow Map Magazine.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.