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A hundred things to do before you die

By Staff | Jan 12, 2008

The following are the first 20 choices by the Estherville Daily News staff for a hundred things to do before you die.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania before the glacier melts. Global warming is making the permanent glacier on this 19,340-foot mountain, the highest on the African continent, disappear. The mountain plays a particularly symbolic role in Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro, also the subject of a classic black-and-white film starring Gregory Peck. It’s a hauntingly beautiful story, classic Hemingway.

Another great Hemingway thing to do would be an African safari. Make sure you bring something bigger than a 30.06 though, maybe a Remington .458 or Weatherby .460. Otherwise, it would be just like using a peashooter.

If you liked the previous one, another Hemingwayesque thing to do before you die would be to catch a marlin in the Gulf of Mexico. (If you’ve every read The Old Man and the Sea you know just exactly what we’re talking about.) It would make landing that lunker walleye or northern pathetic by comparison.

While we’re on the topic of Hemingway, how about trying your hand at bullfighting. It sounds kind of crazy (and is) but imagine the roar of the crowd as you pass the cape as the bull charges past.

Not tired of Hemingway yet? How about smuggling in a few Cuban cigars…the handrolled kind. Many people who do not normally smoke enjoy a great cigar. And Cuba makes the best in the world.

All right, all right. This is the last Hemingway thing to do. How about enjoying a snifter of Cuban rum on a Cuban beach. The sheer thought is enough to get you to persuade your congressman or senator to lift the Cuban trade embargo.

Visit the recently discovered cave where Romulus and Remus, the founders of ancient Rome, were suckled by wolves. It was long thought to be a myth. With the discovery of the cave, though, archaeologists now consider it a fact.

Kayak across the Strait of Juan de Fuca along with the killer whales. (Just make sure your kayak isn’t black and shaped too much like a seal, though.

Ski in Switzerland on Christmas Day. Afterward, enjoy a cup of hot Swiss chocolate in the chalet. Look out for avalanches, though. The Swiss Alps probably have more than any other mountain range.

Retrace the route that Eric the Red took when he sailed a Viking longboat to North America. Traces of Viking settlements still remain on the Canadian coast. You would want to make the trip in a longboat — followed by a Coast Guard ship, of course.

Eat a Tuscan truffle. Price: starting at $100. There must be some reason people pay that much to eat them.

Watch all three races in the Triple Crown: the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby, and the Belmont Stakes. Oh, and have enough money to make some interesting wagers on the races, too.

Fly a hang glider over the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. Hopefully, there would be enough heat for updrafts — and never downdrafts.

Get a chance to have an at-bat in the World Series — and hopefully not get creamed by a 100-mile-an-hour fastball.

Help a homeless person get a leg up on life with a new job, suit, and a comfortable place to live with plenty to eat.

Live long enough to see people eradicate poverty in the world.

Live long enough to see people stop killing each other in the name of religion.

Live long enough to see scientists discover a cure for aids.

Live long enough to see scientists discover a cure for cancer.

Live long enough to see peace in the world.