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A mountain man's best friend

"By now, she's got a great sense of how to get up things," he said. "With all the mountains she's climbed, she's probably the best bushwhacker I know."

Wildlife in the woods often keeps Bookah entertained. Squirrels, chipmunks and even porcupines have had close encounters with the dog (some ended better than others).

Via doesn't plan to spend his retirement completely on the trail; he also canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes and is a fly fisherman. Still, there are plenty of peaks all over New England he's yet to summit, including a solid 70 of Vermont's 100 highest points.

"That would be kind of a fantasy list. I'll chip away at it," he said. "It's something to work for."

Via has enjoyed 39 years of marriage to his wife, Barbara, with whom he has two grown children. "Catskill 100 Highest" is on track for a first-quarter 2011 release.

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