Merritt is a nomad who sometimes likes to boast (usually to minimal astonishment) that he has lived in five of the six US time zones. He says this merely to illustrate that he has seen many, many parts of North America, both the flat, and the pointy. He prefers the pointy.
This is perhaps due partly to the fact that Merritt grew up downhill skiing in Boise, Idaho (Mountain Standard Time Zone). This practice demonstrated to him the inherent value of both snow and mountains. It took him a few years, but he eventually made it to the actual Pacific Northwest (Pacific Standard Time Zone), where he started climbing everything within reasonable driving distance. It was during a stint in Kansas City, Missouri (Central Time Zone; also one of the flatter parts of the continent) that Merritt realized he missed mountains.
This is what brought him to the Wrangells (Alaska Standard Time Zone), and he hasn’t stopped thinking about them since (There are mountains everywhere! In a place with so few roads, all driving distances seem reasonable! etc.).
Merritt is an irredeemable nerd who loves both reading, and wandering purposefully around outside (seriously, there’s a detailed system for each; ask him about it; by which I mean, don’t ever ask him about it). He also earned a degree in Art History (because it was 2009) from a tiiiiiiny school in Virginia (Eastern Standard Time Zone). So feel free to ask him his opinion on abstraction versus representation (again, do not do this).