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  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Quitting time: A woman leads her animals homeward at sunset outside the Assassin castle of Lammasar, the first and most intact of the three castles Cahill and Howard visited.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    View from Cahill and Howard's campsite at the castle of Alamut. In Marco Polo's version of Assassin history, the Old Man of the Mountain dispatched his assassins from this fortress.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    An old couple passes by Alamut on their way to the fields to cut barley. The man rides the mule while the woman, unable to walk upright, is holding onto the mule's tail to pull her along.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Working girls: farmers on their way to work near Alamut.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    A young cherry picker near Alamut. He gave Howard "more cherries than I could possibly eat." Despite the fact that the two couldn't speak a word of each other's languages, they somehow managed to chat about America's early success at the time in the World Cup.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    A farmer takes five near Alamut. Cahill and crew camped in his field for the night and had breakfast with him in the morning.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Cowboys: Young cow herders making breakfast tea at the village of Pichibon, one of the first stops on Cahill and Howard's mule-assisted trek through the Elburz Mountains. The boys watched over the herd with no adult assistance.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    The good earth: Farmers harvesting dill above Pichibon en route to the village of Salage Anbar.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Got shade?: The photographer during a midday hike near Pichibon. "You use anything that you can—including looking undignified—to protect yourself from the sun. It would tear you to pieces."

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Junior goat herders at work in the mountains above Salage Anbar. The men in charge of the animals shared fresh cheese, yogurt, and stories about nightly encounters with wolves after the flock.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    An old woman in the village of Sharestan along the trekking route. The wife of one of the their mule drivers, she offered Cahill and Howard cheese and other snacks while they camped just outside her home.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Young girls in Sharestan. The two in the foreground are the granddaughters of the woman in the preceding photo. They were both friendly and curious, delivering gifts of food from their grandmother and "hanging out" with the American visitors.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    Another friendly face: the owner of a Café where the trail through the Elburz meets the road to the Caspian Sea.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    An Iranian man smokes tobacco through a narghile, or hookah pipe, at his friend's teahouse in the city of Isfahan.

  • Photo: Rob Howard

    The trainer at a traditional martial arts gym, or Zoorkhaneh, in Isfahan. Howard observed a session paced by drums, bells, and chanting, calling it "a funny fusion of all kinds of stuff." The most memorable exercise? Men juggling enormous "bowling-pin-like things."

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