Leaders: Jon Sheldon, Evan Samuels, Ruth Adler
"THE MOUNTAINS ARE SAFE AGAIN" (Headline from the Extra Edition of the Daily Nautilus presented to Ruth Adler by Jon Sheldon).
After meeting at La Cañada and carpooling to the trailhead, 35 people, led by Jon Sheldon and ably assisted by Evan Samuels, went the long way to the top of Mt Hillyer (6 mi RT, 1000 foot gain) to help me get my second to the last peak I needed.
As advertised, it was an easy, pleasant hike through tall Jeffrey Pines, incense cedar and jumbo-sized granite rocks. As an extra added bonus: the weather was bright and sunny, a 100 mile endurance race from Wrightwood to Pasadena was going on, we saw some horses (to the delight of Scotty Antolick, aged two), and my mother, Vicki Feldon, got her first HPS peak! All this, and more, in three hours.
Then, in true peakbagger style, we drove as close to the top of mighty Pacifico Mtn as we could get.
At the top about 15 people were waiting (including a mountain bike gang of Bobcat Thompson, Art Schain, Mike Baldwin and Sandy Houston) swelling the ranks to 50 or so. Unfortunately, we had to walk the last 100 yards, 10 feet of gain, to the top.
But, we managed - AND I FINISHED THE LIST!
After speechifying and picture taking, the party began! We had plenty of champagne and good food.
Thanks to Cindy Okine for the chicken slaw, Laura Webb for the huge fruit salad, Joe Douglass for the persimmon cookies, Kay Machen for the dip I never got to eat, Alan Coles for the chocolate chip cookies, Jim Adler for the fruit juice and Evan Samuels for the Baby Ruths!
We talked, joked, said good-byes and left with three garbage bags of trash.
Well, I did it! I finished The List despite severe and debilitating setbacks: mononucleosis, sprained ankles, strained knee ligaments, heavy brush, 3rd class rock - HOORAY! I did it! We did it, "we" meaning my family and friends.
I couldn't have done it without you. Each one of you contributed in your own unique way to helping me accomplish this important and historic feat. And I want to thank all of you! But, especially: my parents and the rest of my family who tolerated this craziness; Jon Sheldon who encouraged and navigated me to this list finishing; Evan Samuels who's a good friend, except for the fact that it is his fault I ever joined HPS in the first place; Jim Adler who's helped me so much I can't thank him enough; Alan Coles who's one of the best leaders, navigators and natural historians around; Martin Feather for his jokes and hog calls; Frank Goodykoontz for his multiple vitamins and encouragement; Dick "Buttercup" Akawie for his wit; Shirley Akawie who Vitamin "C's" me; Bill T. Russell who's always a gentleman and very helpful; John Backus for the peak guides; and the list goes on! Thank you all very much!