In early November when I planned a private trip on this day as my List Finisher, the date was picked to maximize the number of my family who could attend. But the hike to Winston turned out to be a three way celebration: my List Finisher after 22 years of steady progress, my son David's 100th HPS Peak, and Sam Fink's 3,600th total peak!
My first peak was Butler, David's was Rouse Hill, and Sam's first was Mount San Antonio in 1925. For further trivia, David is 20 years old, Sam is 85 and I'm half-way between.
Of the 23 party-lovers who strolled out to the peak, seven were relatives and five of the 23 were bagging their first peak. Adding to the festive mood was an exceptionally beautiful day. Several of the Orange County regional group troops came to see what the fuss was all about. Previous List Finishers Sam Fink, Tom Armbruster, Hal Price, Don Tidwell, Tom Moumblow, and Kay Machen were on hand to welcome me to the select club. Sam apologized for having only climbed 819 different peaks out of his 3600 and for hiking so slowly - gad I hope I can hike that well when I'm 85!
After some bubbly and premium beer (Tidwell, of course) on the peak, we retreated to the trailhead for a real party, thanks to the many folks who contributed goodies. Kay Machen's "Terminal brownies" vanished in a short time, as did my wife Carolyn's spinach-dip-in-a-loaf-of-bread. Some of my more vivid memories follow: peak bagging with my three kids, San Gorgonio area covered with snow in July of 1969, my canteen freezing while hiking Baden-Powell, seeing a Bighorn while sitting on Bighorn Peak, following a bear on the way to Lizard Head, the Sam Fink Trail with Sam, the many wonderful parts of Southern California I would not have seen if not for that peak I had to get, Galena Peak in a lightening storm, how pooped I was after Monte Arido, Rosa, Villager, Yucaipa Ridge, Eagle Crag, and Big Rabbit, and countless friends and campouts.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the day and 22 years so much fun. And before you ask - I plan to hike many of the peaks again, but not the whole List. I'll bet Dick was really worried!