THE DAY had arrived to hike the peak that would be my 100th. I chose Mt. Marie Louise, 5507', because my name is Marie-Louise.
I had been in pursuit of completing 100 peaks since 1984 but had a few minor set-backs such as: Job change to Letter Carrier with U. S. Postal Service; Naval Reserve duties to complete my 20 years; breast cancer 1992 and its comeback in 1998 with lots of chemotherapy in between and now, once every week.
January 2001, I had complete 76 peaks. I set the goal to finish my "100" by year's end. My hiking friends were a great help in accompanying me on Peakbagging expeditions. They drove some rough roads, climbed some steep peaks, hiked long and sometimes obscure trails and went through brush and rocks to stick with me and make sure I reached the peak safe and sound.
We set 3 November for Mt Marie Louise number 100. The day was picture-post card perfect. Autumn had arrived in the San Bernardinos, the sky was blue as could be and the temperature was just right.
Five of us, very intrepid hikers indeed, found the trail through a boulder-filled gully and started our route to the peak. Boulder-hopping, rock scrambling, brush and up, ALWAYS UP until we reached the peak. The register was signed, photos were taken, the beautiful view was the backdrop for a light lunch. 100 PEAKS!! The challenge to meet my realistic goal was met.
The trek back seemed easier but one had to pay attention to their footing because the same boulders, rocks, brush, plus going down had to be negotiated with some care to prevent an injury.
Later, at Vince's Spaghetti Restaurant in Ontario, we talked about our many trips, peaks, get-togethers, congratulated ourselves on our accomplishments and my 100th peak... all the while filling up on a plateful of excellent spaghetti and forgetting that "tired" feeling after a hike.
It had been a great day!! Good friends on a hike, great weather, excellent food and conversation and at Day's End, another warm memory to have forever.