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San Gabriel Peak, Mount Disappointment

6 July 2002

By: Mars Bonfire


A Small World in the Mountains
Leaders: Mars Bonfire, Doris Duval, Brian & Karen Leverich

With Karen Leverich, Doris Duval, Brian Leverich, Gary Gibson, Mike Moser, Mars Bonfire, Hiro Yanamoto, Mark Allen, Chris Spisak, and Kyler Yanamoto.

It was billed as "Easy Peaks of the San Gabriels" and was essentially an introduction to Hundred Peaks. And Hundred Peaks by any other name would, of course, still be a collection of 275 or so Southern California high points of profound and delirious hill walking fun. A collection that enables us to experience first hand the many wild treasures encircling Los Angeles, to develop a love for them, and ultimately, to protect them.

Did I use the phrase "hill walking"? I guess I did. Coincidentally and of great significance the July-August AARP Bulletin (Yes, it's true. I am a senior citizen!) has a short column titled "New Drive Helps 50+ Americans stay 'Active for Life'" in which it's stated: "...common sense and current science agree that exercise helps people live longer, healthier lives. The benefits are so compelling that AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have joined together to launch a major program encouraging Americans age 50 and older to make exercise a part of their daily lives." The quintessential HPS experience is the

L I S T F I N I S H

and once one accepts the challenge of that quest exercise, perhaps above and beyond what one might have thought one's self capable of, will definitely be a part of daily life. And equally apropos, the July issue of National Geographic has an insert of the Arthritis Foundation titled "See the USA the Walking Way" in which it's stated: "Walking works wonders ... walking is one of the best exercises there is. In addition to helping control arthritis symptoms, walking can also help you: Ease arthritis pain. Cut your risk of heart disease. Control blood pressure. Lower your risk of diabetes. Build your bones. Lose weight." And finally, not to be outdone, the esteemed American Journal of Viagra Confabulations definitively states: "If you experience an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help!" Oops. I guess that doesn't have much to do with walking. Forget that advice.

Okay. Back to walking of the hill variety. Aren't we lucky we know about Hundred Peaks and are involved in leading or hiking the many adventures within minutes or hours of LA? And now the wonderful group who showed up for San Gabriel know about Hundred Peaks and, I hope, will become increasingly involved in doing what is such profound and delirious fun and, as it turns out, so good for us too ... hill walking!

By the way, do you have well used copies of "San Bernardino Mountain Trails" and "Trails of the Angeles"? Of course you do. Every hiker I know does and refers to them often for historical, flora/fauna, and route information on our beloved peaks. What would be the chance of running into their author, John Robinson, down below in a sea of millions? Not very high I would guess. Yet as we were sitting trail side taking a break who should come along but the man himself. He recognized Doris and stopped to talk. Karen put in an effective pitch for his presence as speaker at our upcoming banquet. And what more appropriate place to meet a man who writes about the mountains than in the mountains. It's a small world up there isn't it?

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