Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Happiest Man on Mission Peak?

HappyManMissionPeak2006|01|22: Happy Man. Mission Peak. January 22, 2006. © Copyright Dan Mitchell.
The Happiest Man on Mission Peak. January 22, 2006. © Copyright Dan Mitchell.

This fellow made my day! As I was slogging up the 2000’+ climb up Mission Peak I passed (barely) him and his son. A moment later his son came up the trail and said, “My Dad wants to know how old you are. He’s 73.” (I’m a few decades shy of 73 still, and I still feel that Mission Peak is a tough climb! :-)

We talked a bit and it sounded like they (well, the son – he did all the talking) were concerned about the winds, which were extremely strong today. They asked if I would be going to the top, and I said I’d make that decision after I got to the ridge and felt the wind.

The wind was positively screaming across the ridge, but I went on up anyway. Part way up I stopped to put on extra clothes and take a few pictures and then I continued. And who was there when I arrived? Yes, they had made it to the summit.

After I walked over to the south summit of Mission Peak (which I believe is a few feet higher) and sat down to take in the view I noticed “Dad” standing on the summit and beginning to sing, loudly, while standing in the impressive gale. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone react to the surroundings with such uninhibited joy!

I think this will be one of my favorite pictures. I especially enjoy the fact that, among all of the rest of us hikers with our snazzy, colorful high-price synthetic material equipment this man was at the summit, 73 years old, singing into the screaming gale at the top of his lungs, wearing suit and white shirt… and seemingly having more fun than anyone!


January 22, 2006 - Posted by | Commentary

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