Thursday, December 25, 2008

25,000 Photos, 25,000 Memories

As I was sitting here Christmas night 2008, I looked through 25,000 digital photos I have taken over the past 10 years. Man, do they bring back memories. The funny thing is the first Sierra club hike I was on I saw a girl taking photos and thought "how stupid." Things would be much different if I kept thinking like that.

As I looked through the photos I saw many familiar faces that brought a smile. I also saw faces I had long forgotten. Some have moved, others have stopped hiking, and some might not be with us any longer. People come and people go, but there will always be a core group that does the Sunday hikes.

And unlike people the mountains will always be there enticing us to climb them and find new routes to their summits. I am lucky that I was given the opportunity to find nearly 100 new routes and to lead nearly 1,000 different hikers to over 100 summits in the southwest. It seems like the perfect life, but those who know me best, know this was the worst year of my life. Death, divorce and a hundred other things I don't want to remember that happened this year. But for three months out of this year I got a reprieve and it was beyond perfect. I will always be grateful to you.

Well 2009 will have its challenges, but not like this year. There's one thing for certain: I will be up in the mountains finding new routes and leading people to summits for their first time and that is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
Happy Holidays,
Branch