You may have heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” So in the hopes of avoiding this dull state, we boys at Bradrick Family Farms joined five other friends last weekend and headed up into the Alpine Wilderness. The objective…summit Mt. Daniel. A combination of complications held us back from starting on the trail until 9:00 pm. Thursday, July 27. With night falling on us, we donned our packs and started hiking. Over the next two hours and two thousand foot climb we steadily wove our way up the mountain path guided only by the light of our head lamps. When we reached an adequate camping spot we were thankful to rest our heads before another long day of hiking.
The sun playfully broke in through the tent screen with no consideration for our tiredness, and he seemed to laugh thinking how he would beat down on us all day long.
We ate a hasty breakfast, packed up, and hit the trail. On one side of us we could look up and see Cathedral Rock jutting fifteen hundred feet above us and on the other Deep Lake shimmering two thousands feet below us.
Before lunch we reached our final camp site and set up camp beside the ice cold waters of Peggy’s Pond.
As the sun reached the apex of its climb, we set our eyes on the apex of ours and again began hiking. Following a gushing mountain stream we moved towards a steep ridge on the South face of the mountain. Our eyes smarted as the sun glinted off a vast snow field. The steeper the ridge became the slower we had to pick our way across the rocks and snow.
After a very steep scramble up the icy snow pack we made the final assent to the ridge.
From here the view was breath-taking…
But there was still over a mile of knife-back shale ridge to navigate before the summit.
One step at a time, we pressed on.
One step at a time, the peak of Mt. Daniel loomed closer. Soon it was only a half mile, then a quarter, then only a few hundred yards. Loose rocks shifted beneath our feet as we made the final assent. Then that glorious rush swept over us as we placed our feet on the 8000 ft. peak of Mt. Daniel and took in the 360 degree view of craggy rocks, glittering glaciers, sparkling lakes, and rugged trees as far as the eye could see.
And far, far below us we could make out our little camp site— the place where dinner and a night’s rest awaited us.
But with the aid of gravity we made the descent much faster
There is nothing quite like flying at top speed down the snow-covered shoulder of a mountain. And that is exactly what we did.
Although a bit cold, we reached the camp in good time and feasted on a meal of hot spaghetti fixed by none other than my newly acquired brother-in-law, Tim Craig.
The last two days of our trip were spent water skiing, swimming, and relaxing on the shores of Lake Cle Elem.
The whole trip was a refreshing break from the daily rigors of life and a great time to spend with dear friends. And we are quite sure now there is not a dull boy among our lot.