Jani Stonington

I am sure my stories of climbs with John are nothing unusual. (That is, of course, to anyone who's climbed with him or John himself.) "Others" looking on might not agree. Most people stick to trails, generally not John. Most people take the simple route down, not John. Most people avoid the black clouds of flies, not John. Most people stick close to their comrades going downhill, not John. (But, then most people don't glide downhill quite like John.) Oh yeah, most people will climb something twice, not likely John. So, I know all this. One might ask, "Why do you climb with John?"

For one thing, I can beat him to the top. That is really satisfying. Without a doubt, he had taken me to great places. I have noticed he designs my climbs just tough enough to challenge me. There are only a few PVC'S per climb. (That is, heart flip flops.) There is just the right amount of sore quads and enough calorie expenditure to earn a real meal and an ice cream cone. Bottom line, my summers are not complete, they are lacking, they are empty, and they are pallid without a climb with John.

So, John, thank you for including me in your adventurous, loving exploration of Washington and her mountains. May you have many great years of more of that. And, believe it or not, all teasing aside, I hope to have many more adventures with you in those coming years...

Jani Stonington