"Green is good!"--a most useful adage when pulling
yourself up a vertical incline or trying to slow down
your decent on a slick, mossy slope. I will ever be
grateful for a brother who knew enough about the
mountains to take me to places off the beaten path,
through the devil's club, up the cliff, down the creek bed...and even if
it seemed like we were lost, I knew I could always count on you to bring us
out at the logging road that led to our car.
Of course, there were the times I didn't keep up with
you and had to holler you back because there was no
trail to follow, and I didn't realize that you had
made a sharp turn to the west above the ridge on
Sourdough when I was still heading south. Or the time
I just sat down--too scared to cross a slide area by myself--and waited
until you noticed I wasn't a reasonable distance behind you on our way back
down onto Cascade Pass. You always inspired confidence:
"Just stand up and don't lean into the hillside!"
There were times you showed me where to put my feet
and hands on sreep pitches and calmed my shaky knees
with your positive assurances. And all those times
when we were sopping wet or exhausted, and you'd say,
"Isn't this the most fun you've ever had?!"
You were my big brother and always knew best when it
came to the mountains. Even though I still can't
keep up, thanks for introducing me to the trails and bushwhacking of the
North Cascades (and beyond). Now my love for the mountains and hiking has
been passed down to my boys and we are all the richer for it.
Thanks, John. You're the best brother I'll ever have!
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Copyright 2004, John W. Roper.
All Rights Reserved.