End of the Trail

Dear Jerry, I didn't get last week's Reader and was surprised when I read the letters in this week's edition to learn that your weekly column, Roam-O-Rama, is no more and that you have stage 4 cancer. My only personal experience with you was a 33 mile run and hike in the Cuyamaca mountains in November, 1982. It was a Sierra Club outing and you were the leader of the event. My ex-wife and I decided to participate in it as we had never hiked the Cuyamacas before and would get to see most of the state park in one day. The proposed plan was to visit all 4 peaks in the park and to run the flats and downhills and briskly hike the uphills. We arrived at Green Valley Falls campground just after dawn that morning, met up with you, your assistant and the rest of the group, and soon headed out to Oakzanita Peak. From there we mostly ran to the base of Stonewall Peak, then rapidly hiked to the top where we took a short snack break. Then we ran down to the bottom and crossed the highway and went into Paso Picacho campground where we had lunch. After lunch you told us that our next stop would be Middle Peak, followed by Cuyamaca Peak, then a long last stretch back to Green Valley Falls. At that point, a few of us, including me and my ex, decided to leave your group, skip Middle Peak and hike directly up to Cuyamaca Peak , and then return to where we started. That was the last time I ever saw you. We got back to our cars just before dark so I assume you and everyone else returned well after after dark. Even though we were both in excellent shape from years of running, tennis, hiking, yoga, etc.,when we pulled up in front of a vegetarian restaurant that used to be in Julian and got out of the car, our legs were so rubbery that we could barely walk up the steps and go into the restaurant. Yet the next day we had completely recovered and even played some tennis. As far as I know no one has organized that outing since then. A few years later I bought my first copy of Afoot and Afield in San Diego County and I got my current edition which is signed and dated by you on September 3,1999, when I made a contribution to KPBS. I hope you can get help for your illness and want to thank you not only for that memorable day of running and hiking but for all your books and weekly columns that enriched not only my life but many others as well. Take care, Don Pedro
— July 15, 2011 12:47 p.m.

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