Record Breaking Short Hike

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Record Breaking 69 People Turn Out For First CMC Short Hike

By Elizabeth R. OuYang

Charlie                 Liz                  MichaelCMC sets world revisionist history with 69 people attending the first CMC short hike of the year to Stockridge Mountain. (While Sharon Jiang and Allen Wang remember larger groups in the past, it doesn’t count because they can’t remember the names of everyone who went!)  In any event, for the launch of 2001 CMC Short Hikes, this was a record breaking turnout!  And the official listed leaders were none other than the fearless Charlie Ong and Liz OuYang.  Of course, the trip would not have been possible without the heavy behind the scenes work of CMC veterans Ray Lin, William Chung, Henry Jiang, Leo Ngan, Michael Tam, Tim Lok and Allen Wang.  Even before we stepped one foot on the trail, George Fung, Kit and Gee Yu Chan, Sharon Lee and the Yim and Seto Families signed up to become members of CMC-how’s that for impressive public relations work!! The minute by minute written directions, the maps, the information about CMC, the newsletter, the publicity, and the overwhelming offer of assistance by veteran hikers made the introduction to the hike an impressive show of team work and organization.

While pounding rain deterred some of the initial 110 persons signed up to join the hike, 69 (can’t help, but keep repeating this number!) 69 people braved the crying skies.

However, when all 69 converged at the trailhead, misty fog had replaced the rain and we ascended into an adventurous thicket of endless “clouds” on the mountaintop.  Charlie and William lead this five mile hike in the front with ambitious “want a be” 15 mile hikers, while Ray controlled the middle with steady paced hikers pleased with their disposition in life.

69 people showed up despite gloomy weather

I willingly stayed at the back with the picture happy friends of Wood and Fay. Leo insisted on accompanying me at the back.  What could I say?  I let him. At one point, after “Friends of Wood and Fay” stopped multiple times for the same pictures of the same people in front of the same looking tree with the same mist in the background, we fell noticeably behind and lost sight of the blue trail marker.  Well I stayed remarkably calm while Leo insisted on finding the over looked trail marker.  What could I say?  I let him.  

After this momentary loss of that critical tiny blue rectangle, the trip proceeded as scheduleWilliam give valuable hiking tipsd with 69 people in tact.  At the half enclosed shelter at lunch, nearly 69 people crammed to hear the wisdom of William give valuable tips on appropriate outer gear for hiking. For all those newcomers that were drenched sweating in cotton or in soaking sneakers, it was the type of lecture they wish they had heard yesterday!   Nevertheless,  they will be unforgotten tips for the future.

A beautiful lake was a surprise waiting at the foot of our descent. The only thing that kept us from the other side of the lake was a string of challenging small rocks protruding slightly above the trickling down stream of water. One by one, 69 people crossed these treacherous, slippery rocks ever so gracefully.  It was nearly a mile after this successful feat that I suddenly remembered I left my walking stick behind assisting a fellow hiker.  Leo insisted on walking back to retrieve it.  What could I say?  I let him.

Liz OuyangThe trip was a success-with all 69 people finishing it without one casualty! What was particularly great was that this trail was the perfect beginner’s level for building upon the series of short hikes ahead.  It let many newcomers feel confident that they could tackle longer and more difficult hikes in the future!    Thanks to all 69 for coming-we hope to see you again! 

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