There is a mountain in Colorado that my brother loved more than any other.
At least, he talked about this one the most. He tried many times to climb to the top but, whether it was snow, getting off trail, or other factors, he never made it.
This mountain isn't the most famous or the tallest. It doesn't get much traffic
because the trail is very difficult. Never the less, it is in every picture you will ever see taken of Pikes Peak and it was special to him. When living there I had no attachment or interest in ever doing such a grueling hike. But, it was special to him so, now it is very special to me.
The mountain, called Cameron Cone, is located on the front range of Colorado Springs. I was in town for a few days and had an afternoon free. I linked up with one of my closest friends (he was a brother to Ryan) and decided to take this hike head on. The hike was straight up hill for 3.5 miles and looped back at just under 7 miles round trip. My body felt every step after mile one but I was set on getting to the top. After 2 hours of hiking and scrambling around a few large boulders at the top, we made it. I spent a few minutes reflecting on the beauty around us, and then noticed an old coffee tin nestled against a rock on the summit. Inside, there was a little red book filled with names scribbled by hikers that had also made the 3000 ft climb. I signed the book for Ryan, left a rock he had given me years ago at the top and climbed down. At the end of the day it was just a hike. But, it felt really good to get to the top for him. It definitely brings sad and happy tears to think about how different our interests were then and how it has really come full circle. I would give everything I have to share more time with him. Climbing those mountains and doing the things he loved to do. However, every time I am able to do something he loved and talk about him and his passions, he lives on. And I am so thankful for that.