Another year...same mountain...for Kim...
Row 2: Sandy, Mark, Andrea, Jack, Annette, Lupe, Renee, Brittany, Mary, Dawn, Jason, Bobbi.
Row 3: Ann Marie, Manny, me, Elizabeth, Shawn
We began at the crack of dawn (just after 8 a.m.), departing from a medical lot next to St. Mary's Hospital (thank you to Mary and her 'Siri' app on her I-phone! We had, apparently, discussed meeting here, at this new spot, a year ago as we struggled to make the last leg of the walk back to Pima County Community College. Mary had told her IPhone to let her know, a year from now, where we were supposed to meet. Technology. Thank God.). It means a lot to me and the bambini, that these people took time out of their busy lives to join us today...
It was an incredible morning - no need for jackets. Or multiple, multiple layers. Our core team of walkers now three year veterans. Bleary eyed while intaking donuts. And coffee. Sporting the beautiful t-shirts that Jack had created for us. For Kim.
We had some new walkers - Mark, Angie's husband, joined us for the first time. As we headed into the steep incline of A Mountain he quipped "This is a little different than walking to the mail box." Everyone took turns helping the walkers with strollers.
Cody and Tonio perch high up on the A of A Mountain. They climbed to the top of this peak and down the other side to rejoin us later. Moments before, Autumn and Breanna had climbed up, beating us all to the top this year!
Shawn Ball, near the top, carrying Brinley. By the time we hit the top, it was 70+ degrees. Shawn said the views from the top make the whole walk worth it. It is breathtaking!
Mary and Brinley - Mary made the hike 5 months pregnant and with a cold/sore throat!! Toughing it out for Kim, she was the first adult from our group to the top of the mountain, an inspiration to us all!
We all made it to the top!! The little ones, especially Micah, loved the fire engine and jumping castles. This year, they served pancakes and peaches.
Getting ready to sign the American Cancer Society's banner for Kim...Cody, Autumn, Breanna and Tonio all wrote a message.
Brinley is happy to be at the top (and you can see Breanna and Autumn to the right of Mary dancing to the music)!
I stole Brinley and let her do some art work on the banner. She used every color available to make a beautiful design.
On the way back, we took a 'shortcut' through the desert. Kim and I always wanted to try this route, but never seemed to make it due to strollers or some other hindrance. Jack wanted to try it too, so we convinced the group...it was a little bit more challenging than we thought..."Who's idea was this?" Andrea called out now and again jokingly, as we suddenly noticed that Cody, Tonio, Autumn, Monsi and Breanna had found a parallel 'path' away from us. I called out to Cody to double back and rejoin us. He said 'We'll meet up with you at the end'. I had to explain to Cody that not all paths through the desert converge at the same spot, so he let the kids back - and the picture above is them coming down the hill! We lost track of the path, at one point, feeling our way along a barb wired fence until we found a gap...leading us to this:
Just before we found Anklam road and our cars, we found this stunning shrine for Mary. This picture doesn't do it justice. Such a peaceful, beautiful place to sit and rest. To pray for loved ones, both sick and gone, and perhaps for dreams and better days...
Another perfect day for the walk. I love the different conversations, the camaraderie, the folks you meet along the way...and the architecture and sights you see... and the meaning behind our walk.
And the food afterward!! At the Mariscos Chihuahua!!
The event was a success and a lot of fun. I know it brought in at least $600 ( I don't have final numbers yet), that will be used towards a recliner for St. Joseph's 5th floor - for patients and visitors to be comfortable...thank you for your help!! It feels good to be able to keep Kim's giving spirit alive.
Just the day before was Kim's birthday....I got her this: