L to R: Me, Robin, Chris and Thayer

L to R: Me, Robin, Chris and Thayer

I’ve been in the Immigrant Wilderness area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with my eighty-nine-year-old brother, Thayer, and my two kids, Robin and Chris.

The inspiration for this adventure came from a few June phone calls between my California brother, Thayer, and me.

My oldest brother, Thayer, and I had not communicated well over the years after my parents died when I was in Fifth Grade. He was grown by then and I was adopted by an aunt and uncle who lived in the Midwest.

Though I didn’t hear from him often, he didn’t forget me. He gifted me when I graduated from college. Along with a hundred dollars was ?this note?:? “Hop on a bus and we’ll spend some time on the John Muir Trail in the Sierras.”

? So I did, and we covered a hundred miles on that? trail in the ?high Sierra Nevada Mountains in two one-week stretches, with a weekend break in? ?between??, to re-supply?.

During the spring of 2014, my wife and I began discussing the possibility ???of reciprocating, and taking Thayer back into the Sierras while he is still alive and could do it. ??She jumped on the idea:? “You are both healthy and in good enough shape. Go while you still can!”

I decided she was right and began to formulate a plan. I had a few dollars saved up. I would fly out, rent a car and take my brother into the Sierras, hiking.

Talking to Thayer in early June, I mentioned the idea. He sounded hearty. “That’s a great idea! I know just where to begin the hike!”


I could almost see him shaking his head “no.” All he said was, “You’ll see!”

I booked a flight out to San Francisco for Wednesday, August 13, 2014. I thought I was set, but in reality, the pre-hike adventure was just beginning.

On June 9, my son, Chris and his family came by for a visit. My daughter Robin lives in my town, and dropped by to say hello. We sat around my living room, talking, eating chips and dip and drinking Cokes.

I announced of my plan to hike the Sierras with Thayer and added, “Hey Chris, you can come with us if you’d like!”

My forty-year-old son paused, absorbing the idea. “I might just take you up on that. I need to use up some of my vacation time.”

I glanced at his wife who had a vertical line between her eyes. “Better ask permission from your wife, first!”

Now she was not being left out, her face relaxed and she said, “I’ll arrange the flights!”

About then Robin, Chris’ sister, three years older,? grinned and chimed in. “I think two old guys in the mountains need to have a nurse along, just to be safe.”

The planning took off. Robin would also apply for her vacation days from the hospital.?Chris volunteered his stash of frequent flier miles and saved hotel-night points to cover our flight and overnights away from the mountains.

Simon Stargazer (Nov. ‘14) adds, “And so the family adventure ?was hatched.”

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>