Breaking & Entering/Found & Returned

Sunday, July 4, 2010

3:00AM wake up call and they all made it; arrived at the house for 4:00AM departure and at the base of the mountain by 4:30AM - or make that at the CLOSED, LOCKED GATE at the entrance to the trail at 4:30AM... What's the saying, "good plan gone bad" well that's pretty much the feeling we had when driving up to the gate of Camelback Mountain and the sign says closed for the holiday. HOW DO YOU CLOSE A PARK FOR THE HOLDIAY? Well not to be deterred - because you have got to understand how hard it is to gather so many of us together at one time and to be on time too! Well anyways, we were able to grab one available parking spot along the street but having two vehicles with us someone was going to have to wait for a second spot to open and of course our gracious Big Mark did the honors and stayed behind while I forge on ahead with the kids breaking into the closed park by walking around the locked gate and up a side hill to gain access. All the while these security guards from the neighborhood next to the park is looking at us and finally says, "You know the park is closed today, right?" Never the less, he wasn't trying to stop us and I must say anybody else either so we continue on for our little early morning adventure. Our goal: for everyone of us (Mark 2 aka Lil' Mark) to make it to the top of Camelback Mountain...

So off we go our mission clear, but everyone a little sadden because dad (aka Big Mark) is not able to start up with us. I kept pushing them along telling them that he would be up asap and if nothing else we would wait for him at the top...

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It was rough going in a few places, especially having a few first timers to help along the way, but full of jokes and laughs. Marcus, Reggie, Shanel and at some point Shamesha all went ahead of us breaking up the group while Ken and I stayed behind with Sabriya, Shamara and Mark 2 (our 1st timers). We kept telling M2 we're almost there; look up do you see that top point that's it; or Ken who kept saying come right up here Mark, I wanna show you something. Unbeknowest (Is that a word?) to Shamara I guess, at some point when Ken had said to Mark once again, "come up here I wanna show you something" Shamara asks Ken what do you want to show him? I had to take a moment to explain to her that Ken had been telling him that the whole time just to get him to the next level so stay out it. The lights went on for Shamara after I explained it, you gotta love her!
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We all made it to the top, no injuries, and still ready to crack the jokes and have some fun. So we are just hanging out at the top of the mountain waiting to hear from dad. These kids literally had lots of the other fellow hikers laughing at them and their conversations with one another. Wherever we go, they are graranteed to bring a smile to people around them. This is the stuff that makes my heart sing!

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He finally calls to say he parked in a no parking zone because after watching several other vehicles do so, he thought. "Oh Well!" After a little time had passed the kids starting getting concerned about dad climbing up all by himself and without any water. We had grab all the water packs/bottles when we got out the vehicles, including his.  We didn't want to start heading back down because we wanted dad to get to the top so we'd at least have the trip back down all together. So to lessen their worries about dad, I volunteered to start back down to whatever point I'd meet up with him to get some water to him and then climb back to the top with him... So off I went making them all promise me that they would be careful, watch out for one another, and no horse playing, yeah right!

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Well I meet up with him a little more than a 1/4 of the way back down, handed off some water and I started back up with Mark right behind me, our welcoming crew awaiting our arrival back at the top - LISTEN TO THEM CHEER:

COMING DOWN the mountain, they complained more than they did going up. I think everybody was feeling hot, dirty and hungry at this point and just wanted to be DONE! But we had a little ways to go yet and on the way down I found a mans gold wedding band with six diamonds and so we started asking every man we saw if he had lost something. And I also asked all the other fellow hikers who were heading up the trail to ask any man heading down and if someone said yes to let them know that something was found. I didn't tell anyone what I had found because I wanted to get it back to the right person so I thought that whoever had lost it would be able to tell me it was a ring and describe it. GENIUS HUH?
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WE MADE IT, all the way back to the beginning of the trail head but I had yet to find the owner of the ring. So Mark and Shamesha walked back out to the truck to find paper, pens and tape so we could make signs about the little treasure I had found. Someone along the trail had suggested that I just leave it atop a water box or something but I didn't think that was a very smart idea so instead we made several signs on 3x5 index cards that read: "If you lost something on the trail today 7-4-10, please call xxxxx and describe it." We posted these on the benches, signs, porta potties (UGH! These things should have been outlawed a LOOONG time ago.), and saved a few to post along the road as we walked back to the vehicles. Did I mentioned that we didn't have tape so we made good use of some bandaids, PRICELES!
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Just as we were rounding the corner about to be out of site of the trail head someone yells out, "Did you find a piece of jewelry?" and he proceeded to describe it. YEAH! it was him, the owner of the gold wedding band with six diamonds. We turned around and gladly gave it to him. He was so happy and offered to give us a reward but I refused against the nudging of Shamara & Shamesha. Just kidding, although they already had made some serious plans for those diamonds just in case we never found the owner. Haha! And although he kept insisting that we take something I told him that instead I would appreciate it if he ever had the opportunity to stop by and patronize one of the Honey Bear's restaurants... Ahhhh! enough said, I think we not only have a customer for life but also someone who will refer Honey Bear's whenever he can...

A well deserved stop at Einstein Bagels on the way home... I love you guys, thanks so much for loving me back and for being such great sports and trying some of these crazy early morning family outings. You are the best and I love you more and more everyday.  FAMILY MEMORIES = PRICELESS!

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