If the mountains call, tell ’em I’m in the shower

Top of Nevada Falls-001-2John Muir famously wrote of Yosemite, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

I never felt a “calling,” but Deb and I visited Yosemite with friends last week, and when somebody suggested hiking the Panorama Trail, I thought, what the hell, why not?

The hike’s an 8.5-mile, 3,200-foot descent from Glacier Point to the Yosemite Valley floor. Along the way, the views of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Liberty Cap and Clouds Rest are breathtaking. And the traditional mid-hike rest stop at Nevada Falls is spectacular.

I’d tackled this trail a few years back without major discomfort.

This time, though, it clobbered my ass.

By the time I staggered into the Happy Isles trailhead, at least 90 minutes behind most of my comrades, my thighs shrieked, my calves screeched, and my blisters had blisters.

But still, I finished the hike without calling the Park Service to airlift me off the mountain.

How that happened is what I really wanna talk about.

I survived my ordeal through the kindness of my friend Dave.

While the rest of the party marched ahead, Dave determined to hang behind with me.

Dave monitored my water intake.

He scouted ahead whenever I had to take (pretty damn frequent) breaks.

He made sure I didn’t plummet 700 feet off a cliff.

Dave encouraged me. (He even promised to buy me an ice cream bar at the end of the trail, and he quickly made good on that promise.)

He could’ve sped down the mountain with everybody else and left me with the bears.

Instead, Dave kept asking, “Wally, what can I do for you?”

That’s what it’s all about, ain’t it? Relationships — whether personal or business — are really all about service.

Service is at the heart of everything.

My pal Dave could be the freakin’ poster boy for that message.

Thanks, Dave.

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