Taking in the landscape from this rock, where the winds blew cold but slow, I finish the still-steamy coffee I had brewed at home with the sole purpose of drinking it at the top. With about two sips to go, a young guy who looked in his early twenties with sun-bleached hair and board shorts hops up on the rock closest to me and instructs an older gentleman just behind him- there is a “ledge about a foot in front of you where you can put your foot.” With dark glasses and white teeth, a hiking stick and a sombrero hat, he places his hand on the rock and asked “Is this a man-made structure or a rock?” If it weren’t for his younger friend (son, nephew, brother?) he wouldn’t have known.
“You guys are welcome to take my spot. This little thing here says it’s the actual summit,” I said while pointing down to the round metal placard I had been resting my coffee thermos on. “Oh, don’t leave the spot with the view for a blind man,” was the reply I got from the man with dark glasses.
I laughed as he flashed his white smile, and said I had taken it in and will see what other vantage points I could find. As I scrambled down the rocky slope to the flatter part of the summit, I heard the younger man say “Well, what’s your next peak now that you just bagged Madonna?” I glanced up and saw the two men standing side by side on my rock. I couldn’t hear the response, but I could clearly see that smile.