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A Mountain Milestone Memory

Beautiful mountain stream near Mt. Sherman in Colorado
Beautiful mountain stream near Mt. Sherman in Colorado

Reaching the age of 60 is a milestone that carries a weight of reflection and contemplation. Last summer, as I crossed this threshold, I felt the significance of time passing. But instead of dwelling on the years gone by, I decided to celebrate with an adventure that would leave a mark on my memory.

What better way to commemorate this occasion than by embracing the beauty of nature in the mountains, surrounded by people I care about? With this goal in mind, I embarked on a journey with my brother and son to hike and climb in the majestic landscapes of Colorado.

However, my excitement was tinged with a hint of apprehension. Living in Missouri, far from the towering peaks of the Rockies, presented its challenges. Additionally, a childhood accident resulting in a partial foot amputation had left me with physical limitations, particularly affecting my mobility on downhill slopes. But despite these obstacles, I was determined to push forward, fueled by stubbornness.

Brian Mann, my brother on a mountain near Fairplay, Colorado in July 2023
Brian Mann, my brother on a mountain near Fairplay, Colorado in July 2023

Joining me on this expedition were my brother Brian, a seasoned news reporter accustomed to covering global

events, and my son Daniel, juggling the responsibilities of fatherhood and a demanding career. Each had their own hurdles to overcome to be by my side on this adventure.

Brian's recent ordeal in Ukraine, where he was involved in a harrowing car accident while on assignment, had left him with a severely broken leg. The road to recovery had been long and arduous, with surgeries and rehabilitation dominating his time leading up to our mountain rendezvous. Despite my concerns about his physical condition, Brian was determined to join me, ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

Daniel Mann resting at the summit of Mt. Sherman - July 2023
Daniel Mann, my oldest son, resting at the summit of Mt. Sherman - July 2023

Meanwhile, Daniel juggled the demands of his job and family, carving out precious time to fly to Denver and drive through the night to meet us at our campsite near Fairplay. Operating on little sleep and facing the effects of altitude without proper acclimatization, his dedication was evident as he joined us for our alpine adventure.

As we set out on our ascent of Mt. Sherman, any doubts about our abilities were quickly dispelled. Despite my slower pace due to my ankle and foot, my companions proved to be patient and supportive, allowing us to navigate the climb and descent ably. Together, we experienced the thrill of climbing amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Colorado Rockies, our bond growing stronger with each step.

After we concluded our climb and descent, we had a day of laughter and camaraderie in town, Daniel bid us farewell the next morning, leaving behind memories that would last a lifetime. And as Brian and I continued our journey, we cherished the moments shared together in the mountains, grateful for the opportunity to celebrate life and friendship amidst nature's grandeur.

In the end, our adventure served as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of

Daniel and Brian Mann - Colorado - July 2023
Daniel and Brian Mann - Colorado - July 2023

companionship. Despite the obstacles we faced, we forged ahead, embracing the challenges and reveling in the beauty of the journey. And as we returned home, our hearts full of memories and our spirits lifted, we knew that age was just a number, and the adventures ahead were limitless.


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