On Wednesday October 20th, at around 3pm, 45 people set off from Stanford Avenue in Fremont to hike Mission Peak. For some of them it was their first time; for many of them it was a hike they had made on numerous occasions, too many to count. But for two of them it was a journey that would signify the beginning of a new life together. For the purpose of this hike was not to bag another peak, but to witness the joining in matrimony of Maggie Hudson and Rich Leiker.
When we first mentioned the idea of getting married on Mission Peak it was said in jest. But the more we thought about it the better it seemed. What more fitting place for two PCS members to wed than on top of a peak? But the Sierras seemed impractical and would limit the number of guests, ruling out some of our non-backpacking friends. So Mission Peak was the perfect choice.
It was a warm sunny day when we set out on the hike, around 85 deg at the parking lot. Just the day before the park had been closed due to fire danger; a near disaster for us. But on the day everything turned out just fine. It was a very enjoyable hike and everyone made it to the summit.
Once the group was assembled on top, the bride set out down the "aisle" to the sounds of "Here Comes the Bride", assisted by Tennessee Harris and bridesmaid Landa Robillard. The bride joined the groom standing on a sheet of plastic that had been laid out for the occasion, and the ceremony began, ably performed by friend and fellow PCS member Ron Karpel. Poems were read by Tennessee Harris and Vicky Thielman; the bride and groom exchanged vows; the best man, John Ediger, was ready with the rings; and finally Ron said the immortal words "You may now kiss the bride". At this point the groom was much relieved, the bride was a little emotional, and all that was left to do was celebrate. Which we did!
The whole thing was captured on film by Charles Schafer and on video by Gary Whitman. Thanks to them, to everyone else who helped us on the day, and to all of you who came along to celebrate with us. Our thanks also go to Bob Suzuki for the generous use of his home for the reception. Everyone contributed to making our day perfect; the one peak climb that we will remember for the rest of our lives.