EVERYBODY HAS A FIRST TIME, a day they are baptized into the bloody brotherhood of San Juan. It's a day they will never forget, a trail they will always remember.
Miles of slippery decomposed granite, infinite switchbacks, steep drop offs and lots and lots of poison oak all competing with striking views across the West Coast to the ocean blue.
Once you've done it, once you realize that yes you will most likely give blood every single time and yes it's likely there'll be some mechanical failure along the way and yes it's nearly two hours to the top... once you've done it and lived to tell your tale then you can't resist inviting a friend.
That poor friend will be just like you were and you don't care.
You try and warn but it comes out so weak because after the blood is dried and scabs are healed and the lingering itch of the poison oak is no more all you can remember is those huge vistas, the exhilaration of conquering the climb and a long, long smile-filled drop back to earth.
You have been baptized,
but your friend hasn't...
What are friends for?
It's starts off so innocent.
Beautiful above the clouds
The least of his new tattoos
... and some for the rest of us too ...
Don't forget to wipe.