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Back when I was 16 years old, my Dad took my brother and me on a backpacking trip to Mt. Hood, in Oregon. Until I wrote that last sentence just now, I had never wondered why it was Mt. Hood.

Maybe one reason was that I got to meet my STAR WARS Club pen pal, Michael Matson, in person. (if for some reason the search engines pick up your name and you are reading this, Michael, please leave a note!)

We went to beautiful grottos and had a good fish dinner.

On the hiking trip, we climbed up 20-foot-high piles of volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helen’s, which was the mountain just next door.

There was a gorgeous waterfall hidden deep in the forest.

This was a very memorable hiking trip. It rained and rained–but that is another story.

On one of the days, while we were hiking up a trail, we were suddenly overtaken by two women.

We had from 30 to 40 pound backpacks on our backs.

So did these two ladies.

These two old ladies were double or triple timing us up the mountain!

We called out to them, and they turned around, and we talked for a bit about the hike, and their incredible stamina at their age.

This experience forever changed my ideas on what was possible at any age.

88-year-old twins!

–C.S.