For those who haven’t been reading along since the summer of 2004, here’s a look back at the day I figured out I could be a hiker.

About three-quarters of the way up, I’m starting to tire out. I walk five minutes and my heart is beating like mad, so I have to stop and let it calm back down. My calve muscles have gotten used to the strain but the rest of my body is telling me: stop this nonsense now, dammit.

But I round a bend at the top of a ridge and the sight gives me fresh inspiration: it’s a view of the back side of Mission Peak that I would never have seen if I hadn’t made the climb. Makes me realize why people get hooked on hiking. The view is different up here.

I turn to my right and the summit is in clear view, maybe a quarter-mile away. “You’re almost there,” says a beefy guy who passes me on the way up. Must be my heartbeat is audible to pedestrians.

I’m probably been up there dozens of times since then. It’s like that old greasy spoon you always go back to even when you know there’s 25 better places to eat along the way.