During a recent family trip to Scottsdale, my wife and I embarked on a morning hike up Camelback Mountain, the tallest peak in the Phoenix area and a well known “extreme” hiking trail. The hike was as challenging as advertised with steep rocky inclines and narrow paths along sheer cliffs. I was wearing my BOLD key, a gift from my in-laws that I wore everyday.
Halfway up the mountain we encountered a team of 15 incredible men and women slowing progressing up the difficult trail. Made up of spotters, rope experts, and supporters, this group was carrying a young boy in a wheelchair to the summit. My wife and I were quickly shown how easy we had it compared to those lifting their friend over 1400 feet of elevation.
As we waited for the group to carefully clear a narrow pass, we learned about the boy they were lifting up the mountain — Anthony Castle who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. This was not his first adventure. He had also been carried to the base of the Grand Canyon as documented in “Carry On: Finding Hope In the Canyon”.
After passing the group as they took another break to hydrate and get their ropes ready for the next challenging ascent, my wife and I summitted and were treated to incredible 360 views of the surrounding desert and mountains. Taking a moment to reflect at the peak, I realized that Anthony was truly BOLD and deserved my key as a reminder to never give up chasing his ambitious dreams.
On the way back down, we meet up with Anthony’s team again, still slowing progressing towards their goal. As they paused again after muscling their way up yet another vertical cliff carrying the weight of Anthony and his chair, I asked if I could give him a gift and put the BOLD key around his neck.
Although Anthony was being carried up Camelback Mountain, an epically BOLD move, it was actually him that was lifting the rest of us who shared the trail with him that day. Way to go Anthony! We’ll be cheering you on during all of your future BOLD adventures.