On Sept. 7, Maxine Peile did something amazing. At 76 years of age, she made her second climb to the top of Mt. Pitt. She had climbed it eleven years earlier with her then 12 yr. old grandson, Clint, and daughter, Teresa. And it was her idea for the three of us to climb it again this year.
Maxine is a long time cattle rancher in the Lake Creek area, which not only keeps her in shape but tends to make a person self reliant. So it tickled me, but didn’t surprise me, when I picked her up that morning in the dark, and she’d brought along her mop handle for a walking stick. It proved to be a genius idea, as the aluminum handle was strong and featherlite with plastic ends that didn’t slip on the rocks. It even made a reassuring clank with each step, letting us know she was O.K.
It took 6 hours to make the climb and another 4 1/2 to descend. She did say if it had been much further she would not have made it. We would not have missed climbing Mt Pitt with her for anything. She sets the bar pretty high, or perhaps I should say, mop handle. Way to go, Grammie!
By Teresa Schleigh
For the Independent