Meeting June Slade on Assiniwikam Mountain, NJ, October 20

June Slade and David.
Says June, age 87: “I did my best hiking in my 60s!”

“I’m back,” I announced to June Slade and David as I came up behind them on their descent from Assiniwikam Mountain. The two had tried to separate themselves from our group of 16 hikers. They didn’t want to slow us down. But I was the designated sweep, and I kept an eye out as they made their way up to the view (forests and the Manhattan skyline) on Assiniwikam Mountain in Norvin Green State Forest.  That’s where they turned around, and I followed them back down, eventually making my presence known. We were on a Trail Conference hike after our Annual Meeting nearby. We chatted as we made our way down to the trailhead.

I said I had frequently seen June’s name in ADK-Ramapo hike schedules sent to the Trail Conference over the years. She said she didn’t lead hikes any more. But she and David were keeping a good pace and making plans to return to Assiniwikam when they had more time to do the complete loop. “I love the rocks,” she said with enthusiasm.

June mentioned that she had recently celebrated her 90th birthday. “But I’m not 90,” she added. How old then? “Eighty-seven.  But I thought, why wait?” We laughed. I mentioned turning 60. June stopped, turned, with a big smile. “That’s wonderful. I did my best hiking in my 60s!”

–Georgette Weir

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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