It has now become a part in a long line of AdAmAn lore. The year TallRev lost the sacred leather "Book." Not the Bible mind you, but the official record of members and guests who participate in the Club’s annual climb and functions. Tradition holds that the newest member of the AdAmAn Club is responsible for taking care of “The Book” during their first official year. For me as the newest member in 2005 that began with the traditional pre-climb breakfast at the church I was serving in Manitou Springs. It’s always a time for good fellowship and last minute checks of gear and backpacks.
After breakfast while everyone took off to the Barr Trailhed to start the climb, I still had to make sure all the lights were turned off and doors locked before catching up with them. In my haste, I threw “The Book” on top of my Jeep while loading in the backpack. I then raced down the street forgetting that "The Book" was still on the roof.
It was a pleasant day getting up to Barr Camp on the first leg of our climb. Once settled into the lower cabin I began looking through my backpack for “The Book” so everyone could sign in. To my horror it was nowhere to be found! Panic quickly set in! Frantically searching through all my gear for a third time I thought… This will be the shortest new member inducted in AdAmAn Club history, if “The Book” isn’t found! Maybe I could salvage an old National Geographic on mountains from the Barr Camp collection and have people sign it instead! How am I going to explain losing the sacred “Book” to everyone? With sweat pouring dowm my face I looked down below from my position to see every member of the climb that day gazing up with amused expressions on their faces.
I was the most pathetic soul at Barr Camp that afternoon! Finally someone spoke up saying, “OK everyone, TallRev has suffered enough!” With that Jack Donley raised his hand holding up for everyone to see - “The Lost Book”! Turns out his angelic wife Doris, while driving back from seeing the AdAmAn Club off that morning, discovered “The Book” lying in the middle of Ruxton Avenue where it had fallen off the roof of my Jeep. She promptly called her husband on his cell phone. Jack immediately turned around to retrieve it into his safe keeping. Also turned out that the AdAmAn Club while hiking up the trail that morning had quietly told each other about this fiasco - except me! Not until an appropriate period of repentance had past from my pathetic position up there in the upper bunk at Barr Camp was I told!
There was good humor and camaraderie for the rest of the night and climb that year, and ever since new AdAmAn Club members are now always reminded – “Don’t Lose the Book!” It's what makes the AdAmAn Club so special. We always have each others backs.. and "The Book!"
It was a deep honor and thrill to be the 87th AdAmAn that year. It also seemed appropriate being the clergyman amongst the group that I bring along something inspirational. So at every milepost I passed from the front of the line to the back a strand of sacred scripture on a simple piece of paper for each climber to keep and read. Here are just a few of them from the Book of Psalms - "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where does my help come?" "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." From the prophet Isaiah - "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news." From the Gospel of Matthew - "Jesus went up into the mountains and he began to teach them saying... Blest are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." I continue to count my fellow AdAmAn colleagues as forever faithful friends and keepers of "The Book!"