by KELLEY GUSICH

Hike On!

faces_dryer3“In 1883, John Muir summited Mt. San Jacinto (San J) and, on reflecting at the peak (10,834 feet), he uttered these prophetic words, ‘There is no more sublime view in the whole world.’ One hundred years later (1983) Gary Brown and I made our first of numerous crests of Mt. San Jacinto. From that first peak experience, we were in adoration of the superabundant magnificence of the San Jacinto wilderness.” Rick Dryer, who began hiking when he was a Scout leader for his two sons, will punctuate this experience on June 16 by making his 100th summit! Rick has completed these 12- to 17-mile hikes during all four seasons, mostly embarking from Idyllwild. “When you total the miles hiked just on SJ,” Rick said, “I’ve hiked 1,600 miles, and my elevation gain over those 100 hikes would be 453,500 vertical feet (85,899 vertical miles)!”

For 35 years, Rick taught school and was active as a marathon runner and tennis player, but since he’s started hiking he’s trekked across the globe – from Stone Forest in China to the Canadian Rockies to the 18,200-foot summit of the Kala Patar peak in the Himalayas. Last fall he completed the Camino De Santiago, a 585-mile trek from France to Santiago, Spain by way of the Pyrenees. “I have hiked Mt. Gorgonio 25 times and Mt. San Antonio-Baldy 10 times in preparation for hiking Mt. Whitney (14,508 feet) nine times, plus White Mountain and Mt. Shasta.”


Name: Richard A. Dryer
Profession: Elementary school teacher for 35 years – San Diego Unified School District
Community: San Marcos for 18 years; Encinitas the previous 28 years
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking is a passion (there is so much to see and learn about worldwide); also love volunteer activities in education (the past 15 years at Leo Carrillo Ranch, Carlsbad)
Favorite Local Spots: The Cuyamacas are a favorite hiking/visiting destination


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During 19 years of Rick’s teaching career, he served on the board of the San Diego Education Fund, raising money for scholarships for young people who are the first in their family to attend college. As a grateful SDSU graduate from 50 years ago, he’s repurposed the June 16 hike as a fundraiser for the education department. There will be 26 to 30 hikers joining, including Bill Burke – the oldest American to summit Mt. Everest, from both Nepal and Tibet. Barbara “Bobbie” Wright will also be there on her 50th San Jacinto hike. “She and I have completed 398 hikes together, as of this writing,” Rick smiled. “I count every day as lost that I did not do something physically demanding… and these activities will be done for as long as I live, but I don’t think I’ll accomplish another 100 summits of Mt. San Jacinto – the torch (literally) will be passed on to Barbara Wright.”

Hike on, Rick!