Last Saturday, three days after Christmas, a man woke up in the morning, ate his breakfast, loaded up his mountain bike and drove over to Annadel Park for a ride. He frequently rode in the park usually with friends from his cycling club. This day though he was riding with his son. They stopped several miles into the park at the picnic table junction of Canyon and Marsh trails. There a friend rode up and they chatted for awhile. As his friend was readying to leave for Buick Meadow the man reminded him, "Do what you love for as long as you can. You never know when it will be your time". After his friend peddled away, the man and his son got on their bikes and continued up the long arduous rocky climb of Marsh Trail. It wasn't much later the man suffered a heart attack and died. Mark Harrington was 63 years old.
I didn't know Mark, but his death has been with me all week. I learned he had had a heart attack at the beginning of 2013 while out riding his bicycle. He recovered from that and continued doing what he enjoyed most in a place he loved. I told my wife that if anything ever happened to me while up in the park, whether I was riding my mountain bike, jogging the trails or doing a simple hike with my camera, know that I loved what I was doing in a place I held dear to my heart. Be happy for me, not sad.