Llama Trekking at Moose River Farm

Llama Trekking at Moose River Farm
Activities at MRF; Fall 2021

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Man Hiked up a Mountain...

I received the shocking news last week that Dave had passed away. The chaos that his family experienced in the hours surrounding his death is unimaginable and so terribly sad. However, as I've spent time reflecting on the experience from Dave's point of view, I wonder what it was like for him. With his loyal golden retriever, Hudson, Dave had made his daily climb up Bald Mountain. Over and over in my mind I have been repeating the same line; A man hiked up a Mountain... It has compelled me to write the following poem in memory of a neighbor, colleague...and friend.

A Man Hiked Up a Mountain
(A tribute to David Leach; 1952-2015)
by Anne T. Phinney

A man hiked up a mountain
His devoted dog trotting alongside
The stunning view swept out before him
Its beauty swelled his soul with pride.

In that moment there arose  
An urgency to glance back
At all whom he had touched and loved
Respect he did not lack

The middle boy of four children
Best friends his siblings were they
Who created a rustic paradise
Where youth could wander and play

Along the way an Aussie lass
Agreed to give him her hand
They forged a union deep and true among
Lakes and trees of this glorious land

It wasn't long before these two
Embraced two tiny tykes
They raised them up, showed them the way
To run, to ski, and to hike

After childhood the girls moved away
Each forged her own designated path
He and she wished them well and wept
But never held them back

Ten months each year, he inspired kids
To live an active and healthy life
Take care of the team and play it clean
To always do what’s right

His colleagues glimpsed within this man
A goodness that was ample
His friendly concern, and gentle manner
Influenced them to behave by his example

Once he had lived it all over again
He smiled for what a life is worth
Then gripped the fur of his golden pup
and eased himself to earth

In a final moment the sun sank low
He uttered a fond farewell
Then Taps began to play from Heaven
And the man exited his earthly shell

A Man hikes up a mountain
Leaves his loyal dog behind
The panoramic view below now
Shrinks with every step he climbs

God is nigh


  1. Beautiful, Anne. Thank you for sharing.

  2. You described his caring soul and how he touched the lives of all who knew him Anne. Thank you. Such a moving tribute!

  3. Beautiful Anne. Lovely words. Such a wonderful tribute.

  4. Beautiful poem, Anne. It is just like that April day that the man hiked up the mountain with his loyal pet Golden Retriever. He was in God's land up there that day. It was a gorgeous April evening on Bald Mountain.

  5. Thanks Anne, That was beautiful

  6. Beautiful tribute to a man so deserving!

  7. Stirs up emotions reading this poem....it's simply beautiful.

  8. Debbie Payne HemmertApril 22, 2015 at 8:41 PM

    Absolutely amazing! You have described Dave perfectly Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with all of us!

  9. Mrs. Phinney, I have been struggling to see the light in all that has happened these past few days, and your words have helped me immensely. Your words have painted in my mind a wonderful picture of the Mr. Leach we all knew and loved. Thank you.
    M. Liddle

  10. Absolutely beautiful Anne. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Wow. Your words have moved me. Thank you, Anne.

  12. Thank you all for your kind words. I am glad that you have taken comfort in the poem. My thoughts and prayers are with all the Leach's today as they say farewell to Dave. Condolences to all who knew him. Anne

  13. Nice words. I love reading it. Thanks! :)