NORTH OGDEN Cal and Diana Hadley of North Ogden have a "love on the rocks" kind of romance but in a solid way that hasn't "peaked" yet, after almost three decades.
Their first date was a motorcycle ride/hike to the top of rocky Ben Lomond Peak more than 29 years ago. They were later married in February 1980. They have returned to the 9,712-foot summit at least once a year since to mark the occasion of another year together.
Saturday, the couple made yet another visit to the summit of Weber County's second-highest, but most prominent, peak.
The Hadleys' goals on the top of Ben Lomond were to reminisce, kiss and enjoy the spectacular view there once again.
On their first date to the summit in June 1979, Diana said, "I was surprised. He just told me we were going for a motorcycle ride. It was quite a date."
That year they were able to ride within 20 feet of the summit and slide back down to the cycle on snow.
Diana said her mother was actually OK with that kind of a first date, since her grandmother had hiked to Ben Lomond and the family had at one time had a mine near the peak many years before.
"Just going there together the bikes and mountains is a bonding kind of thing. ... It's good for both of us. Being in the mountains mellows us out. It's good for our spirits."
She advises other couples to find similar activities that will bond them to together.
"Everyone needs to date and have interests together and have a date night."
Diana said the wildflowers in bloom are a highlight for her on this annual excursion.
"This is awesome," she said. "I think I'll keep him."
Cal said he favors the scenery and views along the way to the top, not just the summit itself.
"This is fun," he said coming up to the isolated viewpoint, even on an extra hot day when the valleys are smoky and hazy.
"When I fly into Salt Lake City, this mountain is what I look for," Diana said. "Pilots will probably tell you it is a landmark."
Now the Hadleys have three daughters and six grandchildren together. Some of the grandkids have even taken a ride with grandpa to Ben Lomond Peak.
They estimate they've reached Ben Lomond's summit at least 50 total times or more, always going at least once each year.
"We've always made it to the top," she said, even if it meant climbing over some snow. "Every time it's very reminiscing."
"We often see wildlife," she said, explaining she doesn't mind the rattlesnakes, just the caterpillars.
Cal also was into hang gliding at one time and has flown off both Ben Lomond and peaks to the northwest many times.
Beside motorcycles and hiking, the couple also is into rock climbing, archery and four-wheeling these days.
For them to reach Ben Lomond required an eight-mile, one-way motorcycle ride on a rugged backcountry trail to the base of the peak and then about another mile hike and 1,000-foot climb to the actual summit.
Their total elevation gain from the North Ogden divide paved road was about 3,200 feet.
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