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Chance Encounters

Hiking Mt. Democrat

Phyllis and Rachel on Mt. Democrat
Phyllis and Rachel on Mt. Democrat
On Saturday, August 4, program coordinator Phyllis Chaney reached the summit of Mt. Democrat, a 14er located south of Breckenridge and within Pike National Forest. Phyllis expected to enjoy the view at the top and then meet with her husband. As she stood there, perhaps contemplating the coming school year and all the fabulous UHL events to come, a rambunctious young man talked briefly with her. When she gave him her name, the young man grew excited.

“Phyllis? Phyllis from UHL?”

He called out to one of his friends who was none other than UHL junior Rachel Ancar (Biology, 2014). There was shock and realization that yes, that old saying, “you never know who you will run into” does come true.

For Rachel, it was her first 14er and the original plan was to hike Mt. Sherman. Instead, she and her friends decided last minute to hike Mt. Democrat, leading to her chance meeting with Phyllis. However, Rachel and Phyllis didn’t recognize each other when they were at the summit together, until Rachel’s friend called her back up.

Not only is UHL about randomly meeting honors students out in the wild, it is also about being involved with the community. A hike-a-thon will be held the second week of October to raise money for trees to plant in the area of the 2002 Hayman burn. UHL students will hike the Goose Creek Trail, which starts in the burn area. Not only is this a fundraiser event, but it is also a way for students to experience Colorado and bond together. Unlike Phyllis and Rachel’s encounter, seeing fellow UHLers at the hike-a-thon will be less shocking. For more information, please contact Cynthia Joseph at

University Honors and Leadership Program

Phone: 303-315-7838 • Fax: 303-315-7836

Street Address: 1047 Ninth Street Park • Mailing Address: Campus Box 199, PO Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364


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