New HampshireSeptember 13, 2009 at 4:46 amPost count: 168
Well folks, another year and another memorial goes down into history. It is late, but I feel compelled to single out a few people who truly desrve it.
Jaytrek, you are my hero. As far as I am concerned you are no longer Jaytrek but Superman. When I called Jay at 8:30 last night to discuss his covering S. Kinsman we had a last minute issue with Bond that needed fixing. I told Jay I would worry about S. Kinsman and would appreciate deeply him taking Bond. Yes, he did not find out he was hiking to Bond until 8:30 at night as he was driving home from work. Jay showed his modesty by simply saying “hey it is what I signed on for.” But this is the second year in a row that Jay, last minute, was sent to march off deep into the Pemi to cover a dropped peak (the year before was Owl’s Head.) Now you see why he is my Superman.
Bobby Butler did me a solid today. We had hoped S. Kinsman would get covered “accidentally”, but when we encountered a couple who had already been to S. Kinsman and back and saw no groups, let alone folks carrying flag gear Bobby grabbed the only spare American Flag I had, a simple 12″x18″ stick mounted flag, he ran out to S. Kinsman, taped it to a trekking pole, and planted it in the summit cairn. there he sat, alone, until 2 with perhaps a dozen visitors at most. Bobby, you rock buddy.
Chip from VFTT is another who needs mention. Chip volunteered…TWICE….to help cover droppped peaks. I managed to find people to cover before requiring his services, but he headed north on Friday with a parting post “if you need last minute coverage here is my cell, call me”. Simply knowing I had someone dependable for back up helped a lot. Any of you VFTTers out there……give this man a green sqaure! 😀
Mike “MtnPa” is another thank you that needs mentioning. For the second year in a row he has saved us on a dropped peak. When Larissa hurt herself and could not participate Jim asked if Mike could do it. As always he stepped up to the plate. He has been a dependable participant, and all of you who know this man would probably simply say “yep, thats Pa for you!”
Dave and Darlene for grabbing Isolation for us. This was, I believe, Dave’s second year in a row on Isolation. Thanks you two!
Thanks has to go out also to you, the participants. From Peak leaders to gear haulers right on down to all who have been touched by this event over the years. Did we get full coverage this year? I hope so, but hopes do not translate into reality. If not, then at least we tried. And whether 1 peak or all 48 were covered, as long as the event has touched one life it is a success. As long as one person remembers, as long as one person never forgets, then this event has served its purpose. This was my fourth year in the event, and I have seen many people come into it. From folks like Joe (jdr6453) who happened onto the event last year and decided to lead Carter Dome with his proclamation “We go rain or shine…this is important to me” (and Joe has, what I consider to be, a very stirring encounter to relate with his flag raising that you will need to read the trip report for) to the Boy Scout troops who’s participation has never waivered year to year. It is we the hiking community who have made this event the great thing it is. This event started with one flag flying on Liberty and has blossomed into full coverage 4 (now hopefully 5) years strong. It shows a solidarity the humbles anyone who stops to think about it. That something so tragic that happened 8 years ago is still so deeply ingrained in us that we take to the hills every year to memorialize those devastating moments of human history displays a will that makes this country so amazing. We have had some wonderful events in the past, and may we have many more to come…..
Finally I just want to take this parting moment to thank my dear friend Jim, Chris and the rest of the Steering committee for putting their trust in me to run things this last week. I’ll be honest and say the last couple days were a bit nerve racking as the race to fill all peaks came down to nearly the absolute deadline. I go to sleep tonight knowing that, even if we did not get full coverage, I tried to my fullest extent to ensure it was not so. As Jim just sent to me “now you know why I get so many gray hairs from Flags!” But all jesting aside I think he, like me, would not trade this for the world.
Goodnight folks, thank you for another great year, and may we see you all again next year! :flag:
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