The 5 of us; myself, Kris (Little Bear), Joan, Bob, and Margarita, started up the Caps Ridge Trail to Jefferson at 9am. Kris gave us all small flags to hang off our pack, and also gave us laminated “Flags on the 48 history statements” to fasten to our packs. Way to go Kris!
It was a beautiful day, with blue sky galore as we casually made our way up the short (but rugged) trail. We reached the summit at 11:40 and unpacked the 96 sq. ft flag , 15 foot long 2” dia PVC flag pole, 100’ of rope, 8 steel joint supports, and one jumbo sized roll of duct tape.
We raised the flag at noon into mild winds, and quickly tied down all of the guy lines. Several of the hikers who were up there joined in to help. We heard several “wow’s”, as Old Glory flapped in the wind providing a sharp contrast of color to the barren granite landscape.
We spent the next 2 hours talking with all of the 50+ hikers who showed up while we were there. Kris also brought along a guest book for people to sign and express their feelings (another fantastic detail provided by her). We could clearly see the flag on Monroe, but could not see any flag on Adams or Washington (Washington’s summit is obstructed by the observatory though). We sadly removed the flag and hardware at 2:10, packed it all up and started back down leaving without a trace. We all commented on how empty the summit looked.
On the way down, many people who were still heading up/down asked me what I was carrying (three 5 foot long , 2” dia pieces of PVC tubing duct taped together in a bundle). Jokingly, I told them things like; backcountry pole vault, musical instrument, extra plumbing from the outhouse we just installed on the summit, and a potato gun, which could launch 3 potatoes at the same time for about 1/2 a mile. After seeing those surprised faces, I quickly told them the truth… 😀
We headed to the Mooseland Grill afterwards to eat, :beer: , and be merry with many of the other hikers who participated in this event. We reminisced, took many pictures, traded names with faces, and one of the highlights of the evening is when Jaytrek showed up with a massive bag of flag bandanna’s and handed them out to everyone. There were nothing but positive comments and stories about everyone’s experiences, and we all can’t wait to do it again next year!
Sept 11th will never be forgotten….