We headed out from Pinkham Notch Visitor’s Center just about 8:30 with the load divided between Jim (Trekman) and Christian (Dirt) Merchant. The Lost Pond Trail was beautiful and picturesque at that time. Soon we hit the Wildcat Ridge Trail and “up” became our mantra. We were lucky – we spotted Wildcat E just before 11:30 – and then on to the observation tower of Wildcat D. The pole went together quickly and we had the flag waving at about 11:45. Two women on the deck when we got there took pics with our camera. The breeze kept the flag whispering for maybe the first hour and then it was quite still.
We had maybe 50 to 60 visitors during our 2-hour stay at the top, one a red fox that was very docile (see our pics) and a German hiker helped hold the flag as we folded it up at 2:15. We had a journal out and have maybe a dozen shared thoughts in it. We will save it for next year too. The Wildcat D crew was able to spot the flags on Carter Dome, Madison, Adams, and Washington, and pretty sure one on either South or Middle Carter. The day was fantastic.
Wildcat D crew were first to Mooseland at about 4:30. When we told the waitress that there were 80 to 100 coming she said, “You’re joking, right?!” All the others at the Grill knew but had not told her! It was a great feeling seeing all the hikers involved in this great event. We are hooked – will be there every year now. Thanks for letting us participate and for all the organizational work.
-Jim & Christian Merchant