Sherpa TomParticipantSeptember 16, 2010 at 10:26 pmPost count: 36
Another adventure is now behind us and what an adventure it was. Not only did hikers meet other hikers, but some new friendships were developed, old friendships renewed, summits conquered, flags raised in honor of 9/11 and a safe return of 23 at some point during Sunday.
As some of you know, I like to re-tell my hiking experiences in a trip report soon after the hike. The following is how I saw this weekend’s events unfold.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty parties in this trip report. Facts are purported by Sherpa Tom and can in fact be altered, distorted, tainted and/or invented to amuse the hiker, casual reader or even himself. There is no intent to harm, slander or defame any party and Sherpa Tom is held harmless from any BBB complaints, Attorney General Complaints or suits from this trip report and future writings about this trip. All rights to this trip report are reserved and the sole property of Sherpa Tom and cannot be copy written in any shape of form. All refunds for lack of fun must be submitted in writing to SWGAS (Someone Who Gives a Shit) within 30 days.
So this trip was like no other as the plan from months ago was to raise the American Flag on 9/11 to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11/01. This was a special day for most and not only Sherpa Tom. Walking Tall, who was an Army Reservist for 22 years, and could strike down a bear if she had to with her walking stick, had her retirement flag waive on Bond. We also flew an Iraqi, Canadian & Brazilian flag.
The trip started on Friday, well actually the week started on Tuesday when Bear Gryllis wandered into the woods in search for Owlsdickhead, a mountain like no other. For two days, he tracked his sights on this ugly thorn and successfully conquered this beast.
Early Friday morning, Gambler & Yankee decided to work on the Twins and even sent a photo of a rainbow (was that a pot of gold or just one dollar bills at the end of it?). Bear checked in with Sherpa Tom on the Galehead weather (gusts of 50-60mph) but that did not deter the Twin seekers. Sherpa Tom checked in with Advil but the call went to voicemail (Sherpa Tom always wonders why people own cell phones and have them off). He was concerned that Advil & Steady Eddie would have the same difficulties going to the Twins.
All other 15 hikers for day 1 met at the Welcome Center timely. Handshakes, gear inspections and gifts from Sherpa Tom for being on time were presented. Immediately everyone noticed GQ emerge from his vehicle. All the female hikers wondered, did he dress himself or did his wife help? He matched clothing like Walking Tall.
Through mist & 30% chance of showers (which is always 100% in the Whites) the 15 hikers tracked up Gale River Trail to the quietness of the Hut, meeting Bear comfortably sitting awaiting his toothbrush arrival. Soon after all the 20 hikers were present, the party commenced with the eating & drinking of wines, cheeses and meats from foreign lands. Apparently the men decided to put on a buffet that all hikers would be envious of. The women were even given flowers to boost their “damp” spirits. The game of Charades put a new meaning into the word “Swallow’ but Steady Ed was all over it in record time.
At dinner, there was a Ventriloquist who was calling out Sherpa Tom’s name from different corners of the Hut. We all know his hearing is impaired so was it possible this Ventriloquist was just having fun? The Gambler continued his winning ways with another victory in LRC and other hikers are really getting tired of his act.
The morning of the big hike came quickly and there were reports of loud noises throughout one bunkroom. All fingers pointed at the Shark as the culprit, who would unfortunately miss day 2 & 3 because of a prior fishing engagement. But there were reports of another culprit as well and an investigation is pending at the time of this writing.
Once again everyone was on time for a group photo outside the Hut with the exception of Bear & GQ who departed earlier. Flasher was extremely pleased that Sherpa Tom wore a kilt and later showed other hikers that you don’t need a Kilt to flash. Apparently Flasher was showing his “body” off to the Ventriloquist during his own version of Chutes & Ladders.
Advil & Steady got an early start, followed by Team Silver and lastly Team Mel, previously known as the Gold Team, led by Bashful, who never met a person she could not engage in conversation. Walking Tall, Moy (Mother of the year), who really is a tribute to motherhood and Larry were part of the team. Now it was later told that Larry changed gender at some point of the hike but maybe it was really just an “agenda” change and there was some confusion from her teammates. There was a moment of silence just prior to the summit at 9:15 a.m.
Some hikers reported that when pictures were taken, there was always a Chameleon trying to get in on all the team pictures. This hiker seemed to be part of all the groups. An investigation will be opened up once all pictures are reviewed.
So off to Bond we went and soon Team Mel was passed by Iron Man, who ended up logging in 37+ miles over 2 days. Every once & awhile hikers would see glimpses of KC Jr, appearing then running off to his next location. At one point he knocked over Larry and soon disappeared in the woods. But most of all, Sherpa Tom appreciates his assistance in raising the flag and carrying his heavy gear down. He also appreciates that this young man brought his own flag on this memorable day.
Hotel Bond was operated by Sherpa Tom as hikers arrived, checked in, checked out and checked in again. He was assisted in many facets by the Concierge. Noted for his quick wit and talkative nature, he kept hikers entertained as they reached Bond or left Bond. Hell he even entertained (or scared away) hikers who were not with the group often photographing them as the departed.
Suddenly, out of blue and almost forgotten was Pack Man & Feather arriving at the summit. Now one must wonder how one pack weighed 60 lbs and the other 5 lbs but Sherpa Tom appreciated the delivery of food, wine and water filter (needed for Day 3). Sherpa Tom always appreciates seeing the smile on Feather’s face and her always overloaded backpack which is now one size bigger than a book bag. (btw we still have your snow pants we’ve been trying to give you)
Two readings were delivered at the summit prior to the hiker’s departures as each of us realized what a special day this was. There are no words and certainly no jokes will be written here so each of us should take away what we need to take away. For Sherpa Tom, having Walking Tall’s flag raised on the summit and being there with her was special for him.
The hike back was done timely under incredibly blue skies with all hikers getting back to the Hut by 6pm. When Bear & GQ arrived, there was a rousing applause & standing ovation. Dinner was again perfect followed by another drink fest of wines. Walking Tall re-united herself with her Twin, who is much younger but loves liquor of all shapes, sizes, colors and proofs. Lamb Chop, who if you did not notice the beautiful eyelashes and one of the newest members of the group was at the Hut. When she gave the Thru-hikers our excess food, she almost lost her hand. Next year she promises to bring pheasant as does Larry who will provide mutton.
More LRC but this time the streak ended but it was a close call as the winners were on either side of the Gambler. We were finally told to go to bed & stop drinking, something that has become synonymous with Sherpa Tom / AMC events. Quietness returned to Hut, except for one outsider who kept Iron Man up until 5 am with his thunderous roar.
Well day 3 was upon us and all hikers kissed & hugged as they departed. The family that had come together for a hike, a feast and a drink fest would soon return to their normal lives and await the next Sherpa Tom hike invite. However, for three hikers this day was long from over and the following is just a recap of one long, grueling day to defeat Owlsdickhead.
Sherpa Tom, Iron Man & Owl (who is the cleverest animal in the wood) decided to trek on for what they thought would be 17 miles and hike time between 9-10 hours. This was a hike that Owl needed for his 4,000’ quest and Iron Man recommended that the attempt should be made on 9/12. Sherpa Tom, noted for his superior trail knowledge, (right Moy?), took the other two gents for a 3+ mile roundtrip wrong turn to start the day which put the team behind schedule. Other than the wrong turn, horrendous trail conditions on an un-marked trail for half the way, a water filter malfunction, a treacherous hike up Owlsdickhead’s slide in wet conditions, Sherpa Tom falling into a river crossing and walking 6 miles with his Keens, terrible trail marking requiring the old men to take out their reading specs to look over a map in the dark, hiking out with headlamps on, building a raft because a bridge was torn down, it was one of the top three memorable hikes in Whites for Sherpa Tom.
Sherpa Tom and Iron Man can honestly say that we were privileged to be in the company of Owl and are so proud of his accomplishments. It was a pleasure joining Owl in giving Owlsdickhead the customary one finger salute.
As Sherpa Tom writes this report he is listening to Black Widow by Lita Ford. Apparently Walking Tall was slightly concerned that Sherpa Tom was suppose to exit the woods between 5-6 pm, only to exit at 8:31pm. Sherpa Tom understands the widow part but is the black on his two eyes because she told him twice?
Until we meet on the trail again…
Sherpa TomMichaelJParticipantSeptember 17, 2010 at 3:03 pmPost count: 839
Flag on Bond as seen from Mt. Carrigain
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