mlaurenceSeptember 13, 2006 at 6:36 amPost count: 12
Steve, Laura, Monica, Rachel, Rick, Marie, Abi, Trisha, Ben and Gun met at the trail head around 8 AM, running a little late as usual, it was pretty sunny and promising to be a good hike, although it had been a late night for most of the crew.
We made it to Unknown Pond around 10 AM and took a short break, wondering if we would need to split up to get to the peak on time. The next 2.5 miles seemed to take forever, but to our surprise, we did get there pretty close to noon. After a short debate, we decided to use the dead tree by the summit, to anchor our 30+ feet of aluminum pole sections. There were a few seconds of anxiety that Dimi’s flag would get caught, but it sailed up the pole easily and the wind took it right away, once it got above the trees
We set Kermit up on the summit sign with Jeff’s little flag and we all had some silent thoughts and prayers for our brothers and sisters in harms way.
Now it was a matter of staying warm, and everyone shared lunch and extra fleeces. We took some pictures; it was the first 4000 footer for a few of the crew. At around 1:30 we again debated whether some of us should start down, as it would be a longer 5 miles down, than it was up, and the skies were beginning to look threatening. At that moment a huge gust of wind bent the flagpole and the flag sailed down to us, as if to say, get going you idiots!
Ben and Laura ceremoniously folded the flag, and we started down. The kids were getting way ahead, and by the time Laura and Monica made it down to the spur to the Horn, we didn’t know if the kids had gone up or not, so they ran up to check. When Steve and I got to the spur, we decided that I should catch up to the kids, and he would go up after Monica and Laura, not wanting to have anyone behind him.
I caught up to the kids at Unknown Pond, just as the rain and the thunder and lightning started to get heavy. At this point, everyone just wanted to get out of the woods, so it was a soggy slippery walk. The kids stayed in pairs, and my knee was starting to slow me down, so Steve, Laura and Monica caught up to me. We made it out by around 5:30.
Everyone was cold and hungry and not particularly interested in camping out in the rain, so we got back to Milan and split up from there. Steve took most of the crew home, Monica had to get back to her family, and I needed to get packing for my trip to Holland, so we decided that Broken Branch was out.
We all agreed this would be something to do again and hope that next year we will get a chance to meet everyone afterwards.
By the time I was able to get on line again to post the pictures and the trip report, I found out that Jeff has been wounded and taken to Germany. We don’t know how serious it is yet, but he is alive, so we are thankful, and praying for his recovery.
I would like to give a special thanks to the parents of Marine Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel, for honoring us by allowing us to carry and fly his flag. God bless you, and comfort you in the knowledge that your son’s service and ultimate gift of his life will never be forgotten.MtnMagicSeptember 13, 2006 at 12:13 pmPost count: 372
Thank you for flying a flag above treeline, it is something I have not accomplished in the past four years. Cabot hasn’t seen such a dedicated group of determined hikers. Have the Cabot journal that folks have written in over the years for you. Hope you’ll stop by the campground next year to say “hello.”
God Bless America. God Bless the World!mlaurenceSeptember 13, 2006 at 2:36 pmPost count: 12
Thank you, Magic, for posting the Fallen Heroes link, I have seen it, but I didn’t think to post it. Dimi was a very special young man, and it is wonderful that the people who knew him have a place to tell about him.
And thank you again for letting us have Cabot, we had a wonderful time and I think I have a few new hikers, at least 4 of the group were climbing their first 4000 peak.
I have a journal from Saturday to share with you as well, not alot of entries, but I did want to keep up the tradition. Next year, I will definitely be at the gathering, I was sorry to miss it this year. Business took me out of the country and I just had to get back to make my flight. Maybe I can send it to you if you would like to see it before next year!MtnMagicSeptember 14, 2006 at 10:37 pmPost count: 372
You are most definitely welcome, Marie! Sending you a pm with my address.mlaurenceSeptember 15, 2006 at 6:40 amPost count: 12
I got this message late last night about Jeff!
SSGT Alford in route to Ft. Bragg!
Surgery will be done state side at Ft. Bragg NC. Still no details on the cause of the wound or wounds however there is hope with high expectations that plates and securing hardware will put him back as good as new.
OOH RAH & God’s Speed,
Keep him in your prayers and I will let you know as I get more details, how he is doing!
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