JeniferSeptember 11, 2006 at 12:14 amPost count: 2
Well, I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t currently climb anything longer than a couple of flights of stairs. So I bowed to reality this year and signed up for an accessible peak. I’ve always wanted an excuse to ride the Cannon tram, anyway… why not ride it with a flagpole and a picnic lunch?
Rich and I arrived at Cannon a little later than planned, but we made it up to the observation tower not long after noon. The 3×5 flag went up easily on its tall aluminum pole, though it took us a few minutes to figure out how to guy it out properly against the stiff wind. Hikers and tram riders circulated through the platform, quietly reading the placard we’d put up. An enthusiastic group of hikers hung out with us while we ate lunch; they pointed out the beautiful lines of curtain-like clouds moving northwards towards us through the Notch. I snapped picture after picture.
Then one of those clouds reached us, carrying — yep — rain. We figured we’d hold out a little while longer, but two sudden thunderclaps put an end to that notion. That flag came down in a hurry! Down we ran, to huddle in a dry spot under the observation tower’s stairwell.
When the rainshower let up, we decided to put the flag back up (more quickly this time). Of course, the rain started up again as soon as we committed to putting it up. Meanwhile, someone took our pictures for some local paper and asked us our names and hometowns. I’m sure we looked like idiots in our raincoats and shorts and cotton sweatshirts! (So sue me. My hiking clothes don’t fit anymore, ‘kay?)
Well, back down we came again, leaving the flag flying this time. It was 1:30 at this point, but I figured the rainshower would pass before too long. Hah. We waited under the observation tower for what seemed like ages. Then Rich gave up and went to take the flag down, in the pouring rain. (This guy is such a trooper! It wasn’t even his idea to do this crazy Flags thing, but he did the hard work anyway.) Of course, not five minutes after a drenched Rich came down with the flag, the cloud passed and the sun came out. Figures.
Now that the weather was nice, we hung around the summit buildings of Cannon for a while longer, drying out and finishing our interrupted lunch. We watched a wedding happen. We hung the flag on the porch railing, to dry it out with some dignity. We wandered the Rim Trail and took pictures. Eventually we rode the tram down and had cups of hot chocolate at the base, then loaded the car. As we did, we saw the second round of rain coming…
Oh, so the rain we had earlier wasn’t really the cold front! This was! Oh, my, that was some storm. We couldn’t even drive in it — we pulled over into Lafayette Campground, played loud Beethoven on the ipod, and hoped and prayed that there was no one still stuck above treeline on Franconia Ridge or the other peaks. We watched lightning strike the Flume area over and over. Later, when we ate dinner in Ashland, we were told that they’d gotten an inch of marble-sized hail. Holy moly…
So there it is. Rich went to the top of Cannon for the first time, and so did Matthew — my not-here-yet baby, due to be born in October!LarryDSeptember 12, 2006 at 12:52 amPost count: 2
Jennifer: Three of us hiked Cannon on Saturday but left the summit at about 12:10. We must have just missed you! We did get to see the flags on Lafayette, Lincoln and Liberty, however. Great job.
LarryDgramSeptember 14, 2006 at 2:05 amPost count: 60
Jenifer, I enjoyed your trip report. Last year my daughter , her husband, and our one year old grandson joined my husband and I for Pierce.
This year our daughter is pregnant, due in October. It briefly flashed through her mind that she could take the tram up Cannon and raise the flag. She decided against it because of the drive from Boston. It would have been great to have 2 pregnant flag bearers on Cannon!
And here’s the best part – her first child, now two years old, is named…….Matthew!
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