LenDawgSeptember 10, 2007 at 4:34 amPost count: 34
On Saturday morning, 9/8, Chinooktrail, Nate (Snake), Daniel and I met with Rich and Kaitlyn in North Conway for a bagel sandwich before heading to Sawyer Pond Road and the start of our hike to remember the victims and heroes from 9-11. The forecast was for higher temperatures and potential thunderstorms. The weather itself was very hazy and a bit muggy.
We pulled into the parking lot at the base of the Signal Ridge Trail at 0745. There, we met up with Ken and Jill who had spent the night at Dolly Copp Campground. MEB pulled into the parking lot with her usual big smile and told us that she and Cath would meet us on the trail. Cath was “running a bit late” :rolleyes: -haha, but thankfully, Cath’s watch was five minutes fast. Cath and MEB were planning on spotting a car at Nancy Pond and doing an up an over coming down via the Desolation Trail. Gotta love those two!
Our groups started up the Signal Ridge Trail just after eight at a good pace set by the two fifteen year olds, Snake and Daniel. I asked Chinooktrail to carry my hiking poles as I took the first wave of carrying the flagpole we planned to use. It is a fairly lightweight aluminum pole that stands at about four feet tall that telescopes out to fifteen feet in length. After about a mile and a half in, I switched with Chinooktrail who took the second wave of carrying the pole. However, we soon realized that we needed some way of challenging the two Sherpas flying ahead of us, so they were given the task of carrying the pole the rest of the way… gotta love having youngsters on a hike .
Both brook crossings were very low in water. With the boys way out in front of us, Kaitlyn and Rich set the pace up the start of the climb. We met with a hiker heading down who, ironically, Chinooktrail and I had met and sat next to for dinner at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut two nights before. He told us that he ran into a hiker finishing his 48th that day and that air conditioning was ahead. That sounded good to our group . We kept ahead of book time and stopped for our first real break at a nice lookout. Unfortunately, the haze left little for us to see. I broke out the chocolate covered espresso beans, Ken and Jill passed around the Halloween sized chocolate bars, and Kaitlyn passed out fruit. Then we heard the laughing of the two all star hikers catching up, MEB and Cath. MEB handed out some mint jelly treats and tossed in her first Little Sister story of the day. That had us all laughing.
The whole group headed on toward the summit taking a few short breaks for water before finally reaching Signal Ridge. There was a nice light breeze that felt just like air conditioning to us. The boys had made the fire tower and were waving us onward. We made the final trek across the ridge and up to the tower. The time was 1150 (1155 on Cath’s watch). I pulled out some line to secure the base of the flag pole to one of the corners of the fire tower. Snake helped me put the flag out as a few people took pictures. I then extended the pole to its full length and sat back to appreciate the moment. Chinooktrail pulled out some home made sausage and cheese bread, vegetables, and hummus. A forrest ranger came up right behind us and did some work on the fire tower while the rest of us enjoyed the feast, the partial sun, and the friendly company. Cath helped all of us in one of my favorite games of identifying the surrounding mountains. I ran down to Signal Ridge for a picture of the flag. Upon my return, the view had improved significantly. We could see the Hancocks, Bonds, Tom, Field, Willey, Garfield, and at the end of the day, Lafayette. We could finally make out Jackson and Pierce and what we thought was Eisenhower through the haze. We saw the Sandwich range down to Chocura and to the other direction, we had a good view of Stairs. Before taking the flag down at two, we shared a moment of silence so each of us could honor and remember the victims, victims’ families, fire fighters, police, and armed forces members in our own ways.
Cath and MEB parted ways with the rest of our group heading down the Desolation Trail to meet with Mr. Bear :p . The rest of the group, lead by Snake and Daniel (and the pole) headed back down the Signal Ridge Trail and our cars. We shared pleasant conversations down the mountain. Jill took honors with her graceful dance in the woods (dismount was a bit off). We made it back to the cars just before five, ending the evening with a stop at the Moat Mountain Smokehouse.
Thanks to the group for such a fun hike, and thank you for your time in respecting the victims of 9-11.
- The forum ‘2007 Trip Reports’ is closed to new topics and replies.