New HampshireSeptember 14, 2008 at 12:58 amPost count: 168
Team Ike: Silentcal (Jim), Cathie (now Mrs. Roy 😉 ), SonicBoom (Josh), Irene, Tim, Vicky, Rich, Jen and myself (Brian).
After a set of unusual circumstances Jen and I found our previous team absolutely absent from the July sign-ups (ok, this is a nice way of saying Bill and Brownie forgot about sign-ups 😆 ). So with us now free to choose from any group we were left with the Fools Scouts on Osceola, or with my boy Jimmy and his better half Cathie. Since I get to spend precious few days on trail with my friend Jim it was a no brainier. We would be part of team Ike this year, and with it we would tempt the weather gods (the running joke is that it appears whenever Jen, Jim and I come within 100 yeards of each other it is bound to rain at some point :blink: ). But the weather forcast looked promising as the event day drew closer, and we hoped for the best as we pulled into the Edmands Path trailhead on Mt. Clinton road. We arrived to find Tim, Vicky, Josh and Irene already there and waiting. We had met Tim and Vicky the weekend before at Jim and Cathies wedding, and Josh we had known from a couple previous hikes with Jim. We acquainted ourselves with Irene and got ready as we awaited the arrival of Jim, Cathie and Rich. The fog was clinging tight down here, but while driving through Plymouth and Franconia Notch we glimpsed a BEAUTIFULY high partly cloudy sky sitting just above that gray gloom. A few minutes short of 8:30 Jim, Cathie and RIch arrived, and with that the flag and rig were ready to roll. We all ambled around for a little bit except for Vicky who took off right away to get some distance. Vicky is a recent cancer survivor, and she proudly reports she is cancer free…..yay Vicky!!!!!!!
Jen, Jim and I took off after Vicky while the others made a last few gear adjustments (i.e. they were still gabbing away 😛 ). We cruised along pretty far before coming up on Vicky. She had made it farther than both she or I had expected in the time she had started early. We held up here and waited for everyone else to catch up. Josh and Rich sped past and we did not see them again until the summit. Jen, Jim and I took off and spent most of the trip up as a mini trio while the others pulled up the rear. I do have to hand it to Jim. He foresake the ease of a multi section poll and went with one solid pice of PVC and a piece of aluminum tubing that served as the flag pole proper, both about 8 feet long. He carried this rig by hand, no small feat I tell you. He led while Jen and I followed, cautiously dodging the occasional swing of PVC and aluminum when we got too carelessly close. When Jen, Jim and I get together we tend to do more gabbing than hiking, but even with a modest pace interspersed with a large number of gab breaks we did manage to make it to the Loop Junction by about 11:20. We were shooting for an 11:45 summit time, but we wound up on top a tad after 11:30.
We met Rich on top, wind breaker on to guard against the stiff, but not overly fast breeze. It was going to be perfect flying weather. The sky was blue, the sun poked in and out of the fast moving clouds, and we were only occasionally consumed by the lower level of these clouds. Josh was absent having taken off to tag Monroe first. Jim, Jen, Rich and I started prepping the flag pole, and with the help of bystanders Old Glory unfurled before the 12:00 deadline. We set the pole next to the newly refurbished cairn (it is now tall and stately, not short and squat like the origional one) building up rocks next to it and guying out rope on the side of the pole facing into the wind. It was a beautiful moment watching the Stars and Stripes ripple serenly in the wind. The flag itself was special as well. One might ask “what makes it more special than what an American flag already is?” And I don’t mean that it is special because it is cotton as opposed to the usual nylon. No. Jim told me that this flag belonged to Cathie. It was the flag that laid atop her fathers coffin at his funeral (he was a serviceman in case you did not guess.) Now, apparently the tradition is that these flags are not to be flown ever again. But Jim told me that Cathie had said her father would probably have liked it this way, and one can not deny that the cause to wich this tradition was broken for is about as nobel as nobel gets. The flag that honored her desceased fathers service to this country would sing its cracks and wave its ripples to the memory of those killed on September 11th, 2001. Man….I do love this country 8)
We kicked back for the rest of the fly time gawping at all the other peaks. Monroe was easily visible to the naked eye as was Pierce. With Binoculars Jackson, Isolation, Jefferson, and (surprisingly!) Willey. Washington stayed socked in for practically the entire time, but we did not expect to see anything amongst the clutter of summit buildings anyways. I don’t think we could have picked a better place, nor asked for better weather than we got then, and we relished every moment of it. It was, to be a little cliche….perfect. We also had the pleasure of meeting a few familiar screen names from VFTT, ROT, etc. Uphillclimber, Chip and Hikethe115 most notably.
At 2:00 it was time to take down shop. The flag was folded properly, the pole disassembled and the guy lines spooled up. It was the end of another successful flag fly, another year of memorial drifted on the wind. With everything packed up it was time to head off into the afternoon sunshine and return from whence we came. Everyone took off in front of Jim and I, me ahead of Jim. I spent the rest of the trip down staying close to Jimmy. He told me I did not have to wait for him, but I explained that “With my luck you would purposely face plent and keel over dead just so I have to drag my butt back up there.” I explained further “I would owe it to Cathie to come back up here……so I could get her flag back for her and to give your lifeless body a poke to make sure ya were dead so she could collect the million dollar insurance policy”…..Yes, Jim and I are like that 😀 . A tad shy of 4:00 we found ourselves back at the parking lot where we all crashed for a bit, enjoying the conclusion to a spectacular day.
And with that it is another years memorial in the memory banks. Jim: I love ya bro. Thanks for letting me and Jen tag along with you and that firecracker of a woman who you finally made an honest woman of 😉 . To Josh, Irene, Tim, Rich and Vicky: Thank you for some great memories. You all are wonderful people, and who knows….we may just see you again next year :flag:
BrianuphillklimberSeptember 14, 2008 at 11:06 amPost count: 11
We try to make sure that we hike up one of New Hampshire’s 48 peaks over 4000 feet elevation, every year this weekend. It is an event held in commemoration of the victims of 911. From noon until 2 pm, a flag will fly over each peak in memorial to them.
This trip started out a few weeks earlier. There was the usual planning and anticipation and hemming and hawing over which peak we would do, etc… The last couple years, we had been part of the team to bring the flagpole up and were locked into Carrigain (2006) and Cabot (2007). Since all the peaks had teams to fly the flag this year when we signed up, we figured we would just go and be part of the event this year. Finally, we settled in on doing Eisenhower, and if we could spot a car at both ends, we would also do Pierce. Our neighbors came with us, and since we could spot a car, we chose to go up the Edmunds path, across Eisenhower, over to Pierce and take the Crawford path back down to the car.
The day starts at 6 AM. We pull out of the driveway, and our neighbors, Bird dog and Mrs. Birddog are in the driveway ready to follow. The trip to the trailhead takes some 2 ½ hours and is uneventful. We see all the clouds on the way up, but the radio forecast tells us it will clear out. We drop one car at Rt. 302 and head into the Edmunds trailhead. At the trailhead to the Edmunds path, there are lots of folks, but I can’t see a sign. I ask some of the other hikers and this is the Edmunds path.
Soon we are heading up the trail; it’s about 8:30. We plan for 3 hours of trudgery up the hill. We make steady progress, passing some, and in turn getting passed by others. This is our third major hike of the year, and we really don’t have our hiking legs. Bird dog is a hunter and used to this kind of terrain. However, this is his wife’s first attempt at anything resembling this. We are hopeful this trip does not overdo it for her. Just in case, their car is at the Edmunds trail head, should they need to turn back. She did quite well and there were no problems.
After about 2 ½ hours, the trail emerges in the Alpine zone. It is a whole different world up here. No litter. Clean fresh air. There is different flora. Just beautiful. The clouds are dissipating a bit and we get some awesome views of the valleys below. We can see Washington, Monroe, Franklin, and just over our shoulders, we can see Eisenhower. Come 11:30 and we are at the peak. Wet t-shirts come off and dry shirts go on. It is downright windy up there and the sweat dries off quickly. Everyone bundles up against the cool wind. We are snacking and decide to be here for the flag raising, and head over to Pierce to see that flag before it is taken down. (Typically, the flags are to fly over the 48 peaks from noon until 2 PM.)
I have heard that Silent Cal is carrying the flag pole for Eisenhower. He is one of the co-coordinators for this event, and I would like to meet him. We watch him set the flag and pole, then lend a hand piling rocks around the base and tying the ropes to secure it against the wind. After it is set, everyone takes pictures and poses for them. Cameras are handed around freely. It turns out the Silent Cal just married Mrs. Silent Cal one week ago. This is their honeymoon hike! As things settle down, we introduce myself to Silent Cal and New Hampshire and thank them for coordinating this event.
We decide to eat our lunches first and head on over to Pierce. As we are eating, Suzie, our 13 ½ year old dog, is lying in the grass, being petted by a lady. At that time, a very energetic bird dog is bounding about. Suzy starts to get up to meet the bird dog, and I ordered, “Suzy, down”, as I didn’t want a dog confrontation, and the bird dog’s owner was nowhere to be seen. Remember the lady petting Suzy? Her name is Suzie!! She scootches down and says “okay, I’ll sit down; my name is Suzie, too!” I apologize to her and we have a laugh over that.
As we are leaving Eisenhower, we see a real pretty hilltop, and soon realize the trail meanders over that hilltop. The trail between Eisenhower and Pierce is just a nice trail with great scenery. At this point, it is too cloudy to see other peaks and the flags flying there. We constantly look around and finally can see a flag on Monroe. Then we can see the flag on Pierce. As we get closer to pierce, we can see the flag on Eisenhower. We are glad to be able to see three flags at once.
At Pierce, there is a lady passing out peanut butter and chocolate fudge! What a treat! Turns out Boy Scout troop 97 is flying this flag. Again, there are the pictures and we take a good break. The view is pretty good now as most of the clouds are dissipating. Soon we decide to leave and head down the Crawford path to the car. This trail is a wet trail, with streams running down the trail much of the way. We take our hiking poles out and use them to ease the strain on our knees, as downhill puts a good deal of extra stress on the knees. In a couple hours, we come to Gibbs falls, just off the trail and near to Rt. 302. What a nice little waterfall!! We take a bunch of pictures, but the trip is about over and we want to head back home. So, off we go.
We drop off our neighbors at their car and we head back separately. We didn’t make it past Burger king, we are so hungry. This trip, it seems none of us came up lame, and except for a minor ankle twist, there are no injuries. A good day, held in commemoration of the victims of 911.shadowbandSeptember 16, 2008 at 4:32 pmPost count: 14
It was the flag that laid atop her fathers coffin at his funeral (he was a serviceman in case you did not guess.) Now, apparently the tradition is that these flags are not to be flown ever again.
Not to worry – The flag code does not prohibit flying these flags.
From the definitive source:
Is it okay to fly a flag that was used to drape a coffin?
The flag code makes no reference to this use. There is a difference of opinion. Some feel that once folded, it should remain so forever. Other experts feel that it would be an honor to display the flag again to show patriotism.
This is also discussed in detail here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080517120046AAXNxw6
I flew my dad’s flag from atop Mt. Flume back in 2003 for fot48.
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