sapblattSeptember 12, 2005 at 5:34 pmPost count: 3
There is a lot of name-dropping on this one…if I forgot anyone please PM me and I will make the necessary corrections.
Last year I was still pretty new to all of this and inadvertently took part in the Flags on the 48. I hiked Ike and Monroe and passed by a number of people I did not know at the time including Rols, SherpaKroto, Gris, Alpinista and SilentCal. This year I decided to sign up for a peak that was closer to I-93 as 9/11 fell on a Sunday and I would want to get home quickly so I went for Liberty. Bobb & Geri were not able to participate this year and asked DoubleBow (Ross) and me if we could be coordinators. I handled the arrangements with the participants while Ross handled the rather complex, technical aspects of the flagpole assembly.
Most of us met at the Whitehouse parking area around 7:30 AM and a few had come across from the basin and met us up the trails always. Ready to go early included me and Ross, Rols, drewski, HikerBob, and Karen. Further up the trail we met some nice folks; Joel, Heather, Karen and Kelley. A few later arrivals caught up with us near the campsite including MEB and Paul, Little Sister and Ben, Yam and Sarah. This was by far the biggest event I have ever taken a part of as a hiker. We all progressed up the Liberty Spring Trail after deciding the carrying flagpoles would not be such a great idea on the Flume Slide Trail! I was feeling sluggish today after having hiked Moriah on Saturday and after the stream crossing and the start of the real elevation gains I needed to stop a lot. Somehow this did not matter much as we played tag with a number of other groups (including Darwin and the Flume Flags crew) we managed to summit by about 11:30…book time no less.
I changed my shirt and dug out a sandwich as Ross fought with the flagpole. I believe it was 12 feet high and the flag was rather massive, which was fitting for Mount Liberty, which is where Flags on the 48 originate. The flag was up and blowing freely before noontime; it was rather moving for all of us. The summit quickly became a very crowded place which today seemed real nice. We all kept meeting more and more folks, many from VFTT. I am sure I am going to forget someone here, but we did meet Dragonfly and three of his sons (and about four boxes of cookies they brought up for everyone), I met a guy from Clinton, MA and I already forgot his name. I kept staring at this one guy that looked so familiar and it turned out to be Chris, the manager of my local EMS. I guess I have a gear problem!
We began to notice a large noise in the distance and I thought that it looked like a military jet circling near Garfield and Lafayette. Soon it swooped by Lincoln and was heading towards us! It was pretty cool to watch as the A-10 Warthog came by right at our altitude and only a couple of 100 yards of the mountain. I could see the pilots face as the plane turned on its side as it flew on by.
The register found its way around the summit and almost everyone signed it. I did not see many people talking about 9/11 but there were some people crying and some others seemed reflective. A few of us were interviewed for a documentary that is being put together by some film people at the University of Rhode Island.
I departed a little early with Rols and we hiked down and met Tuco near the trail junction as he was working on a ridge traverse – what a great day for that! A little further along we met up with Cathy, a self-proclaimed child of the sixties who was a member of the first croo ever at the Mizpah Springs Hut. We talked about a lot of mountain stuff on the way down and eventually most of gang caught up with us for the final 1-2 miles back to the lot.
Again, it was real nice to have such a great group to hike with on such a somber day.
As for pictures, many views folks were snapping all day and pics will be added by those individuals!
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