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  • MichaelJ
      Post count: 839
      #47810 |

      We gathered at 7am at Appalachia: MichaelJ, Una_dogger, SkierSteve, Cymbidium, Fran, Silverfox, Rocket21, Trainwreck, and the canines, Terra & Zoey. Two steps into the woods and the rain started. We stayed dry thanks to the leaf canopy but soon it was coming down hard enough that I stopped to safely stow the camera and put on a pack cover. About 10 minutes later it stopped. Oh, well. 🙂

      We made our way up the Air Line and as we rose, realized that we’d come up out of an undercast visible through the trees. I put on an extra burst to break treeline before it rose or vanished, and as we came out onto the rocks above Chemins de Dame, we had long and fantastic views out King Ravine over a dissipating undercast. It was simply beautiful, and we took about 15 minutes there to regroup and have snacks.

      I noticed wisps over the Madison summit from the far side, and by the time we got to the hut, the summit was ensconced in a grey veil. We took another break at the hut to adjust layers and top off water, then started the climb into the mist. It had taken us only 3 hours to get to the hut as a complete group, and we got to the summit shortly after 11:00am.

      We had the flag flying around 11:30am, then adjusted our packs, found seats, and started sharing around lunch. Some very special treats came out, including cookies and mozzarella/prosciutto whirls. Thank you!

      At noon I led our group in the National Anthem and briefly spoke on my memories of who I almost lost, and who I knew from the towers, on 9/11. Then we all sat back to huddle against the wind. Over the course of the next two hours we’d see about a dozen hikers, including the FTFC’s own Keith with his companions, and our own Doublebow leading an AMC trip up over Madison from the east.

      At 2:00pm I led our group in God Bless America, then we quickly stowed the flag. It had gone from being a warm, foggy breeze to a cold, windblown mist, and we wanted to get down the rocky Watson Path before things got slippery. Unfortunately, an unstable rock took out Trainwreck after we took a few steps. First aid was administered, as well as beauty tips for enormous bumps in the center of the forehead, and we continued down. The mist turned to rain and the rocks did get slippery, so it was slow going to treeline. Once down, we branched off to the Brookside. This was slow-going due to its steepness and our now-tired legs. I would say this would be a great route to ascend in the future, but not one to come down again. Had we known…

      But all’s good, and we eventually made it all safely down to Appalachia, where we saw MtnPa down from Adams. After some socializing, it was off to Bob & Geri’s for more socializing and relaxing. Thank you SO much to them both for being such gracious and wonderful hosts.

      It wasn’t the most view-filled Fot48, but it was still as strong a moment as ever when that flag stood out in the breeze. A big thank-you to everyone on Team Madison.

        Post count: 839

        I added my photos to the gallery.

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