Forums 2009 Flags on the 48 2009 Trip Reports Mt. Zealand

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  • Shawn D
      Post count: 18
      #47807 |

      I started out early Friday morning, 9/11/09 here in Massachusetts, I picked up two new friends, Rolly M. and Baxter (the BEST hiking dog ever!)
      The three of us headed north, and arrived at the Zealand trailhead about 10:30 am. We made our way to the Zealand Falls Hut, where we had lunch at the falls just about noon. Rolly and Baxter went on ahead to meet up with the West Bond flag crew at the Guyot campsite. I stayed Friday evening at the Hut. About 5 pm, the others in the Mt. Zealand flag crew, Dave (nopepr) C. and Craig E. came along.
      The three of us got to meet each other, swap old trail stories, have some supper, and settle in for the night.
      This was my first AMC Hut stay, as well as my first Flags on the 48. We woke early and had breakfast Saturday morning, then started on our hike up to the peak. It was overcast and cloudy all the way up, the higher peaks were cloud covered, but temperature was mild. We took our time, took a few short breaks along the way, and still managed to get to Zealand peak at noon. Our timing was right on. Dave, Craig and I got the flag up above the treeline, held a moment of silence in sad memory of all who perished on the tragic day of 9/11/2001. This was our mission, and we were proud and honored to raise the American flag in their memory.
      We only had but a few visitors during our two hours at the peak. Although, many hikers we met on our journey, asked if we were the Mt. Zealand flag crew, (seeing the telescoping pole we carried) and thanked us for doing it. We got back to the Z-Hut about 4:30 pm, where I was to bid farewell to my companions, Dave and Craig, who went on to the trailhead to head on home. I stayed one more nite at the Hut. I woke early Sunday, had breakfast, and hiked back out to the trailhead. I got back to my vehicle about 9 am for the 2 hour ride home.
      I just wanted to post here that I met some really nice folks, all of my hiking companions, and also all of the guests, AT thru-hikers, and the great Croo at the AMC Zealand Falls Hut. This was a great experience, and I look forward to doing it again next year.
      To all the folks I met, hiked with, and passed along the way:
      God bless you all, God bless America, and I hope to see ya on the trail!

      Check out the pictures in the 2009 gallery.
      Shawn D. Mt. Zealand FOT48 2009

        Post count: 18

        Hey everyone. I think Shawn covered most of it. It was an overcast day but we managed to get started about 8 AM after staying in the Zealand hut the previous night. This was also my first stay in the hut as well. The Croo at the hut was top notch. Hillary, Ben & Andrew not only made a great couple of meals but were entertaining and very humorous. I will definitely stay at a hut again.

        So we ventured out at 8 AM and there was no real time to warm up it was straight up, non stop for 1000 feet of stone steps. Now had I actually hiked anything other than Mt. Blue Jobe this year (which really doesn’t count) the climb would have seemed moderate. Instead I struggled up it stopping every 100 feet of climb or so.

        Once we finished the stairway to heaven we found the first lookout and the group that stayed at the hut the previous evening. Here we took a 15 min break and chatted with the folks. Next we walked what seemed like a mile of ridge. It was great, nothing like ridge walking and views to lift you up when you are tired.

        We reached a false peak at about 11 and decided to have lunch. We then proceeded on and made Zealand peak at 12:03 and had the flag flying by 12:07 & again by 12:14. One of out tie wraps malfunctioned & we had to bring it down and Macgyver it back up there.

        As Shawn said we had a few visitors on the peak and many others we passed on the way down asking about the event and us. We invited them all to sign up next year and join us. Craig and I made it out to the car by 5:30 and were off as Shawn stayed back to enjoy the hut croo one last evening.

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