DACParticipantSeptember 11, 2012 at 6:36 pmPost count: 54
It was Old Glory herself that was the hero of this memorial hike withstanding fierce winds and stormy weather. Old friends met up early Saturday morning at McDonalds in Lincoln to get acquainted with one another and to share in the anticipation of this 9/11 memorial hike up South Twin. The ride from McDonald’s to the Gale River trail head took us through the Franconia abyss giving us an indication of what our weather might be for the day. We had fifteen strong at the trail head. The flag pole gear was secured in the backpack, our first “mule” was identified (me) and final instructions were given (don’t get blown off the mountain) and our mission to raise our American Flag on top of South Twin in dedication of our 9/11 fallen heroes began.
The beginning of the hike up was steady and gradual and filled with good conversation. Once the trail got steeper and we stopped at an outlook I took that opportunity to transfers the heavy flag pole backpack to Brian. The trailed continued steeply to the Gale Head hut where we encountered extreme winds – and the realization it could be dangerously windy at the summit. By this time Brain had unloaded the flag pole backpack to Dick and Dick was ready to unload it to someone else.
The next eight tenths of a mile which would get us to the summit became very steep. Somehow it was me again carrying that heavy pole backpack. 😳 With Brian in the lead and me skipping up the mountain right behind him we got to the summit on time to begin the raising of the flag.
The summit was very windy. Our flag pole assembly team was challenged. Lead by George we identified the highest point of the summit. Our engineering team of Jim, Bob, Dick and Dave F. applied the best scientific principles of flag pole design to withstand these high winds. Barbara supervised, Brian had rope, Ben had hope, Maureen cheered, and Denny had beer. Danielle braving extreme wind conditions captured this whole event through the lens of her iPhone. The flag was raised and admired and was clearly a reflection of the bravery and courage of our heroes of September 11.
The hike down was slow at first but pick up once we got past the Gale Head hut. There were a couple of stumbles along the way and some hallucinations, “I see cars” (George). Good thing Eliza was with him to guide him along…. The rain sucked and for some odd reason the trail back actually got longer (never thought we get back and at one point consider we might had taken the wrong trail). Then with herculean effort, Barbara tore the extremely heavy pole backpack from Dick, attached it to her back and proceeded to stampede down the last 10 miles of the trail (well maybe it was a little less than 10). At last we got to the trailhead, the rain stopped and we all enjoyed some well deserved beverages. Afterwards, we all headed down to the Woodstock Station for some pizza and Beer. Good time, great people – we’ll always remember. Thanks.
Although we ended the day cold, wet and exhausted – eleven years ago 2,871 men, women and children perished in a horrific terrorist attack. We raised this flag for them…..
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