TrekManSeptember 16, 2008 at 10:48 amPost count: 149
Well, it seemed awfully early, but at the KOA we were up by 5:00 a.m. and out the gate by 6:00 headed up to Crawford Notch for our long awaited “Flags Hike”. We dropped off gear at the Willey House with some of the croo and then went down the road another mile to drop a car at Ethan Pond Trailhead. Back at Kedron Flume Trailhead, two more of the Willey croo showed up right on time and we all divvied up the flag and pole pieces and hit the trail right at 7:30 a.m. as planned. The misting in the air on our trip over the Notch had stopped and there was promise of a better day emerging.
The trail was not bad to start and we stopped at the Flume for Dirt to filter some water and top off our bottles for the steep parts to come. We got to the Ethan Pond Trail, went for a short distance and then on to the Willey Range Trail. When we got to the ladders, many seemed to remember that this was near the end. But … not to be, there were seemingly miles of steep rocky pitches to go. We finally found the peak around 11:30 and scoped out the overlook versus the summit cairn as potential flag sites. We decided on the summit as then the flag could be seen from both sides of the mountain.
It only took our croo of seven about 10 minutes to assemble the 20-foot pole and attach the flag. No wind to speak of so the struggle was not there as last year at Garfield. Above the trees though a gentle breeze unfurled our 6×10 stars and stripes and it was time to relax for a while and chow down on our lunches. Of course we had to share some of the lunch goodies with the 5 or 6 Gray Jays who just happened to be there when food came out. We visited with a family toting a 1-year old (see gallery for pics) and generally were thanked by many who came by and heard our story of the Flags on the 48 meaning and success.
We were able to easily spot Jackson’s flag as well as Pierce and Eisenhower. Also got a glimpse of the flag on Carrigain. The day had turned out to be a perfect one. Two hours flew by and before we knew it we had the flag all folded and the pole and tools packed ready for the trip down. Around 4:15 all were down and ready to relax after another successful “Flags Hike”. Willey House Septemberfest would taste really good now. Thanks to all, especially JayTrek, for the organization and completion of 48 peaks of red white and blue.
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