dirt_girlSeptember 16, 2005 at 10:34 pmPost count: 303
Having been up way too late, trying to decide what to remove from my pack to lighten my 50 pound load, the alarm sounded promptly and painfully woke me from a brief but near death sleep. On the road by 5:15 am., I only had to get through just another day at work before arriving at my final destination, Broken Branch Campground.
The excitement of another Memorial Hike coupled with a three day excursion into the mountains and valleys of the Whites made the day drag slower than a broken wagon. When the day finally ended I was like a pony at the starting gate! I arrived at Broken Branch near 7 pm, greeted my hiking partner Hoot and set up camp. We discussed hiking plans, checked over the “things we need” list, fixed supper and reminisced about last years Team Zealand hike… the best ever, so far
A friend of Hoot’s stopped by with firewood and funny stories. We dipped into the stash of wine Hoot had been keeping for just such an occasion, set fire to the wood and laughed until Mars was high in the night sky.
Again the alarm sounded far too early to justify even a nap. We broke camp and made the trailhead by a bit after 6 am. SilentCal apparently was having alarm clock issues too; he skidded sideways into his parking spot at 6:25! It’s always a treat to bump into Cal and this morning was no different. He showed me a photo of a sign post marking the turn off to Guyot Shelter and camp. In the photo was a small rock cairn just behind the post. Silent told me to remember this spot because under the rock cairn was a treasure for all of us. Cal kept Hoot and I company to the Bondcliff Trail, then with the promise of meeting at the same place Monday, we went our separate ways.
Personally the hike to the summit of Bondcliff was exceptionally tough because I hadn’t hiked much at all this season. I never lost sight of why I was on the trail and where it was eventually going to take me. I felt a shift in my universe when I climbed up the “stairway to heaven” and began to catch the first glimpses of the magnificent views. I was in absolute awe, completely absorb by the expansive beauty. I felt both immensely insignificant and so immeasurably privileged to be there. Wow, was the only word that whispered across my lips.
There was a couple embracing when we arrived and after conversation with some other people in that party we learned that “he” had proposed marriage to “her” just before we showed up. What a beautiful place to begin that journey! While we were having lunch Artex showed up, such a nice guy. We visited for a bit then he set out for Guyot with a plea to save us a spot in the shelter. We trudge over Bond and finally made the descent to Guyot Shelter. I had followed Silent’s instruction and located the rock cairn just behind the Guyot signpost. I place the rocks back where they came from and found the magic beans he had left for us. The instruction then said; wait to open until everyone is gathered. So I put the package in my pocket and down to the shelter we went. Cody, the care taker, was visiting with some campers at the overflow site when we happened along. He knew who we were by the poles sticking out of our packs and directed us to the shelter where our reservation awaited us.
Hoot and I were getting fresh water when a batch of lights came bouncing down the trail like a mini swarm of huge fireflies and found their way into the shelter. I knew it was them! I made my way to the shelter and Artex cleverly introduced me to the whole batch with “ Hey, dirt girl! You finally made it!!” After which SherpaJohn, Sherpette and Lendawg all introduced themselves as did Laura. It was supper time and we all went about the business of feeding ourselves. The mood was fabulous and lots of laughter floated about. It was very cool to be all in one place!! After chow and desert it was time to open Silent’s package. There was a letter to be read aloud to the group. I had a difficult time making it through the powerfully patriotic and encouraging words Silent left for us. The patches he enclosed with the letter were accepted with reverence and excitement by each of us. With the light gone from the day we all slipped into our bags and I drifted off to the soft sounds of Sherpette giggles.
I’ve never been on the trails we took Sunday morning as we made our way to Zealand. It was an easy trip and incredible beautiful. The summit of Guyot was added to my favorite places on earth list. Since we left Lincoln Woods everyone we came across was curious about the things sticking out of our packs, today was no different. We took the opportunity to share the purpose and nature of this memorial event with many people along the way. At the Zealand spur trail Laura caught up to us, she had asked to join us the night before and we gladly accepted her offer. We had a few Kodak moments thanks to the kind gentlemen from Ohio. At the summit two hikers were just finishing lunch when we showed up and started unloading stuff. Both were immediately curious and didn’t hesitate joining in to put together the flag pole. Before long Mike, Nick and Dave came along and made them selves useful in standing the pole upright. With many hands and a light breeze Old Glory was soon proudly flying over the tree tops of Zealand summit.
Seems there were more visitors than last year, many taking time to share stories and ask questions. Some hiked in just to tell us they could see our flag from a long way away. All of them were grateful for the memorializing of 9/11, as well as supportive and thankful for our efforts.
The hike back to Guyot was most memorable in that each person that came along had words of gratitude for what had taken place, for the way the hike memorialized the lives unfairly taken and the families devastated by this loss.
Hikers… on different peaks… for different reasons… raising the American flag in tribute to the innocent lives taken senselessly and the unselfish lives given heroically on September 11th. .
I proudly raise my flag and my hopes to the strength, charity and restoration of our nation.
Thanks to all the powers that be for allowing this event to take place.
Thanks to Bentley, a war veteran, for donating the American flag flown at Zealand.
Thanks to Chuck for more than there is room to say.
Thanks to SilentCal for the words of honor and truth.
Thanks to Frodo for the patches.
Thanks to Sherpa John and crew for looking out for us.
Thanks to Hoot for keeping company with me.
dirt_girlgramParticipantSeptember 17, 2005 at 12:34 amPost count: 60
Nice report, dirt girl!
Thank you.ArtexSeptember 17, 2005 at 11:28 amPost count: 5
Great report, Dirtgirl. Nice meeting you! :flag:SilentCalModeratorSeptember 18, 2005 at 8:51 pmPost count: 1297
Glad to see you guys enjoyed the “Magic Beans”. The Bonds are just plain magical.
Three cheers to Dirt Girl for taking the challenge of Mt. Zealand the past two years and putting a flag above the trees. Did I hear that Owl’s head was next on your to-do list? :flag:dirt_girlSeptember 18, 2005 at 10:54 pmPost count: 303
I thought the good peeps on Owls Head had a flag above the tree tops this year!?!?!?
As well as some flags having been seen from some of the other treed in summits!?!?!
:flag: :flag: :flag: :flag: :flag:
However… I would definately be game for another multi-day, multi-peak hike next year.
dirt-girlSherpa JohnSeptember 19, 2005 at 1:29 amPost count: 71
GO DIRT_GIRL! Sarah and I LOVE the report.
Great pleasure meeting you… you truly touched our hearts.
SJ :flag:MichaelJParticipantSeptember 19, 2005 at 11:42 pmPost count: 839
Awesome. Simple and awesome.dirt_girlSeptember 20, 2005 at 2:35 pmPost count: 303
Ditto Sherpa John!
I was immpressed that you are so young yet have so much determination, passion, curiousity, and vision.
Your spirit is good and your ideas seek to honor. Be proud of what you have and will continue to accomplish.
I was delighted to hang out with you and your happy band of hikers.
There remains only one unanswered question… what was Artex reading?
dirt_girlMtnMagicSeptember 21, 2005 at 1:45 amPost count: 372
Wow, another great trip and report!
In a word . . . deep !!dirt_girlSeptember 21, 2005 at 1:52 pmPost count: 303
Hey Michael and Magic!!!
Long time between visits!!!
Word travels fast along the grapevine so
Im happy to know you both had a great
Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded
trip report, I’ll fill you in on the stuff I left out when I see you next.
I am preparing for my winter hibernation with just a few “hills” to climb before Jack Frost shows up
so I’ll see you all when the snows melt.MtnMagicSeptember 22, 2005 at 12:58 amPost count: 372
I am preparing for my winter hibernation with just a few “hills” to climb before Jack Frost shows up so I’ll see you all when the snows melt.
Under your avatar, the location reads taint town. My guess is “Meaning it taint a town.” OK, I’ll fall victim to the answer. Please enlighten us.
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