Sunday, October 11, 2009
Road Trip- Any trip to Flagstaff gets me looking off to the Bigelows and thinking of what might have been. My brother-in-law S- loved hiking this area and along with my sister took me along on a memorable weekend to the Gulf of Hages, an 8.5 mile loop of challenging trails "The Grand Canyon of the East" and The Hermitage, both National Natural Landmarks. Not long after this weekend of joking and fun, S- life was tragically taken in an accident on 302. I must truly say it was one of the most trying moments in my life. The following spring, my sister wanted to climb Little Bigelow, and I wasn't about to let her head up alone. Long story short- we spent a starry night atop the rocky peak and awoke to a dynamic sunrise on Sugarloaf and Avery Peak, the summit of Bigelow Mtn. Before we left, we 'planted' some mementos to S-. I think his jackknife still rests somewhere up there. Since the early 90s, the Appalachian Trail lean-to just down from the top of Little Bigelow has had a plaque with S- name. In the fall of '95, my son(9 years old at the time) and I climbed to the lean-to and spent the night. We each wrote a note to him in the trail book that evening. It was very nice. J- wanted to know all about S-, and I obliged. That night, we had the lean-to all to ourselves (I couldn't have planned it any better)... well J- and I and a few mice that is! I'll never forget those trips to the shore of Flagstaff Lake and beyond!