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 My Dad 
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Leg Burner
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:55 am
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 My Dad
My Dad loved the White Mountains. He wasn’t a hiker, or a skier, or an outdoorsman of any kind, really. But he enjoyed the feeling of being in the Whites. He could sit at Intervale for an hour or more, silently marveling at the view of the Presidentials in front of him. Even into his 80s, he and my Mom made a couple of trips each year to North Conway from Connecticut, just to drive down Main Street and see Mount Washington towering on the horizon.

He was a member of the Mount Washington Observatory, and checked the homepage every day. My Mom never quite understood why he would tell her the temperature and the windspeed five hours to the north of their living room, but she knew it was important to him to share that with her, and she responded with a “Wow” or an “I can’t imagine” every time. On the day of his funeral several years ago, a young grandson printed a copy of the Current Summit Conditions, and placed it in the casket, with the approval of all present.

He passed on his affection for the Whites to his six children. We all fondly remember a week each summer at Saco River Camping Area, and some of us still get back into the mountains whenever we can. Each year since he left us, a group of his children, grandchildren and various spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends have convened somewhere in the Whites for a hike in his memory. It’s a different hike each year, and a different group of participants, too—there are just too many orbits in the lives of our extended family to even hope that everyone will be able to be there at the same time.

This year some of the group wanted to climb Mount Washington. It’s actually a good choice, because those who aren’t up for a strenuous hike that day can take the Cog or the Auto Road, and everyone can still get together at the summit. We couldn’t do that with, say, Bondcliff. And while I know that many feel that Mount Washington isn’t the best place for quiet enjoyment of the mountains, things weren’t going to be quiet with a group like ours, anyway! So, Mount Washington it was.

We had an almost perfect day to climb, and the summit was more crowded than I’d ever seen. Still, I thought that if my Dad had been there in body on the summit, many of those visitors would have heard about how his children, grandchildren and other loved ones were climbing to meet him. (They’d also have heard about how well we were all doing in our careers/schooling.)

Here’s to you, Pop. We all miss you, and we all still love you.


Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:05 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
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Happy you guys had good weather :)! What a great way to remember someone and commemorate their life and their love for you! Washington was probably the best choice, seeing your dad loved the observatory. Not only that, but it's nice there are a few places non-hikers can enjoy the top. hope you have many more of these hikes!


Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:49 pm
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Leg Burner
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Thanks, B&P. Happy hiking to you, too!


Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:29 am
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: Lakes Region, NH
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I love that!!! What a great tribute to your dad!!! I think it is cool your family can honor him in such a positive way.. Good stuff. Maybe since he loved MWOBS you could make going up Mt. Washington an "annual" since there are various ways to get there (train, van, car, self-propelled, etc). Great story and thanks for sharing that!!


Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:19 am
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Adept Ascender
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What a great sentiment and a great way to continue the appreciation for the Whites. Well done.

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Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:40 am
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Location: Billerica, MA
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Thanks for posting your trip and background info, nice idea you had!

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Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:39 am
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Thanks, Cracky, KiO and HL! I wasn't sure I should post what I did. I was concerned that folks might think it was lame. I'm glad you liked it.

Nex


Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:20 pm
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