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 Mt Hale....#48! 
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 Mt Hale....#48!
The summit may be the goal but it’s the people you meet along your journey that make each trip unique each and of itself.


We started out from my house about 6:30 AM. I was so excited about this one that I was surprised I had slept at all the night before. Usually an early morning start means a night of restless sleep in eager anticipation of the day, but I was able to get in a solid 3-4 hours of sleep for this one.
I picked up Brian and we were off. The skies were blue and the temps were in the low 40’s….but we were still in Massachusetts. By the time we hit Franconia Notch the clouds had come in and it looked like it was going to be an occluded summit but without any rain. For that I was thankful.
We hit Zealand Rd and were at the Halebrook trailhead about 8:45. Brian (New Hampshire) and Jen were already there and geared up. Brian (Quint) and I were getting ready when Darlene surprised us. We were together when we finally made Isolation in winter last year and is always a welcome hiking partner as she has some of the most incredible knowledge of so many areas to hike in with the US/Canada that just hearing her stores makes one eager to see what other parts of this world have to offer.
Then Diane (Creek Critter), Julie, Freddi, and Dave came in followed by Steve and Christa and soon Tom with his 2 daughters, Heather and Kerry, rounded off the team for the day.
While the 2.2 miles may seem like a short summit (and it is), it wasn’t exactly the walk in the park I thought it would be. The trail is fairly muddy so gaiters are highly recommended but the steepness of the trail was the biggest surprise. There aren’t a lot of level areas along the way and water really isn’t a problem, it’s just that the entire trail is a long steady uphill climb for the entire 2.2 miles.
The mood was upbeat as the sun kept poking its’ head out and every so often we had some views of the northern Presidentials and within 2 hours we were approaching the summit of the last NH 4000 footer I had never set foot on. Steve explained the customary tradition of being the last one up so I stayed back with Tom while all other passed. We also met a solo hiker here so I have to give a special hello to ScenicNH who I had met on Hike-nh.com.
With the rest of the team waiting on the summit cairn I made my final steps to the top of #48 amid high fives and hearty congratulations. Granted I still needed to get back to the car to make it official, but we had a great celebration at the top with Julie bringing cupcakes and Tom bringing some celebratory Mile High suds. Then we had to recognize Tom for his upcoming birthday (I won’t say the number but it rhymes with “nifty”!).
After many pictures and trail tales we began our descent to the cars. Steve, Christa, Brian, and Jen decided to do the Lend-a-Hand loop so we said our good-byes and parted ways.
In what seemed like just a few minutes, we were back at the cars and on our way home by 2 PM or so with my first White Mountain list being completed.

There are a few special people I need to thank. I have learned over these 48 mountains that the summit is not as important as the journey to get there is, and good friends are what make the journey. I have been blessed with some extraordinary friends:
First and foremost is Brownie my lifelong friend and hiking partner who started with me on this trip some 30 years ago and is always an incredible source of knowledge and friendship. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am now. Jeff…you rock!
I have also had the pleasure of meeting an awful lot of people through the hiking boards that have helped me renew my interest in back-country fun. Julie, Dave, Freddi, Paula, and Diane were the first ones I met when I started my winter hiking and I thank them so much for including me in their group activities and being there for me on so many trips. Then there is Wildpeaks (Tom) who has been an incredible source of information and support and has to be one of the most veteran people I’ve met in the Whites and always has a smile and a story. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to hike with Mountain Magic and GhostDog on so many trails that some people will never set foot on, that he continually reminds me to not always take the path most used.
Sometimes it’s the most innocent that bring reality into balance, and therefore I’d like to thank Brian (NH) and Jen for being a true source of inspiration (more than they will ever know).
The hiking boards are always abuzz with activity but more importantly it’s the administrators/owners that dedicate so much time and effort to create these boards that it’s a pleasure to finally meet the faces behind the scenes. I have been very fortunate not just to have met them but to have become friend and hiking buddies: Thank you Chris from Hike-NH.com, SilentCal from Flags, Darren from ViewsfromtheTop, and Bob from Rocksontop. You guys deserve an awful lot of credit for your contributions to hiking in the northeast.
I’d also like to say thanks to several very cool people I’ve met along the way including: Cousin Janet, Brian and Di, Sherpa John and Sarah, Bob (Hikerfast), DougEh, Tuco (Eric), Rihn, Giggy, Bob K, Bob and Geri, MEB, Karen, Grouseking, PoisonIvy, CapnCaper, Darlene, and an almost endless list of others I’ve met along the way.
I also need to give a huge amount of thanks to my wife Brenda, my son Nick, and my daughter Biranna. While Nick and Bri have joined me on several hikes, I really need to thank Brenda for even allowing me to attempt such a list. She’s never said a word about this crazy hobby and has been one of the best sources for gear for almost 20 years. Honey, I love you!
I also thank the hiking community! You constantly hold your hand out to help others unlike any other sport or hobby I’ve seen and you have hearts of gold. Stand and be proud for the simple reason that you care not just in words but in actions.

Wahoo only 49 more states to go!

Thank you all!
Bill

Pics to follow soon.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:57 pm
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Very nice write up Bill, thanks for posting. I'm both elated for you and envious, and wish I coulda been there. Now, what's your next goal?

:)

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:36 pm
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Hey Chris,

Well, based on some of the recent posts/pictures and knowing about the pending divorce, I've been trying to connect with Britney Spears.

If that doesn't work out, then I'll lower my standard and probably just go for a winter 48 or the NE 67. :wink:

Thanks for the opportunity to meet so many cool people on this site and I look forward to the next 48....or Britney's and my marriage announcement.

Bill

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:25 pm
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You'd better invite me to the wedding!! :)

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:32 pm
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Yo Bill!

What can I say........

Ive known you in computer form for almost a year and a half now, and on a personal basis for about a year. You are an amazing person, who I truely look for when I need inspiration. A level head, always an encouragin word.....and your gear advice is killer :lol: . Im sorry I missed all the hoopla for your summiting as ScenicNH (Erin) and I really got into a wonderful conversation. We have been both been hoping to cross paths, but never expected it this day. He knew nothing of me being on Hale, and I knew he usualy hikes only during the week (since he makes his living as a freelance photographer and fewer people makes for more pleasing pictures! :wink: ) I really, really, do wish you could have come down the Lend-a-hand with us. Muddy and wet? Yup! But what neat views (best on the entire mountain) and pleasant grading. Plus Zealand falls was looking beautiful with the recent high water we had. You deserved to have your moment, and what a moment it was. You gathered quite the crowd considering the short notice. And to think of the people who COULDN'T Be there, like Jim and Chris. It goes to show you are a much beloved member of this community!

Always looking to share the next adventure with you, any time, anywheres......bent tent poles or not :shock: :lol: :wink: .

Peace,

B.

P.S. Picture slideshow


Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:01 pm
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Wish I could have been there Bill. Too many hunters where I work that have vacation at this time of the year nixed it for me. I stayed local and did a short hike here and thought of how your day went while I was searching for meteors.

Your one of the stand up guys here even though I seriously question your hockey beliefs :roll: . Your a gear guru and have always been a strong supporter of the Flags event which Chris and I are quite thankful for. Good Luck with your next adventures and hope to get hike many of them with you.


<<<Bruins>>>>


Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:28 pm
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Congratulations Bill
Sorry for holding up Brian. We got heavy into conversation and lost track of time.

Pucknuts61 wrote:
Hey Chris,

Well, based on some of the recent posts/pictures and knowing about the pending divorce, I've been trying to connect with Britney Spears.

If that doesn't work out, then I'll lower my standard and probably just go for a winter 48 or the NE 67. :wink:


Consider doing the 48 at night or skip the lists and go straight to "The Matterhorn"

Way to go Bill.....

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Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:25 pm
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ScenicNH wrote:
or skip the lists and go straight to "The Matterhorn"



Don't tempt him. Brownie and Bill are just crazy enough to do it :lol: .

B.


Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:04 pm
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Thanks ScenicNH!

I'm going for the NEW 48 list....hiking in all continental United States!

Very sorry we did'nt get a chance too meet but I'm sure we will at some point,
Bill

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Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:16 am
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