Well, we’re pretty happy with our first weekend. We didn’t get the 20 peaks we wanted, but we did get 12 (including the whole Franconia Ridge). We’re one quarter of the way to our goal and that’s a great start!
Since Thursday, the well wishes and interest from our sponsors and supporters has been great. Thank you all for following along. Trust me, it’s a real pleasure to come home after a long day to get so many nice emails and texts and comments showing support and cheering us on. It helps Dan get up the next morning to do it all over again!
A couple things happened this weekend that we’ll have to learn from:
a) Going up and down every day is tough work. For our first weekend, we decided to go light and pass camping or staying at a hut in favor of moving more quickly. The result though is that Dan had to go all the way up and come all the way back each day. Starting next weekend, we going to plan some ridge overnighters to put Dan in a better position to tick off some peaks without a long climb back up.
b) The Franconia Ridge is hard! This was the first time Dan hiked the entire ridge, and more than 14 miles on day one was pretty tiring. The result was that he moved much slower than normal on Day 2 and was only able to capture the lower Presidentials. A full traverse would have been impossible at that stage. So, we’ll try to keep back to back long mile days to a minimum.
c) The mountains have the final say. All the planning in the world doesn’t change the fact that sometimes, the weather is not going to cooperate. Climbing in rain is one thing. But hiking in the raw, thunderstorms of Monday would have been foolish. No matter how disappointing or how good Dan feels physically, the lesson here is to stay safe and healthy to hike another day.
Thanks need to go out to Dan’s support team who helped with this first weekend’s hikes: Ralph Adam who provided some much needed humor on the muggy Waumbek hike. Steve Laurin who provided a crucial car spot on day one AND stayed around long enough to hike Waumbek with Dan. The group of four awesome hikers from Easton – Pam and Steve McNary, Anji Seth and Chris Stoltze – who Dan met atop Mt. Eisenhower on day two and gave him a ride back to Route 302. And of course Meena, who provided car spots, fantastic dinners and tons of support. AND she hiked both Waumbek and Hale with Dan, the latter in the mist and rain and storms.
In some general campaign news, check out a new batch of links we posted to the right under our Blogroll. We have the link to the cool NHPR interview Dan did last week, as well as links to some other NH hikers websites, including the amazing Trish and her two daughters Alex and Sage, the Little Budha Atticus and his hiking partner Tom Ryan and Sommerset and Cameron, who we met atop Waumbek Saturday. They are all good people, and the sites are great reads.
All in all, we’re pretty pumped by our accomplishments and already plotting our strategy for weekend two. Our goal is to get 12-13 more done, which would put us at the half way mark.
We should have our itinerary up by Wednesday. Until then here’s our links to our first five days of hiking.
The Peaks in Order: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267005
Sept. 1: Franconia Ridge: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267159
Sept. 2: Jackson / Pierce / Eisenhower: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267171
Sept. 3: Waumbek: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267177
Sept. 4: Field / Willey / Tom: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267183
Sept. 5: Hale: http://danandmeenakshi.phanfare.com/5267188