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Thread: A Fond Farewell To The Whites

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Blairsville GA ......... Avatar-- On top of Starr King Mt.

    A Fond Farewell To The Whites

    Thirteen years ago we moved from Florida up to Bridgton ME. My first hike in the Whites was Mt. Washington. I’ll never forget it. The next day I was so sore I couldn't move . This morning when the alarm went off at 4:00 AM I was more excited than usual. This would be my last hike in the Whites and what more fitting way to finish than Washington. Lauky and I jumped into the car and headed for the Marshfield Station trailhead.

    There were so many memories as we started out. It would be my 22nd and Lauky’s 8th summit of Washington. Duffy had done it eleven times with me. That’s the only major peak he had done more than Lauky. I thought back to the time I had gone up with my son and the time I took Duffy up Huntington and had to get him up through that chimney near the top of the ravine. There was also the time I lost it heading down Amonoosuc and started tumbling. There was my first winter summit with Duffy when the wind chill was about forty below and the pristine winter day when Lauky finished his winter 48 up there.

    We headed up the Jewell trail. It was completely free of snow, none at all from the trailhead to Gulfside and Gulfside was also snow free. For a long time the Nelson Crag trail was my favorite, but in recent years I fell in love with the views on the west side and those were the views I wanted for my last trip.

    One time I remember we were treated to a view of a Boing 727 flying around the peak. What that was all about I guess I’ll never know. This time the sound of another plane caught Lauky’s attention.

    A helicopter came flying across below us. It was your tax dollars at work I think.

    In some ways it would have been nice to have a pristine day for the final hike rather than the fog and overcast. But Lauky has never liked the direct rays of the sun above the treeline in June and July so it probably was the ideal day for him, cool but not cold and windy without being too windy.

    Over the years I’ve had many adventures: falling down a water fall on the falling waters trail, being chased by a Moose on Airline, a face to face with a bear on Cabot. Twice Lauky chased the enemy off, once it was the bear and more recently it was a moose. Today he wanted to take down the train. He let me know what he would do with it if I would let him go after it.

    Duffy never liked hiking when it was hot, but loved it in the winter. Lauky handles them both pretty well although he did occasionally get cold. However, what more refreshing way to cool down on a hot hike.

    This is certainly the most famous summit sign in the Whites. Whether you’ve climbed it on foot or by some other means you want your picture taken there. I remember the winter hike with Duffy. It was so cold my goggles had frozen over but I still grabbed a quick picture of him there then headed off. I came home with frost bite on my cheeks that day.

    There were very few people up there today and I thought we wouldn’t get our picture taken together. Then someone came along. It’s not a great picture but it’s the last one so that makes it important.

    I’ve had a number of adventures going down the Amonoosuc Ravine and I wasn’t sure I should even attempt it today, but the ranger at the summit station told me there was no snow and I wouldn’t have any problems so we headed own that way.

    About half of my summits of Mt. Washington have been from the west side. Even so I’ve only been in the Lakes of the Clouds hut twice, both times before I got Duffy. The memory I will always have of that hut will be that of the ghost story of the worker who opened the place up at the end of the winter and saw devil faces in every window. That story still gives me chills.

    I was sitting in front of the hut getting a bite to eat and preparing to head up Monroe when a couple came up the trail and told me how difficult the last 500 vertical feet were because of the snow and ice. Well, so much for getting trail info from a ranger. Anyway, I decided that would be enough of an adventure for the day and I canned the trip up Monroe and headed down. It was just as dicey as reported. Here we take one last look.

    Lauky was very good today. Lauky is the only dog I've ever had that has to stay on a leash. He likes to lead, but he has learned that when going down, especially when it’s dicey he has to go behind me so he doesn't pull me down. Going over the icy and wet sections he obediently followed behind even though it went against his instincts. Aside from what I had done with Duffy, Lauky and I together had done about four and a half rounds of the 48 including one winter. There are a ton of memories in all those hikes, almost all of them just him and me. As we were heading down that steep trail at one point we were almost head to head as he was perched on a rock behind me. I looked back at him and impulsively said: “Lauky I love you.” He wagged his tail. I think he understood. As we were heading home I stopped to take this picture. The fog had lifted. It was as beautiful as ever.

    After thirteen years the time has come to move on. Next Saturday we will be moving to Georgia. There will still be plenty of hiking in the Georgia and North Carolina Blue Ridge, but I leave my heart here in the Whites.
    Last edited by Ed'n Lauky; 06-01-2013 at 12:25 AM.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  2. #2
    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    West Hartford, CT (Photo: Sages Ravine, Salisbury, CT)
    Thanks for this lovely trip report, Ed, and for so many fine ones. I regret that I've not yet met you on trail and hope you'll keep posting here about some of your adventures in the Smokies, Blacks, Blue Ridge, Grayson Highlands, etc. Happy trails and safe travels to you and Lauky.
    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; NEFF: 14/50; Northeast 4K: 27/115

  3. #3
    Senior Member Red Oak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    floodplains of south central.
    Good luck in Georgia!Have enjoyed you and lauky's reports over the last few years.Georgia is a very special place to me,having lived close by[tallahassee,7 years] and spent time in the state and traveling through.People are very pleasant and chill down there,enjoy it....peace and safe travels.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kerry13's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Otter River, Mass Avatar: Leisurely winter hike on Monadnock's Red Spot Trail
    Best wishes Ed and Lauky. Have enjoyed your trip reports over the years. Really enjoyed meeting you and Lauky a few years back on Wildcat Ridge. And no I didn't ask if that was Atticus. I immediately recognized both of you. Sorry to hear your leaving. You will be missed. Many happy trails to both of you.
    Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery,
    Today is a gift, enjoy it!


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Best of luck with your future endeavors!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Bloomville, New York
    Nice parting shot(s)! Enjoy the 'suth'! It was nice to finally meet you on Cabot.
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views and Brews

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    NH Seacoast
    Good luck Ed - we never met although maybe we crossed paths along the way a few times in the past 13 years!

    Georgia has some beautiful mountains as well! I like Blood Mountain myself. Enjoy.
    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
    ~ Chief Seattle, 1854 ~

  8. #8
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    All the best, Ed. Have enjoyed reading your many posts over the years.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    New hampshire
    Good luck to you and your friend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JacobH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Barrington, NH
    I've enjoyed following your TRs over the years. Best of luck Ed and family.
    Spiral out, keep going. - Tool

  11. #11
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Definitely will miss your trip reports. Good luck on your next adventure.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  12. #12
    Senior Member ChacoTaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    as a Tarheel, I hope you enjoy the wonderful trails and spectacular mountains in NC. My heart will always be in Carolina. Enjoy

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mountain49's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Milton, MA
    Those are wonderful pictures of you and Lauky. I am so sorry to see you go. I always liked reading your trail reports.You and Lauky have been a fixture on VFFT. I was getting nervous with the title of your post, fearing that Lauky had died. You will be missed!

  14. #14
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Near the Adirondack Blue Line
    Sorry that we've never met on a mountain, Ed, but almost feel like I know you after following your trip reports over the years.
    My very best in GA. Don't be shy about staying in touch and posting your trips on VFTT from down thataway.

    "The fact that going off the deep end appears
    to be a requisite to doing anything of consequence
    in this life has not escaped me." Jim Harrison

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Best of luck on your new adventures, Ed. The White Mountain community will miss you.

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