This weekend (Monday, Nov. 5 actually) will mark the one year anniversary of the beginning of our quest for the 52. On Nov. 5, 2011 we climbed Mt. Kearsarge and so began a pilgrimage and project that, though we didn’t know it at the time, would change both our lives.
Later, as it became clear that the 52 list would be our goal, we set out to try to finish the journey in one year’s time. Well, we’ll miss that goal, but not by much. If weather cooperates and our strength holds up, we’ll finish the 52 on Sunday, Nov. 11. Not bad. But before we start celebrating, Janelle and I have one more long, challenging weekend ahead of us.
In the next four days, we hope to tag six of the remaining seven summits, including a monster day tomorrow where we’re planning a ginormous loop over Paugus, Square Ledge and Hibbard. Can we do this? We think so. As we have for the past year, our planning is airtight, we’re trained and eager and we love big miles like this. But the weather…. well, there is some uncertainty as to the weather over the course of the next few days, and it’s difficult to tell if Sandy damaged the trails or roads. We’ll have to just get up there and find out.
But Buffalo and Tough Cookie have faced down rough days before. We’ve hiked in sleet, rain, wind and humidity. We’ve faced darkness together in the evening and darkness in the morning. Blisters? Check. Bruises? Check. We’ve fallen in the river and sunk into the mud. There’s been blood and there’s been tears.
But with every summit, as we stand together up there and high-five, we get stronger. The hikes feed us now, a sustenance as important to our souls as food is to our bodies. And we feed off your support as well, reading, laughing and celebrating each and every wish of good luck, support and enthusiasm that you have all shown.
So, we’ll set off once again, tomorrow at 5 a.m., through the darkness, to find our mountain, our penultimate weekend and ourselves. As long as I have a signal, I’ll try to keep our Facebook page updated. If you’re not a member over there, please sign up for updates.
Have good cheer my friends. The hills await and the girl and I are off for one final grand weekend.
Here we go!
B & TC