17 Aug 13

By Randy Pierce

During rare moments, we may make a decision which will play a significant role in transforming our lives. On even rarer occasions, the power of that choice may create ripples well beyond our expectations. Such was the nature of my 2009 decision to undertake climbing “the 48.”

Randy sits back on his heels in a field with Quinn in a heel by his side. Quinn and Randy meet eyes with a look that shows their mutual love.I decided to do this in celebration of the gift of Quinn, my return to walking, the wonder of the wilderness, and my hope that through the choice to share this process I might make a positive impact for anyone who faces a little adversity in their lives. The challenges, rewards, friendships, personal growth, support, and most definitely the broader positive impact is well beyond any expectation or hope I might have initially held.

There have been both losses and triumphs in the formation of 2020 Vision Quest, which is about so much more than just our hiking these peaks. Through it all, we have created an organization that adds a value that I’m tremendously proud to be a part of supporting, and which will continue to accomplish beneficial actions and have positive influences well beyond the hiking portion of our Quest.

It all began with the choice to hike those incredible trails and summit those peaks in full awareness that each totally blind step would be potentially perilous and decidedly difficult. So they have been–but despite the adversities we’ve faced along the way, August 24 at 7:00 am we will depart the Flume Visitor’s Center in Franconia Notch and begin climbing the Liberty Springs route towards our final summit: Mt. Flume. Given all that we’ve learned and experienced, we hope to take our team over Mt. Liberty, out to Mt. Flume and back to the trailhead by 5:00 pm where several friends are already committing to be present with coolers and grills to refresh our weary team.

The team on the Southern Presi traverse hike share a high five. The camera captures their triumph from below.

Job Well Done - Southern Presi Traverse

I fervently hope still more friends will be present whether they’ve hiked some mountain trails, leisurely toured some of the many tourist options showcasing some of the wonders of the White Mountains or simply bringing their own gas grills and supplies to celebrate with us. Without a community of support, my hikes would have been so vastly more difficult and it would be unlikely I’d be finishing this year. Without community, the worthy results of 2020 Vision Quest would not have reached so many people and lives with such a positive message. Even without community, I will still celebrate the final part of our original quest, but with each person joining us live or in virtual support, my celebration and our greater goals will be enhanced with the motivation and inspiration such extensive efforts need.

So please, do consider joining us live to experience some of the magic and marvel we’ve found in these majestic treasures of New Hampshire’s Wilderness. Do share our Facebook community as we strive to spread our message further each day. Do share our website and the messages and possibilities it helps to create in schools and communities where we deliver our best outreach steadily.

The end of the official hiking is far from the end of our real quest, but we are poised on a marvelous pinnacle of accomplishment. From this vantage, I have a vision of just how much more we might accomplish–and as it has been throughout, much of that accomplishment hinges upon those who share a belief in our mission and message. How much can you help share our message, support our cause and join our team?

We have already met our tagline many times and in many ways: “Achieve a Vision Beyond Your Sight!” Vision did not end with the loss of my sight nor does it end with the accomplishment of this Quest. It begins with each choice that help us grow our community of support and as such it begins with you all for what you have done and what you do next to be a part of our team. Thank you for sharing this vision!

A brilliant orange sun begins to rise above the darkened southern presidential range - as seen from Mt Bond. The sky is a firey orange to yellow fading into a light blue.

Sunrise as seen on Mt. Bond

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