By Randy Pierce
In 2010, we founded 2020 Vision Quest with a charitable mission and a goal to summit all 48 of the peaks rising above 4,000 feet in New Hampshire. While our historic single winter season accomplishment achieved a portion of that goal, we are proud to have worked through a very significant and differently challenging quest to reach them without the benefit winter snows bring to my blind footsteps. Twelve peaks remain between us and successfully achieving our original goal.
Our first hike will begin on Cannon mountain, once home to the symbol of NH. While the cliffs forming the visage of the Old Man collapsed a decade ago, the mountain remains dear to NH. It is the location where my winter quest culminated and is appropriate for launching this final season in style. We hope many hikers and non-hikers may be around to celebrate with us either on the trails or at the summit via the hike or the tram! We of course will be taking the trails both ways.
Our hiking day will not end at the end of trailhead for Cannon, however. We’ll quickly resupply and perhaps adjust some of the members in our group before crossing to the other side of the Franconia Notch and setting upon the Old Bridle path. Saturday’s travels are intended to end at the AMC Greenleaf hut.
This will set the stage for an early morning summit of Mt. Lafayette, which allows for an incredibly stunning ridge walk over to our actual goal, Mt. Lincoln! We’ll hopefully enjoy lunch atop this famous president’s peak and reflect upon the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg before descending via the Falling Waters trail which I have jokingly referred to as “Falling Blind Guy” due to the challenges of this trail in our winter journey.
Thus will our season begin with a pair of peaks necessary to complete our quest in our fourth year of what was originally intended as a more leisurely ten-year goal. Ten peaks will still remain to finish our non-winter 48 and the season of celebration will be underway. I expect to hike many more mountains in NH and perhaps beyond once the 2020 Vision Quest accomplishment is complete. I will relish the freedom to repeat any hike any time inspiration and inclination converge to give me this opportunity.
Still, this season will be a little special because I will have allowed a vision to guide me to heights I once did not imagine possible! If all goes well, the Lincoln Woods Parking area will host many friends on August 24 as we visit Mt. Flume for the completion of the season and the Quest.
Let the hikes begin!