Mount Esther and Whiteface
The Final Trip!
This was going to be my last two mountains, my last journey into the Adirondacks for the season, and when I was going to complete my goal of climbing all 46 peaks. With me on this day hike was:
Unnecessary Chatter (one more son)
BabyBack could not join us for this hike, but I was glad to have three of my offspring with me. I was especially glad to have Unnecessary with me as this was going to be his second and third high peaks ever and his first hike into the Adirondacks this summer.
The trail was up what I think was an old Bobsled track with some interesting huts along the way. I was wondering if they were for people to hold up and wait out a storm, or if they were meant to be mansions (or a condo unit) for mice or other small rodents.
We were going towards Whiteface Mountain, which would be my last peak in this journey, but on the way needed to take a small detour and climb Mount Esther (named after a 15 year-old Esther McComb who did the first recorded climb up the north face of the mountain). On our way up Esther we had some travels through a bog and some great views of the mountain where we would ultimately end.
Esther had a more lavish plaque then most.
And one more prayer by Augustine:
O God, light of the minds that see you, life of the souls that love you, and strength of the souls that seek you, enlarge our minds and raise the vision of our hearts, that, with swift wings of thought, our spirits may reach you, the eternal wisdom, you who live from everlasting to everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From Esther we returned to the trail leading us up the summit of Whiteface. This was the only of the High Peaks that had some ski lifts as well as a road going up the mountain which offered its own challenges.
It also had its own visitors center, vending machines, and many people at the top who were wearing sandals, not out of breath, and not stinking to high heaven as I was.
Finally, at 12:30pm, on Tuesday, August 29th I reached the very summit of Whiteface, thus climbing my 46th high peak and ending my journey.
The prayer for this mountain was different from all the others. I did not read anyone else’s prayers, I did not follow the wisdom of one particular saint, but rested on the 45+ prayers that I had read and prayed the past three months. I sat and listened to God. I asked God for guidance as I returned to the congregation. I asked for wisdom to take the gift of this sabbatical and to share it with as many people as possible in as many ways as possible. And then I continued to listen.
After a good lunch and time of relaxing, we started the hike home.
This summer had indeed been a gift. The opportunity to hike, the little notes from members of my church family, the support of my family and friends, and the presence of God all made this journey amazing. It is something that I will not take for granted. The blessings of this journey will continue to unfold as I reflect and meditate on the experiences I had.
Thank you for joining me on this wonderful experience!