Friday, May 30, 2003

One Old Man Gone - A New Old Man Added
It looks like Mt. Clay in the Presidentials is set to be renamed Mt. Reagan after our 40th president. While Mts. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison are easily identifiable, the former Mt. Clay is just an insignificant bump on the overall ridgeline massif that extends from Washington northward towards Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. No doubt it is an honor that our Presidential Range has indeed become more presidential, but one wonders if there will be a move to rename Mt. Pierce (who was born in NH and was arguably this nation's worst president) "Mt. Clinton" (after former President Clinton) even though Mt. Pierce used to be called Mt. Clinton in the first placed (apparently named after NY Governor DeWitt Clinton who helped get built the Erie Canal). To dive right into additional arcana regarding Presidential summits, Mt. Eisenhower used to be called Pleasant Dome and indeed the mountain is a pleasant round dome of a summit to hike to and enjoy. Mt. Adams is surrounded by lesser summits named after his family kin: brother Samuel Adams, and son John Quincy Adams who was our 6th US president. Oddly enough, Mt. Jackson is to be found at the southern fringe of the Presidential range but is not named after President Andrew Jackson. Instead it is named after NH state geologist Charles T. Jackson. Mt. Lincoln (perhaps this nation's greatest president) is found over in the western outposts of the White Mountains. Mt. Lincoln is sandwiched in between two other significant peaks along the Franconia ridgeline. To the south is Little Haystack which perhaps speaks to Honest Abe's humble frontier beginnings. However, to the north of Mt. Lincoln is the largest peak on the ridgeline, Mt. Lafayette - named after the honorable French nobleman (when they had manners and also supported Americans in times of war). Continuing on the ridgeline northeast, Mt. Garfield is reached. A decent summit with outstanding views. Perhaps the bucolic surroundings are meant to pacify the spirit of Garfield - a president killed by an assassin not even a year in office.


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