Archive for June, 2008

Plan B: Mt. Pemigewasset, NH – 6/29/08

The motivation for this weekend’s trip started with a Trek and Gary Fisher mountain bike demo in northern Vermont… a chance to take a $6000 mountain bike out for a spin, just in case you happen to have a few extra dollars lying around. In this case, Aaron is trying to decide if he should upgrade the parts on his old hard tail bike or go for full suspension. I was just along for the ride… and the riding. The demo was on Saturday… KB: “Aaron, what are you doing on Sunday? Wanna stay up north and go out for a cheeseburger on Sunday?” Aaron: “Um, sure? I guess so.” A new recruit for the mission. Cool.

The weather forecast this weekend for northern VT and NH called for a 30% chance of rain on Saturday and 60% on Sunday. The bike demo was on Saturday… well, we’ll see what happens on Sunday. I don’t mind hiking in the rain.

Saturday’s forecast actually turned out to be right on the money… we got a few hours of biking in under a cloudy but dry sky, then a light rain started falling towards the end of the afternoon that was mostly blocked by the forest canopy. The Kingdom Trails in Vermont are excellent if anyone happens to fancy mountain biking in New England. If Sunday’s weather is only twice as bad as this, we’ll have a good hike!

We drove back south and set camp North Woodstock NH, a short drive from the Franconia Notch State Park. We cleaned up and hit the local brewpub, the Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery, for dinner, a couple of pints, and two bison cheeseburgers to go.

The Plan for Sunday: Flume Slide Trail to Mt. Flume (4328′), Franconia Ridge Trail to Mt. Liberty (4459′), Liberty Spring Trail back to trail head.

The Reality of Sunday: Shortly after 7am, a torrential downpour started. We packed up the tent in the rain and drove into town for breakfast. KB: “I don’t mind hiking in this.” Aaron: [blink blink]. Then we saw the lightening. KB: “Maybe it’s time to start thinking of Plan B. There are some smaller summits around here. Lightening always goes for the highest point, right?” (I know full well that’s a lie, I was just hoping Aaron didn’t know that.) Out came the trail map and guide book. KB: “Look, this summit is almost 2000 feet lower, and the trail is only 1.8 miles. Why don’t we drive to the trailhead and asses the situation from there?”

By the time we reached the parking for the trail, the rain was now a light drizzle. We donned our boots and rain gear, filled our water bottles, drained our bladders, and started to secure the Jeep. Aaron put on a poncho and right on cue, the rain stopped. KB: “You’re not allowed to take that poncho off, clearly that’s the reason the rain stopped.” Aaron: “I’m still not going up on that ridge, let’s do the little hill.” KB: “Okay.” Plan B was on.

The White Mountain Guide’s description of the Pemigewasset Trail concludes with this sentence: “At the true summit, which is just beyond the first ledges and a bit to the left, there is a fine northeast view.” We saw clouds. I described to Aaron the view of Mt. Flume and Mt. Liberty that we would have been looking at across the Franconia Notch, we ate our bison cheeseburgers on Mt. Pemigewasset (2557′), took some photos, and descended on the Indian Head Trail.

Once back at the trail head, the weather had cleared more and we could see the summit of Pemigewasset, but we never could see the summits of Flume or Liberty for the cloud cover, so Plan B was probably a good call.

One new summit, two cheeseburgers, and a new hiker, Aaron, who shall now be known as Red Bull, for his red hair (everywhere except on his head) and his ability to make up stories in three different languages.

Aaron\'s first Summit Cheeseburger

A fine weekend!!


June 30, 2008 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Bog Mountain, NH

While there are numerous Bog Ponds and Bog Brooks in New Hampshire, this is the only Bog Mountain.  Standing tall at a whopping 1800 ft,  it is located among bogs in Wilmot, with the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Trail passing near the summit, one of the few peaks crossed by this trail except the named ones. The route from the W is shorter and perhaps more interesting than the route from the SE.

Distance: Stearns Road to summit, about 1.0 miles one-way

Elevation gain: Stearns Road to summit, about 600 feet.

It was a misty morning as Groovy Mom, Groovy Girl, Old Dog and Groovy Dad headed out.

To prepare for this hike the cheeseburger needed to be acquired from a little market just outside our little community, Rum Brook Market.  Two cheese burgers and two Bacon cheeseburgers, all residing in little foil wrappers, were purchased.  Before getting to the trail head ,there was a quick stop at Mt Trashmore, the local garbage transfer station.  Here in NH, no trash pick up so we routinely load up the Element and do the trek to Mt Trashmore.

The trail head sign is slightly hidden into the deep and dark woods.  The obscured sign allowed a first attempt that took us through a cow pasture where groovy dog became acquainted with the electric fence and had quite a shocking experience.  We then turned around and found the true trail head about 50 ft behind the car.   After a mere 1 mile of hiking down a nice dirt trail with some old leaves and some nice rocks to climb we reached the summit where our view was obscured by low clouds that wrapped the summit in an eerie light.  The nice breeze kept away all the bugs while we enjoyed the our burgers.  On clear day, we could have seen Mt Kearsarge and Sunapee.  After our burgers and a few Sea Salted kettle made potato chips we headed back down.

June 29, 2008 at 6:19 am Leave a comment

Pirates of the Caribbean: Trail of 100 Lizards

Q. What has three eyes and three legs?
A. Three pirates! Arrrrrgh.

The sea was angry that morning – like an old man returning soup at a deli. We left St. Thomas, taking the ferry over to St. John. While the rest of the families took a taxi to Caneel Bay, Bar Bar Jinks, GroovyDad, and sirloinofbeef elected to hike from Cruz Bay to Caneel Bay. As it happened our route went over Caneel and Margaret Hills, so it was good that we had prepared a sackful of summit Cheeseburgers for the hike.

Cruz Bay View

The hike started out in a jumble of rum huts and sirloinofbeef and GroovyDad discussed whether 10 am was too early for a MaiTai, Cuba Libre or Planter’s Punch. It was, and we elected to wait until the hike was over. The hike was through solid jungle the whole way and it felt like it. We were sweating in the tropical heat. Bar Bar Jinks remained occupied by counting lizards on the trail – he saw over a hundred. After a slog up Caneel Hill we reached a nice little deck that provided views of St. Thomas, Tortola, and dozens of smaller islands in the Virgin Islands chain. Of course (did you need to ask?) we each enjoyed a Cheeseburger at the summit.

The Boys

We descended from Caneel Hill to a saddle between Caneel and Margaret Hills. By now it was getting close to noon and the heat – well, it was hotter. A steep ascent up Margaret Hill brought us to a tiny clearing in the trees with no view of the surrounding seas. Another set of Cheeseburgers were quickly dispatched and the hikers continued down to Caneel Bay.

Margaret Hill

Most of St. John island is a National Park and Caneel Bay Resort lies within the park. Its beautiful beach was virtually deserted this day, as June is in the off-season. After wandering around the grounds, past some feral donkeys, we found the rest of our party. GroovyDad found a source of Plantation Punch (and a pineapple juice) – lifting our spirits and replenishing our depleted reserves.

Caneel and Margaret Hills, St. John, USVI – Bar Bar Jinks, GroovyDad, sirloinofbeef

June 20, 2008 at 5:09 am 1 comment

We did it for the SHAVE ICE! Diamond Head HI June 5, 2008

When we pulled up to the base of the summit there was a van selling Hawaiian shave ice to all of the sweaty tourists as they came back from the peak. The driver of the van told us he would be around for one more hour. Since Diamond Head is paved and looked to be a pretty simple hike, we thought it would be no problem. We politely pushed our way in front of all the other hikers, made it through the switchbacks until we reached the summit. We enjoyed our cheeseburger, took a few snapshots and then started booking it down to the shave ice van….only to see him driving away for the evening. When all was said and done, we were sweaty and dehydrated with heat rashes, but the cheeseburger was good and our tummies were full.

Severus Snape (Tisha)    1

Harry Potter (Jason)       1

June 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

Gile Mountain, Norwich, VT

Gile Mtn Norwich Vermont: 

Cheeseburgers Made Friday evening: Check

Loaded up Sunday Morning: Check

95F and 100% HUMIDITY: Check

Hey!!  Where are the black flies?  None to be foundJ.

Gile Mtn hike takes you through forest and meadows and up to an abandoned 7 story Fire tower.  The tower gets you well above the tree tops and is wonderful view and into some nice cool breezes to enjoy your cheeseburgers.    It is also the best place to change a well loaded Pamper from Groovy Boy.  1873 feet of wonderful bliss.  Upon descending the tower we located the Valley Quest cache and stamped our book.  The 0.75 mile return hike left us thoroughly soaked with sweat and ready for a swim.  Groovy Mom, Groovy Dad (formerly known as Big Mike), Groovy Girl and Old Dog bagged the first peak in Vt for the cheeseburger summiteers.  Original Groovy (Nicole) has now bagged three peaks, but alas she is doll and has not eaten a cheeseburger yetL

Tasty Burgers

June 16, 2008 at 4:21 am Leave a comment

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada – 6/07/08

If the name of the place has “Hill” right in the name… it must be on a hill, right? And if you get to the top of the hill, then you must be at the summit! I couldn’t find a topo map detailed enough to show me the elevation of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, but based on Google Earth, it appears to be 282 feet at the summit.

I guess I spent too much time researching and talking about having a summit cheeseburger on Parliament Hill, because by the time I got around to going at lunchtime on Saturday, they had called out the military to protect Parliament Hill from my planned assault!

But despite the presence of Canada’s 125 year old armoured regiment (yes, that’s the Canadian spelling of “armored”), I was able to sneak around the defenses and reach the summit of Parliament Hill with my cheese burger from the Cock and Lion Pub.

Let’s see… Beacon Hill, Parliament Hill… I see the start of a new sub-category for summits! I’ll bet the security is a lot tighter on Capital Hill than it was on Parliament Hill though.

Krusty Bunz – 22

June 13, 2008 at 2:27 pm 1 comment

Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland – 5/31/08

This is my Dad carrying a bag of “cheeseburgers” to the top of Arthur’s Seat (251m) in Edinburgh:

This is my sausage roll with cheese (aka cheeseburger) as we look over Edinburgh from the summit on another uncharacteristically beautiful day in Scotland:

The trip to Scotland with Dad was full of great weather, a family gathering, family history lessons, Scottish history lessons, many beers and three new cheeseburger summits… a resounding success!

I’ll be back again some year to eat a cheeseburger on Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest summit.

Krusty Bunz: 21

KB’s Dad: 2

June 13, 2008 at 2:27 pm 1 comment

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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
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