Garfield would have stayed home and slept

September 7, 2008 at 9:07 pm Leave a comment

I’m still not sure whether Just Mike has a taste for summit cheeseburgers yet, but I think he’s got the taste for hiking back. He suggested a relatively easy, but still significant hike up Mt. Garfield, a peak in the northern section of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, just along a ridge from Mt. Lafayette, but also with it’s own trail up the mountain from the road. The trail ascends 3000′ to the summit at 4500′, but takes a nice steady ascent over 5 miles through forest that lacks any vantage points until you reach the summit, which promises stunning views over the Pemigewasset Wilderness, with the Franconia Ridge to the west and the Presidential Range to the east.

With the remnants of tropical storm Hanna promising to be cleared out by mid-day on Sunday, I rounded up a couple more hikers to join Mike and his father-in-law, the theory being that we could split into groups with similar paces and meet at the summit for our cheeseburgers. But then on Saturday night, Mike informed me that his father-in-law was a fair weather hiker and wasn’t sure the storm would be gone, so they were both out. And then there were just three of us: Krusty Bunz, Paris Stilton, and Alice.

On the drive north from Boston, the sky messed with us a bid… blue sky, then dark cloud, then bits of both, and then it would change again. As we got into the White Mountains National Forest, the weather appeared to be matching the last forecast I had seen, which called for overcast and a 30% chance of rain in the morning, then partly cloudy and no rain by noon.

While en-route, I procured our cheeseburgers from Peg’s, a breakfast and lunch diner in North Woodstock NH … a very good choice for future summit cheeseburgers in this part of the White Mountains.

We found the trailhead and started towards the summit at 10:20am under a gray but dry sky. As we ascended into the cloud, we felt the occasional rain drop and a big increase in humidity… in other words, we were getting a bit wet, but just a bit, and probably mostly sweat. The trail itself stays in the woods until you’re practically at the summit, and that turned out to be a good thing this time because once we were exposed to the elements near the summit, we had a cold and wet wind to deal with, all the while still in the cloud and completely missing the great views from this summit … kinda par for the course for this summer it seems.

Paris Stilton and I got our cheeseburgers and raincoats out of our packs at the tree line, then made a dash for the summit to make the hike official. Alice went for a pee break. On the summit, a concrete foundation remains from an old fire tower that once stood there and it made excellent shelter from the wind to enjoy our cheeseburgers. Paris Stilton and I ate quickly and waited for Alice… but she didn’t show up. We peeked over the edge of the foundation and hollered … she waved at us from the treeline … we told her to come eat her cheeseburger, and she shouted back that she had already eaten it… not 50′ from the summit! What was she thinking?!?! Oh well, I guess Alice was just along for the hike… at least we don’t have to think up a name for her yet.

We hoofed it back down the same trail and completed the 10 mile hike in 4.5 hours.

As we drove home, the weather was beautiful… it appears that northern ridge we hiked up to was holding back the bad weather from the rest of the state, since everything south of there had exposed summits and blue sky… turns out it was a great day for a hike, we just chose the wrong trail!

1 summit, 2 cheeseburgers: Krusty Bunz and Paris Stilton

(note: never annoy the driver on the way home when he has bad photos of you and is writing the trip report!)


Entry filed under: New Hampshire Summits.

Named Summits per State Garlic-infused Cathedral Peak

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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
September 2008
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