Backpacking Green Mountain
Friday, August 20 -
Troop 54ís August backpacking trip took us further than usual from Worcester, about 2.5 hours drive to the trail head. Making the trip were five Scouts and three leaders. Our trail plan seemed simple enough.
Here's a map showing our route in the Green Mountains. The red line is the planned route based on the trails shown on the map. The cyan line is the actual route we followed. On Friday we followed Old Stage Trail into Camp Congdon, a shelter & campsite mainted by the Green Mountain Club for those hiking the Appalachian & Long Trail. This is the southernmost camp on the AT in Vermont. We met several hikers walking the 2500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Most were heading north trying to get to Maine before October when they close the last section for the winter. A few were heading south to Georgia.
On Friday, we covered 4.26 miles. We were on the move for 2 hr. 17 min. and stopped for 1 hr. 12 min. While we were moving, we kept a pace of 1.9 mph. We climbed a total of 618 feet.
On Saturday, we struck out for Stamford Pond. The trails we planned to follow have been reclaimed by nature since the maps were published. Using map & compass and some GPS, we followed ATV trails and bushwhacked through the countryside. We covered 5.26 miles, moving for 4 hr. 20 min., stopping for 3 hr. 7 min. Our pace was much slower due to the overgrowth and terrain. While moving, our pace averaged 1.3 mph. We climbed a total of 1269 feet.
On Sunday, we broke camp early to avoid the impending rain. The hike out was on ATV trails making things easier than Saturday. We hiked 3.32 miles back to the cars. We were moving for 1 hr. 50 min. and stopped for 43 min. We moved along at 1.8 mph, climbing only 321 feet.
Along the way, we saw lots of interesting and large mushrooms (see the pictures). Even better, we had to fight our way through thickets of thorny blackberry bushes which seemed to be at the peak of their season. It was a bit painful (more for those wearing shorts), but quite tasty. We finally figured out the trick to making pancakes on backpacking stoves. The Scouts' blueberry pancakes were picture-perfect coming off the Teflon coated mess kits but more like "scrambled pancakes" from the uncoated mess kits. Thus, it it is not all about even heat distribution.
Article by: Keith MacNeal (trail information), Joshua Froimson
Page updated 9/6/10.