f Gonzo Adventure Club 2008

PEI GONZOS IN THE WHITES 2008       Picasa Photo Album

Hurricane Hannah Ah yes, the joys of camping…….picture this. Torrential rains pelting down at Jigger Johnson Campground, near Bear Notch Road off the Kangamagus Highway. After a great 10 hour drive from PEI and Nova Scotia, here we were! Throw up the weighted nylon rope, heave over the giant tarp, drive the car under to stay a tad dry and set up camp. Had to put in my earplugs to block out the sound of pounding rains and whooshing water cascading off the tarp. Here we are the "morning after", still smiling! (By the way, this is a great campground…..very few trucks and cars to disturb the peace! We will return!)


6 kms. round trip off the Kank Highway, with a 2000 foot rise in elevation giving great views east to Mt Chocorua and north to Mt Washington. Amazing ledges of bedrock at the top at on the eastern edge, as you can see. Beautiful sunny, clear weather, as you can see. Little did we realize that 20 miles off to the north our Gonzo buddies were slogging up in quite the rainstorm….check out the picture below right.


(Pssst…..drove up but had some great clambering around the ledges with fabulous views east to Conway) Check out above right. Rain……awwwwhh! Had to check e-mails and shop in North Conway….look who we saw! Had a great drive over the Kank Pass…..low clouds, driving rain, lots of fog…..fun. Then over to Pinestead Farm and look who we saw there!!!! Thanks to Ross for great chilli….more on that later!

DAY 4 - JACKSON-WEBSTER HIKE up to Webster Cliff from Saco Lake.

Lovely day but had some "equipment failures" so only went up half-way after checking out Elephant Head and the great views. Great picnic, took lots of pictures of rocks for Robert's geology presentation with the AMC volunteering session coming up. Sorry we weren't able to meet up with the Galloping Gonzos who were coming in our direction but had a tasty dinner with them that night. Ah, James Google, Chicken Marengo was terrific!!!

DAY 5 - Cog Railway and Mt Washington views

Wanted to see this engineering miracle and ended up being part of a Japanese video on railways of the world…..and saw a rescue effort for 35 tourists who were trapped for 6 hours half-way up Mt Washington after the crankshaft broke on an engine. Really….no joke……

DAY 6 - HERMIT'S LAKE Shelter overnight sleep

I've always wanted to do this!! Slogged up Tucks with our cooking gear and beds on our back and Ross's chilli in 3 zip-lock bags. Absolute heaven as we cooked up this fabulous chilli (did I say "Thank you, Ross??!) and savoured every last morsel (before our hot chocolate sundaes!) Anyways, we were invited over for tea at the nearby shelter, watched the full moon rise and the stars pop out. Wonderful sleep and then up for coffee and cheerios with skim milk powder (is food a theme here?). Took a pass on Lion's Head and Alpine Garden as the sky was descending quickly over the Headwall and got back to PNVC just as the rain started.

Days 7 & 8 - PINKHAM NOTCH Visitor Centre

Volunteering for the AMC- check out www.outdoors.org for opportunities or contact Sue! Basically, you must attend 2 weekend training sessions (all expenses paid) and then do minimum 4 days a year (8 hours a day) of Information Volunteering (trails, weather, Leave No Trace, Hike Safe principles, etc.) and you have all meals and sleeping accommodations provided. Robert is a Volunteer Naturalist and provided more science-based programmes. Volunteer couples are very welcome! Over 350 visitors in 48 hours as the rush was on. How many people start at 8:00 PM in the dark for the top of Mt. Madison and Washington? Many as they were heading up for the last weekend at Madison Hut and Lakes Huts. Had to keep telling them about the over-friendly bear who thinks it has picnic rights on the A.T. Lots of thru-hikers pressing on quickly and I kept asking if they knew Fleur and Buck-08!

Robert's Geology audio-visual presentations a big hit……kept him chatting until 10 PM!!!

Met an amazing group of 20 Quebecers who were training at Mt Washington and Katadhin (next month) for their Everest Base Camp trip next May. Wow!!! What energy and joie de vivre!!!! As well, spent hours with a great group who were hiking and planning their Scotland trip next May…..all of them to celebrate their 60th birthdays. We could certainly identify with them and we'll be in touch trading travel information. Who knows……. This time last year, we were set for our flights to England and Scotland and now have the itch to go over the Pond again.

DAY 8 & 9- HIGHLAND CENTRE and Crawford Notch

Met up with Montreal friends Keith and Brian for the afternoon (hiking washed out) before we started at Highland Centre and our volunteering. Quite a different experience and we still have to digest this high-end resort-type place. A real plus is the free LLBean gear to be lent out to any guest who is registered, a great deal for beginners or young families. I quite enjoyed helping people choose their gear, fit it properly, give them some tips on hiking do's and don'ts, looking at hikes that were suitable for their level of experience. Check it all out at www.outdoors.org under the Highland Centre. This Centre is quite Eco-Green (all heating and hot water comes from their external wood furnace) and has a fascinating Green Tour, very similar to Mizpah Hut's efforts. I was at Mizpah last year volunteering for 2 days and got quite the kick out of their tours! Robert's Geology presentations were a great success……way to go, Rock-Hound! On to Montreal and Ontari-ari-ario! So good to see family and friends for the next few weeks! And by the way, we returned on the winds of Hurricane Kyle!!!

Sue & Robert