Overnight on Camel’s Hump

The following post was co-written by all the campers as they drove home from the trip, exhausted–but in a good way:

The fearless outdoors club left campus around noon on Saturday, despite forecasts of cold and rain. After picking up Izzy from her ACTs, we set off to Camel’s Hump Mountain. Some listened to ghost stories in Mrs. Dedam’s car on the ride up, noticing all the other little ghosty moments, like caution tape and french road signs, and entertaining the possibility that Camel’s Hump was haunted. In reality, the only thing to fear was the possibility of a bear… The other car listed to Emma (who admits she likes to talk). We arrived at the trailhead right on time, signed in, and headed up the trail, taking note of the warning sign: “local bears are eating campers’ food.”

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The first part of the hike, carrying all of our stuff up to the campsite, was difficult, but once we got there, we set up tents and left our heavy gear behind.  Much relieved, we began the ascent. Climbing the mountain was exciting as we scurried up the rocky trail in order to make it to the top before sunset. Once we arrived, breathless and content, on the windy peak, we saw the lights from Burlington glowing at us in the oncoming darkness. The wind was so fierce at the top it felt like we were going to blow away, but it was worth it for the beautiful view.

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The sun set as we started down the mountain and out came the headlamps and flashlights. The glow of the lights from our friends shined through the trees and glinted off a few patches of ice. Some trees even had snow on them. After about an hour of going down the treacherous slope, the trail finally evened out and we found the turnoff to the campsite. The last part of the hike back to the camp was much easier.

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At the campsite, we layed down our packs and started to light the fire. After ten mintues work, we were ready to eat: back to the bear box and out with the sausages. We ate hot dogs and two types of veggie sausages for our “first course”; Mrs. Dedam and Mr. Schmidt decided that Izzy’s veggie ones were better than the tofurkey ones. We wrapped up potatoes in tin foil and put them in the fire to bake. Next, we made tons of smores: “pass the ‘mallows,” “where are the graham crackers?” “Who wants cheese?” Finally we pulled our baked potatoes out of the coals and stuffed them with Vermont sharp and extra sharp cheddar.

All in all there were five tents, but the guys (excluding Mr. Schmidt) were all in the same tent, which leaked as it rained and hailed all night long. We were saved from the bears by Austin’s snoring. It could probably be heard on the other side of the mountain. Although  Izzy and Jenny swear the bear was sniffing around their tent at 4:00 in the morning (just after their rain fly blew off).

After very little sleep (except for Ms. Dedam, who enjoyed a night away from her toddlers), we rose with the sun and packed up, grabbing bagels and cream cheese for the last mile down. The ride back was rather subdued: even Emma slept quietly in the back seat. After stopping for coffee and dropping off the Straford kids, we returned to TA at 11 AM, ready for a good night of make-up sleep.

Less than 24 hours, but full of great memories!