Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tresure Chest Thursday - Camp Pemi

Over two weekends last September, Donald and I went through my step-mother's basement, finding many hidden treasures from my Dad's family in the way of Bibles, books, furniture, documents, photos, negatives, china and silver. After months of airing-out I am trying to devote at least an hour every week to scanning and photographing these items and sharing them with you on Treasure Chest Thursday.

My father grew up in Chicago but was lucky enough to spend summers visiting relatives in New England, including Cape Cod, traveling with his parents to places like Colorado and Mackinac Island, Michigan and attending Camp Pemigewassett in New Hampshire's White Mountains as both a camper and counselor. I still have some work to do to establish which summers he attended, but I know from this scrapbook that he was there at least the summers of 1947 - 1950.

We've seen a lot of his personality in the previous scrapbook/albums that I have been sharing and this one is no exception, in fact this one shows it off the most.

Camp Pemigewasssett 1947-1948-1949-1950

The Franconia Range and
surrounding territory
The dotted blue line shows the route of the trip.

The Franconia Trip

Sunday, August 13, 1950 began no differently than
any other Sudnay at Camp Pemigewassett. I, along with my
cabin mates, got up, washed, and went up to the mess hall
early (I was a waiter) to set up my table. The breakfast also
was like any other camp Sunday breakfast: ice cold orange
juice, half raw cerial, toast, soggy pancakes and tepid milk.
Then it happened! During the announcement period, Al [Fal?e],
in his blue shirt, got up and said, "All seniors be ready at
9:30 A.M. to go up the Franconias!" "Hot dog," thought I
"This is the trip we all have been waiting for."
Thus, according to instructions, we got on the blue truck
at 9:30 and arrived at Lafayette Place Campground at noon.
After lunch, we started the assent of Mt. Lafayett, 5239', via the
Old Bridle Path Trail.

we noticed was a member of the hut crew called "Foof"
who was taking a string of six mules down to the town of
Franconia, N.H. for supplies.
When he was gone, we entered the hut. It was a
good sized hut containing two bunkrooms, a kitcen and a
dining room from whose windows once could see a wonderful view
of the Franconia Range.
After taking a swim in a mud pond near the hut we ate
dinner. After dinner, Al Batchelder suggested that we climb
the remaining thousand feet to the summit of Mt. Lafayette
to see the sunrise. And that we did. After we descended
to the hut, we all went to bed.

The plaque on the front of the hut.
The back door of the hut
The sign says "Mountain Hospitality"

The front of the hut showing
the picture window and the entrance
to the boys bunkroom
Mt. Lafayette, 5249', taken through the front
window of the hut.

The kitchen of the hut showing one
of the hut crew making dinner and one of
the campers looking on.
The dining room of the hut. This table
is located in front of the picture window.

Four boys watch the sunset from the top of
Mt. Lafayette. The mountains in the distance
are in Vermont.
The following morning, we awoke to find the day
was perfectly clear. Right after breakfast, we began the 
ascent of Mt. Lafayette (some of us for the second time).
When we reached the top, before us unfolded a beautiful
panorama of mountains, lakes and towns.
The town of Lafayette as seen from the top of Mt. Lafayette.

Greenleaf Hut (arrow) as seen from the top
of Mt. Lafayette. The cliff in the back-
ground is on Cannon Mountain and some of its
rocks help to form the Old Man of the Mt.
Lafayette Place Campground as seen from
Mount Lincoln.

Part of the Franconia Range. The
peak in the left-center is Mt. Liberty.
After walking over the Franconia Ridge Trail for about
1 1/2 miles we came to the junction with the Liberty
spring trail. Here we began our descent of the mountain.
After going down for 3/4 of a mile we came to Liberty
Spring and the Liberty Spring Shelfter. After pausing
there for a drink and a look around we resumed
our descent. Near the end of our journey we came to
the Flume Gorge. The Flume is a stream which has
carved itself a canyon, at some places one-hundred feet
deep, through solid rock. After passing through the Flume,
we were me by our camp truck and we were hurried
back to camp, thus completing a wonderful and unforgettable trip.

These two signs that appeared at the
junction of Franconia Ridge Trail and
Liberty Spring Trail.

Looking down the Liberty Spring Trail
Pausing for a drink out of Liberty Spring

The entrance of Liberty Spring Shelter
The inside of Liberty Spring Shelter

I'm so happy to have found these scrapbook/albums and the narration on this one is just priceless. When I was little, my parents were perennial members of the Appalachian Mountain Club although we never visited the Appalachians. I am very grateful for this look into the beginnings of his love of nature, hiking and climbing.


Marian B. Wood said...

This is a treasure and offers much insight into your family's love of the outdoors. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

I am just amazed at the detail of his diary! I love that he even drew a map and took pictures. Did he keep this type of diary through his life?

Anna Matthews said...

No. I haven't found anything else like this. But he definitely enjoyed making this journal of this trip.

Wendy said...

One of my favorite parts is that he used the word "Thus." When I taught composition, I emphasized the importance of transitions as a way of taking the reader by the hand and leading him from one idea to another. "Thus" seems rather old-fashioned today but I have always loved using it. It appears your dad received some fine training from his English teachers.