Adventure on Hunger Mountain

17.Jun.2012 by Susan Dunklee

While visiting my family for Father’s Day, I ran across an old scrapbook in my childhood bedroom.  One gem that I unearthed was a NENSA Newsletter featuring a story that the Sargent sisters and I had written together many years ago.  It brought me back to one of the most memorable misadventures from our Bill Koch League Days…

Adventure on Hunger Mountain
From New England Nordic News, late winter 1997-8

By Susan Dunklee (6th grade), Elsa Sargent (6th grade) and Ida Sargent (4th grade), members of the Glover-Barton Bill Koch League

A group of Bill Koch cross country skiers decided to take a hike up Hunger Mountain in Worcester, VT.  The group included Hazen, Luke and Danny Brodhead and their parents John and Gina, Susan and Eric Dunklee and their father, Stan, Ida and Elsa Sargent and their mother, Lindy, Ashley Maxwell and Sabina Schultz.  The kids charged up the mountain ahead of their parents to the top of the rocky mountain.  The Dunklee’s dog, Cinnamon, went ahead with the kids.  We didn’t stop to take in the views that our parents thought were wonderful.

At the top, we had a picnic lunch.  There were some little patches of snow so we had a snowball fight.  It was lots of fun.  Then we picked up our supplies and headed down.  Hazen, Luke, Eric, Susan, Elsa and Ida began running.  The boys ran ahead and waited for the girls- we passed them and kept on running.  It wasn’t long before someone mentioned that we weren’t on the trail.  Even the dog didn’t seem to notice when we lost it.

The first mistake we made was running down the mountain.  The second was instead of tracing our footsteps back to the trail, we just kept on going.  All we had for supplies were a few swallows of water, a jacket for everybody, and a first aid kit that included a pack of matches.  We found a stream and started following it.  We followed it for awhile and then we decided to split up into two separate groups and stay within seeing distance to search both sides of the stream.

There were lots of arguments along the way.  Half of the group wanted to go one way.  The other half wanted to go the other way.  Then one group would give in.  We had bushwhacked for over one hour and fifteen minutes.  We tried looking up at the mountain to judge where we were, we tried to find landmarks, we debated about following an old logging road.

One person was losing hope.  They were praying.  Everybody was on edge and nobody knew where we were.  We looked for tire tracks but all we found were bicycle tracks.  We went over a bridge that didn’t look familiar.  But FINALLY we came to where the trail began.  We looked in the checkout box to see if our parents had checked out but they hadn’t.  When we were walking back to the car, we found our parents.  They were overjoyed to see us!  We asked about the checkout box, and they said they had totally forgotten.  We shared our stories all the way home.

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Susan, Elsa and Ida during their Bill Koch League years