Mt. Garfield

My Dad and I are back safe and sound from our hike up Mt. Garfield in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. 😀  Now for the promised recap…(it’s super long by the way!!! Eeeks!)

SUNDAY (Day 1)

We had plans to hit the road early, so I decided to rise ‘n’ shine a bit earlier then needed so that I’d have time to put a nice hearty breakfast together.  I made us both the breakfast of champions in the form of this gigantic bowl (this is based on one persons’ portion, FYI 🙂 )…

  • 3/4 c. oats
  • 1 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • 1 large banana

Then it was time for the add-ins…I just left them all out so we could make what we wanted.  I topped mine with a handful of walnuts, a scoop of almond buttah, a sprinkling of FEEDS’ bitter-sweetness granola, and a big handful of blueberries. 🙂


Dad proclaimed it was “super filling but good.”  I agreed as I scraped down the sides of the bowl…so sure that this would keep me full for the entire morning.

But then on the drive down, sure enough, my stomach started grumbling.  Time to pull out that pair of pears I had stashed in the backseat in case such a situation arose… 🙂


I also read this on the way down (well..actually while we were still pulling out of the New Hampshire’s rest area to avoid getting car sick. 😉  Anywho, it was an interesting little pamphlet.  Lesson learned: don’t run from a black bear.  I kind of already knew that, but I can’t help but wonder what  I would actually do if a black bear started charging me?  But like they always say, a bear is more scared of you then you are of him. 😉


I was super happy to see that despite there being a cloudy overcast, there were still patches of sun all along the way…the weather was looking promising for a good day of hiking!


We finally arrived to the Mt. Garfield parking spot.  My adrenaline started going as I prepared for the hike.  I get excited for day hikes, but overnight hikes are even more exciting.  There’s the wondering what the weather is going to do, how my legs are going to feel going up the mountain, if my energy will hold throughout the hike, if we packed enough food for me and dad, etc…

Sure enough, in the midst of all this thinking and adrenaline rushing-ness, my stomach started rumbling again…I wonder if thinking of hiking burns calories?  Because that seems to happen with me…haha. 😉

Dad and I dipped in to the gorp bag.  This is my favorite gorp mix so far.  It’s plain and simple: cheerios, almonds, peanut M&M’s.  But it always gives me that perfect hit of energy when I need it…carbs, protein, fat, taste…can’t ask for much more in a good gorp mix. 😀

Multiply this handful x6 (at least!)…this was fuel for the way up Mt. Garfield. 🙂


Then we were off from the parking lot…


The hike up the mountain was much less steep then when I had done Lafayette with dad a few years back.  But there was a lot of swish-backing (did I get that right?…there’s a term for it, but I’m probably calling it all wrong! haha) which meant the hike seemed a bit longer but was less steep going up.  I was very happy about that. 😀  We kept a nice steady pace throughout the hike, and we were both feeling great…

Instead of shooting right up to the top, we hiked downwards from the trail junction to drop our packs off at the campsite, set up the tent, and hung up the “critter bag.”  There weren’t any bears to worry about at this elevation, but squirrels and chipmunks and birds (oh my!) are always on the prowl for a snack or two.  😉


Then Dad looked at me and said, “You know, if we’re feeling lazy, we could just shoot up to Mt. Garfield tomorrow and relax today.” arguing…I sat myself right down, and pulled lunch out.  I was ravenous and found myself feeling pretty darn tuckered out by now.  Food, I needed food…

Speaking of food, I realized something while hiking and stuffing my face with gorp.  I wasn’t really eating out of enjoyment at those points, or even savoring every morsel.  I was eating completely for the energy that my body needed at the time.  There were times when I had to mentally force myself to stop and take a drink of water and eat some food because my body was depending on it, and that’s what kept my energy up throughout the hike.  It made me think about how people used to eat back in the day, when food was primarily for survival and keeping your body going.  It takes on a whole new level of really appreciating the fact that I had food to eat, and how food really effects our energy levels.  Don’t be afraid to fuel up when your body needs it! 🙂

With that in mind, on to lunch…

We both cracked open the bag of mini whole wheat bagels…my first bagel I ate as a sandwich with a glob of peanut butter between them.  Nom, nom, nom…


The second bagel was eaten with a TJ’s cheese stick…


And then I felt still hungry so asked Dad to give me another glob of pb on the second half of bagel…he knows how to pile on that peanut buttah…Mmmm…we both agreed it makes the perfect energy food for hiking. 🙂


Plus 3 fig newtons for dessert.  I like these wholegrain ones…they have a nice texture to them.


+ a handful of dried mixed fruit…the apple slices were the best. 🙂


I was quite enjoying my lazy self, just eating and sitting and letting my legs hang over the tent platform.  But it was still early in the afternoon, and the weather was super nice out with no guarentee of that tomorrow, and it was too early to go to bed (which was sounding pretty good at that moment, actually, haha…)

So Dad announced that we should take advantage of the early afternoon and shoot up to Mt. Garfield today.



Look at those views…’course, pictures don’t do justice to the scenery, but the day was just beautiful and the views were breathtaking. 


Two thumbs up to Mt. Garfield.  🙂


Then we scrambled back down, stopping only once to fill up our water bottles and cooking pot for tonight’s supper.  Dad filtered the water from this little brook.  It was ice cold and sooo fresh tasting.  The caretaker told us the next morning that he doesn’t even bother filtering this stuff.  Goodness…you can’t beat mountain water!


Then we followed the trail back to our tent…I felt as if we were cast members in Lord of the Rings…


Okay, so I felt like I had to include at least one picture of the lovely outhouse. haha…I thought it was oh so cute until the second day, and then I realized that cuteness can wear off relatively quickly. 😉  haha


Anywho, back to FOOD and hiking and other such stuff…

Dad started up our top of the line cooking stove to prepare our supper… :Ds


On the menu?

Whole Wheat Pasta mixed with 2 packets of this…


…and this…


I stood guard over the cooking pot, forcing myself to not resort to eating crunchy pasta.  I get hungry when I hike, what can I say? 😀


Backpackers’ Chicken Parmesan for Two:

  • 8 oz. whole wheat pasta, drained (save the draining water for later to rinse off plates and other utensils…helpful hint discovered by dad)
  • 2 bagged chicken packets
  • 1 Bertolli Premium Sauce packet
  • 1 or 2 cheese sticks, chopped up

The verdict?  Yummy deliciousness…dad and I savored each and every bite.  YUM! 🙂


Filling and delicious supper + Dessert + A finally full and content belly = a very happy girl. 🙂 


The sun hadn’t even set yet, but I was all ready to crawl into the tent and call it a night.  By the time 7 o’clock rolled around, I was tuckered out and asleep…phew…amazing what some good fresh air and a workout will do to a person. 😉 

MONDAY (Day 2)

 I was in the tent, in my sleeping bag, from 7 the night before, all the way to 7 the next morning.  Talk about a sleepy head!!

It had rained during the night, but we stayed nice and dry, waking up to an absolutely beautiful morning with blue skies and a strong breeze to dry everything off around us.  It was absolutely perfect…

I was feeling cold and a bit groggy after making my way back from the “rest rooms” and was ecstatic to see dad making us coffee.  I didn’t even care that it was the instant stuff…it was on the same level as starbucks to me this morning. 😉  It’s so nice having a hot cup f coffee to hold and sip on while making breakfast.  Mmm…


This is how breakfast came together.  Ultra-light backpackers would absolutely cry if they saw this, I’m sure, considering all the tie wraps I used—not to mention that apple.  But what can I say?  Dad and I go up on backpacking trips too infrequently to not enjoy really good food while we are up there.  It was worth carrying the extra weight on this trip. 🙂

From bottom, clockwise:

  • 1/2 c. instant dry milk powder
  • 4 T. walnuts + 4 T. crushed flax
  • Brown sugar (for dad)
  • cinnamon and nutmeg (for me)
  • 1/2 c. oat bran + 1/2 c. 1-minute oats
  • apple


And it came out sooo good.  You can’t beat a hot meal in the mornin’… 🙂

I topped mine with 2 fig newtons and a big ol’ scoop of peanut butter.  Mmmmm…warm and creamy.


The hardest part of today’s hike, I have to say, was coming down this ledge.  You can’t really tell how steep it is in this picture, but it was steep enough to slow our pace down to less then a mile an hour at some points.  There was a cute little hound dog traveling with his owner as a pair of Appalachian Trail through hikers, who was meandering his way down as well.  He started howling by the middle of it because he didn’t want to go down this way.  Poor little guy…he was all happy by the time I saw him next though.  Tail wagging, mouth open, carefree…I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to go through this way.  He was probably just trying to tell his owner to find a different path… 😉


By the time we reached the bottom, we found ourselves hiking back up as we headed towards Gail Head Hut.  I felt myself slowly starting to tire out, and dad found this great little viewpoint for us to take a water & snack break…


And we split this mocho-odwalla bar for energy food.  Can I just take a moment to say this is the best flavor ever???  LOVE it!! 😀  There are big chocolate chunks spread throughout and its the perfect amount of sweetness and coffee flavor.  Some coffee bars get that weird, fake mocha flavor, but not this one.  It’s by far my favorite…okay, moving on…


From this river break on, I have to say, we were able to finally pick up our pace as we made our way down Gail Head Trail.  It finally leveled out and wasn’t too overly rocky or anything. 


I took one last handful of gorp and a few guzzles of water before we really started piling down the mountain. 


Coming down was super enjoyable because we took a few breaks by some pretty rivers.  I used to hate going backpacking with my family growing up and only looked forward to the McDonalds Wild Berry Milkshakes we’d go out for afterwards. 😉  Now that I love hiking (and hate mcdonalds milkshakes, go figure), it’s like seeing the White Mountains for the first time ever. 

We finally found civilization at the bottom of the trail.  We were able to drop our packs off at the end of the trail but we still had 1.6 miles to get back to where our car was parked.  So we stashed our stuff in the woods, put on our running sneaks, and headed out into what became a terrific run along this dirt road.  Somehow we managed to cover the run in 10 minutes.  I’ve discovered that the secret to a really fast run is going for a 2-day hike, taking off a heavy pack, and feeling so light and carefree that you run faster then you ever thought you could.  😉


Thankfully Dad thought about checking first, to make sure we had the car keys before actually running to get the car.  Can you imagine?  We would have had to run back, get the keys, and run back out to the car all over again.  I think I would have cried.  Seriously.  Haha… 😉

It was such a fun hike, I almost didn’t want it to end…thankfully we’ll be back up in the whites again soon during vacation! 🙂

On the way home, we stopped at GH Pizza and Subs…I sipped on a diet coke while waiting for our order…


Dad ordered a monstrous meatball sub, which was smothered in provolone and mozzarella cheese.  I tried two bites…it was purty amazing. 


I ordered a turkey sub with mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and onions with a few chips on the side.  I was starving and wolfed the gigantic sandwich right down.  We both left feeling perfectly full and content.  Gotta lova the celebratory post-hike meal! 😀


Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home…

Back home and still hungry.  I ate this salad with garbanzos and olive oil, with crackers and watermelon on the side…still hungry which means a snack will be definitely consumed tonight by the campfire (more specifically, a big bowl of yogurt with a banana and a heapin bowl of granola. 😀 


Hope you all have had a terrific past two days!!  I’ll be catchin up on your blogs tomorrow for sure!  Can’t wait! 😀


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About Sarah

Hi and Welcome!!! I'm a chocolate & coffee loving Registered Dietitian with a passion for helping people reach their goals. When I'm not busy working, I enjoy photography, cooking, and spending quality time with my family (and pets!) Thanks for stopping by!

18 thoughts on “Mt. Garfield

  1. Thanks for the recap! I loved reading about your adventure and seeing all the delicious eats. I seriously want to steal all of your oatmeal combos! The toppings look so good and that portion size looks like my kind of portion!

    I’m glad you had a wonderful weekend!

  2. Sounds like a great trip! I grew up in New Hampshire! I’m actually moving back there tomorrow! 🙂

  3. Looks like a blast! Found your blog on Cristin`s Eat Like Me site from Self mag.

    PS : please tell me you have less willpower than to eat just 4 peanut M&M`s as dessert!

    • Haha…those were the “I’m so stuffed after eating 2 c. pasta but not stuffed enough for dessert” M&M’s…plus I had been eating some throughout the day in my gorp which meant my sweet tooth was well taken care of. 😉

    • Please do ask anything, anytime! 🙂 I love talking ‘hiking.’ 😀

      I’m preparing to try those monster pancakes out sooon by the way! I’ve been drooling over them ever since you posted ’em up. haha…

  4. Wowzers – what an awesome re-cap! Loved catching up on your trip. Your Dad seems super-cool. Wish mine would hike with me, haha.

    Good effort on all the super good eats during your hike too – I eat terribly when I camp!

    P.S. – Glad you’re up for the sleep challenge! Will you be aiming for 8 or 12 (a la the hiking trip)?!

  5. Wow I feel like we were right there with you, what a GREAT trip! I’ve never been backpacking but this looks like a ton’o fun and something I could easily get hooked on. And I love that you still managed to eat hot oats while you were on a mountain!

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