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Thursday, March 31, 2022/by Laura Remington/Go Back
You never know when you'll run into Kabeyun folks. This summer, serendipity created what 1980's alum Stark Draper calls a "sweet meetup" on the trails of the White Mountains.
On August 20, Stark set off from the Kancamagus Highway around dawn, hoping to complete the "Pemi Loop," a grueling and beautiful 31-mile trip around the western part of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Little did he know a group of Kabeyun counselors on their day off had started the same loop 15 minutes earlier!
Counselors Willie Thacker, Jasper Weinberg, Sam Dyer, Jack and Gus Robinson -- all former campers -- were feeling pent-up after a rainy July had disrupted many of their plans for days off, Sam recalls, "We all were psyched for a really big, hard, challenging day, and the Pemi Loop had been on everyone's list." (Yes, our adventure Trips staff members love trips so much that on their days off they, well, take trips!)
With a combination of hiking and trail running, each man had summited Flume, Liberty, Lincoln, Lafayette, and Garfield before stopping at the Galehead hut for lunch. That's when serendipity struck. Stark writes:
I was about to saddle up when, stepping out from the hut, someone who looks like Gus Robinson walks by. I wasn’t sure – though I do know Gus and Jack well [from family trips]... And looking to my left, there’s Jack filling his water bottles. So, after a surprise reunion, meeting the rest of the crew, and downing a few more calories, we trot up South Twin, and head south along the Pemis, catching up on Jack and Gus’ doings and plans. Then it was time to dance down the 3,000 foot drop from Bondcliff to the East Branch of the Pemi and reverse the morning jog along the Wilderness Trail back to where I'd parked.
The meetup is all the more amazing because the last time Stark covered this route, he did so with Jack and Gus' dad Allen Robinson the day before former director Nick Latham's retirement party in 1995.
Stark, a University of Toronto engineering professor, says, "Whenever I am in the Whites, I keep an eye out for Kabeyun folks. This was the first time it worked!"
Do you have a fun Kabeyun story to share? We'd love to hear it! Send your stories and photos to Laura.
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