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Half Gallon Challenge

2011 June 22

Pine Grove Furnace General Store

After spending the night on June 7 at a surprise hostel (meaning we didn’t know it existed until we saw a sign posted to a tree), we were dropped off at the trail head bright and early. To our astonishment, a fellow hiker we hadn’t seen since the end of March, popped out of the trees and on to the road–War Eagle (otherwise known as Barney)! We thought he was WAY ahead of us, but he was called off the trail for a few days. That’s one of the great things about this trip; people you thought you’d never see again just pop up out of nowhere. With a new spring in our step, we walked with Eagle the nine miles to Pine Grove Furnace State Park and the General Store which is home to the Half-Gallon Challenge. To celebrate reaching the half-way point (a few miles before), hikers traditionally attempt to eat an entire half gallon of ice cream before it melts.

The BIG decision?  Which flavor of ice cream are we most likely to keep down? Well, it was slim pickings:

  • Cherry Jubilee (ah, no)
  • Mint Chocolate Chip (too minty)
  • Moose Tracks (too chunky)
  • Cookies and Cream (wouldn’t even eat a scoop of it)
  • Peanut Butter Swirl (eaten too much peanut butter already)
  • Vanilla (BORING)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (wins by default)

We also investigated the nutritional content and found cookie dough ice cream to, surprisingly, have fewer calories. Only a little under 3000 per brick, er… container.

A half gallon of nutritional information

So we began eating…

SurvivorMan diggin' into his half gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!

 And eating …

Almost there!


Trying to keep it down!

I ate a half-gallon of ice cream and all I got was this lousy wooden spoon . . .


For your viewing enjoyment, SurvivorMan shot a short video of my discomfort.

SurvivorMan took 38 minutes to complete his half gallon of ice cream and was ready to hike again within an hour. Muggle took a bit longer at 63 minutes–for awhile it was touch and go though. And poor Muggle couldn’t hike. We camped there. Which allowed us a little time at the State Park to enjoy a quick bath (I mean swim) in Fuller Lake.

During the 63 minutes of agony Muggle experienced, she received a verbal beating from other hikers (especially TinMan) and felt pressured to finish. However, the chumps pictured below couldn’t even finish it.

Sargeant Pepper, Green Man and Chopper giving it a valiant effort...

...but this is what failure looks like.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Maranatha permalink
    June 24, 2011

    wow Liz….you are ready for another trip to a Brazilian restaurant :)

  2. Anne DiSorbo (Turtle) permalink
    July 23, 2011

    Muggle & Survivorman: We listened to you speak of your adventures at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut on Mt. Washington on 7/21. My husband and I did an overnight trip and summitted Mt. Washington with our 3 boys, ages 16, 13 and 8. We are still talking about you guys and you inspired us to give ourselves trail names (mine is turtle-probably obvious reason as to why I’m called that!) Anyway, we came across you two again on the Gulfside trail after you summitted. We wish you luck and will enjoy following your adventures.

    • Elizabeth permalink*
      July 28, 2011

      Hello Anne (aka Turtle)! So glad you enjoyed our talk. We were amazed at the amount of hikers on the trail in New Hampshire! It seems there is a lot of access to trails and interest in getting out there. It was cool seeing you out there with your family. By the way, what trail names did your husband and sons settle on?

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