**Greenleaf Hut Review: **
It had been a while since I had stayed in an Appalachian Mountain Club hut in the White Mountains, so decided I’d book a stay at one I had not visited before. It was the summer solstice and I was hoping for a chance to catch a sunrise or sunset from Franconia Ridge. The AMC huts are spaced in such a way that you can make multi-day hut-to-hut hikes or, do what I did, and just make it an overnight. A stay in the hut during full service season is pricey,$120-171/night, depending on membership status, the season and day of the week; it’s lower for children. For that, you’ll get a full dinner with soup, salad, entrée and desert as well as breakfast with some entertainment by the hut Croo. Meals are served family style, so you’ll get to know your fellow hikers, or, like me, you may even run into someone you know from home! Your bunk will be in a co-ed dorm room shared with 5 other hikers, but earplugs are provided just in case your roommates snore. The rooms are assigned, but you choose your bunk from what’s available when you check in; they’re triple deckers and feature a reading light, 3 wool blankets, a pillow and a thin mattress. Pack a sleeping bag liner or light sheet for comfort. Pegs for your packs and jackets plus a bench complete the room furnishings. Plan a trip in May and you’ll be on your own for meals and bedding, though a caretaker is available in the evenings and morning; you’ll also save a lot of money! You can fill your water bottle at the hut. Restrooms feature cold running water and composting toilets. A smoall shop offers t-shirts, hats, and a few camping essentials you may have forgotten. There are small porches overlooking a small pond/bog below the hut and Mt Lafayette rising another 1000’ above the hut. Cell service on Verizon was 1-2 bars. Naturalist may offer a program before dinner. There are a few direct ways to reach the hut. Old Bridle Path climbs, sometimes steeply,>2400’ over a little less than 3 miles; on a weekend you’ll want to use the Cannon Hiker shuttle for the driver. The Greenleaf Trail provides a slightly gentler path and departs from the Cannon tram lot. Many will hike the popular loop hike steeply ascending Falling Waters Trail past several beautiful falls before joining the Franconia Ridge trail to Mts. Lincoln and Lafayette. This is stunning in fine weather with views into the Pemigewassett Wilderness and across Franconia Notch to the Cannon-Kinsman ridge, but can be miserable and dangerous in foul weather. Plan accordingly! From Lafayette, you’ll descend 1000’ over a mile to the hut.
Product Review: Morsel Spork: strong, not flimsy
As a ranger with The Dyrt, I sometimes get to review equipment. On this trip I was able to review the Morsel Spork in the Mini and XL sizes as well as the Spoon. My original plan had been to hike up to the ridge and eat a re-hydrated lunch along the way and test out the Morsel; the forecast for rain and high winds had me re-thinking my plans. I hiked directly to the hut and then hiked the ridge in reverse the next morning. Before leaving the hut, I added hot water to my dehydrated meal so it would be ready when I hit the summit. It was cold enough that I was eating with gloved hands; the extra length of the Morsel Spork meant the gloves stayed clean. The spatula edge let me scrape the edges clean so I didn’t waste any of the calories. There’s a nice bowl on the Spork spoon end. I tried breaking the Morsel without success. It’s stiff, yet flexible. The‘knife’ edge is on both sides of the fork, so it works for righties or lefties, though it’s not ideal if you have a steak to cut. That said, I’ve cut chicken without much effort, though I did need a second tool or finger to keep the meet from flying away.
If I were buying just one, I’d go for the Morsel Spork XL. I can’t quite figure out why you would want just the Morsel XL Spoon, unless you knew you were eating just a soup. The spatula is nice for cleaning out a jar, though! The asymmetric form will get you into almost any corner and the sturdy structure means you can scrape even the stickiest of peanut butter from jar. This is not a flimsy tool. I like the colors that help you find your new favorite tool in your backpack.