Let me give you some highlights from the last few days. The climb out of Manchester Center put us on top of beautiful Mt. Bromley, which is a VT ski resort. Loop and I enjoyed an amazing 360-degree view and a salami and Swiss sandwich while sitting in a comfy ski lift chair. We got caught in a nasty T-storm half a mile before we made it to our camp spot, and showed up at Big Branch shelter soaked and cold. "The Beer Hunter" said, "you two boys look hungry," as he dropped a piping-hot, two serving mountain house spaghetti dinner in front of each of us (yes, two ready to eat dinners--glad I slung him that fried egg sandwich on his way out of the Green Mountain House!). The following morning, Loop and I set up the usual "yard sale" in the first open area that we came to and enjoyed an hour and a half long break as everything dried out (only one mile into our day!). Tough hiking for a few days brought us to Mt. Killington (another ski resort), with yet another excellent view, but too many black flies to linger for photos. We buzzed into the town of Killington to pick up a drop box that ended up being tardy. We decided to lay low and wait until Saturday AM to give the box one more day. With 8 hours of afternoon to kill, we did what anyone would have done--lunch and pints at the local Irish Pub. Reuben/Shephard's Pie/Bread Pudding and Guinness (oh, and Smithwick's too!). The proprietor okayed us tenting in the vacant lawn across from his Inn, so we set up tent, hitched a ride down the hill to a convenience store, grabbed a few more pints and spent the afternoon solving the worlds problems, philosophising, etc. (a.k.a.--catching up on reading and journaling, calling family and watching the clouds drift by from a comfy patch of grass). Mack and the boys would have been honored at our performance (that's a Cannery Row reference for those of you who don't read Steinbeck). Back to the pub for dinner and live Irish music with the Friday night Killington usuals--lots of fun! Saturday morning and still no box, so we pushed-on without it. However, we were well supplied by the hiker box at the Inn, which was full to the brim of some failed Long Trail hiker's lifetime collection of energy bars. We took all that we could carry--four or five make a well-balanced and nutritious meal! Next stop was the Overlook Cabin--a privately owned cabin built on top of a large mountain that is kindly made available to hikers, provided that it's kept clean. The owner had a nice deck built on top of the roof that offered a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. This is the first time I've watched the sun fall over mountains as far as I can see in any direction. Words could never adequately describe the beauty. And to think that this is just a shadow of the Almighty's splendor. Thinking about the cabin reminds me to share how chilly it's been up here. I hear tales of 100+ temps at home?! The usual evening up here can easily drop into the 40s--I'm not bragging though, it can be quite cool for my fleece blanket (sleeping bag substitute). We left the Lookout yesterday AM, and pushed out a pretty easy 23-mile day. As we neared the end of our day, we came to a convenience store at a crossroads/river junction-type town. Contrary to popular belief, the south does not have any monopoly on river-tubing, bridge-jumping, rock-sunning-type redneck fun! We found all of these in Vermont of all places. It may have taken 5 minutes for us to sling our packs down, grab a sandwich and Coke at the general store, peel our shirts off and run to the middle of the bridge for a plunge into the cool river below--but certainly not a second over. "L-I-V-I-N'--that's what it's all about," Loop said as we de-shoed for our swim. I couldn't have said it better.
We'll say hello to Edward Cullen and Bella if we see them. You folks stay inside and out of that heat! Love and miss you all. Enjoy the photo dump!
Mt. Greylock tower. Apparently, this lighthouse was built to go in Boston Harbor, but was turned-down by Boston. The towns surrounding Greylock knew exactly where to put it.
Loophole & Upstate on Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in MA
The AT follows the Long Trail (which is over 100 years old) for approximately 100 miles
What a neat presentation of the states of the AT (:
the Green Mt. House Hiker Hostel
[the boys loved this place]
Spoon, Estero, Loophole, Six String,
Upstate & Bean
walkin' on the planks that lasted for thousands of miles around the lakes in Vermont
Trail art in the form of rock cairns--hikers can get rather creative with rocks
a lookout cabin
Upstate & Loophole on the lookout
sunset over the Green Mountains
Loop doin' his thang [-Upstate]
Pam, please know the boys didn't do these dangerous things when I was with them!!
New England homes that dot the landscape and surround these little towns that we're always passing through
Crossing into New Hampshire!
[People, that means 2 states left! Woohoo!! Good Job Boys!]
the exterior of the Dartmouth stadium