September 9, 2007

Mount Mansfield - Highest Point in Vermont

Well, I don't remember who's crazy idea this was (although, I did mention the day before that we needed stormy weather for this adventure...) but Wow what a climb this turned out to be!

Just look at the view we had out of Bob's truck window climbing the very steep "jeep road" up to the trail's access point.

We arrived up higher to find "knife cuttable" fog with a comment from the volunteer that "no safety or rescue personnel are up there today in these conditions, but you should be ok" Oh and then she added "the temperature could be 10-20 degrees lower, and the winds are probably gusting to 40 mph".

But I wanted an "adventure we wouldn't forget" and up we went! Following the sometimes almost invisible white blazes marking the rocky up & down trail to the summit.

Bob & Joy hung in there, despite the wet conditions and gusty wind. I thought the volunteer was joking about "large cairns" so you can "see them in any conditions" but every so often there they were...

After several false "we made it" we truly did!

Just after leaving the top, the weather started breaking a bit, but the winds continued to gust higher than before.

By the time we had returned to the parking lot, Mt Mansfield was just emerging from the gray above.

Bob & Joy Loudon Join Us in Vermont!

We have visitors from Louisiana! Yes, Bob & Joy have met up with us in their new 18 ft trailer and joined us in Bennington, VT for the Labor Day holidays. We have taken up residence in a small remote national forest campground mid-way between Bennington and Wilmington VT.

We spent a couple of days exploring Bennington, which included eating at theBlue Benn (thanks, Cookie for the book, it was in there!), seeing the seven covered bridges (kinda disapointing) the highlight was touring the Park-McCullough house. The house reminded us of home with it's antebellum look & feel.

The house is loaded with archtectual & wodworking detail. Pictures truly do not do it justice!

The "mascot" for the area is the ":painted moose". These colorful creatues were everywhere we went, even willing to pose!

On the way back to the campground, we visited the Civil War Memorial Tower. The granite structure was built just after the turn of the century. It's 380 ft high panoramic view of western Vermont and Eastern New York was nice.

The weekend highlight was going to see "The Midnight Plowboys" in concert on Sunday afternoon at "Thrill Zone" park.

Tuesday's move was to Grand Island located on Lake Champlain just above Burlington.This is a beautiful area, with a unique dedication to providing hiking & biking trails in the area.

I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to catch up on my yoga at the Stonehinge replica!

After doing the Lake Bike Trail we discovered Shelburne Farms. This unique 1500 acre working farm has been preserved and is operated today just like it was almost 100 years ago.

We enjoyed it so much, we returned the next morning for breakfast (from ingredients raised on the land) at the inn.

As we moved towards New Hampshire, we discovered an outfitter in Stowe, VT that was having an end of season clearance. And, of course, the facility was complete with a "demo" lake out back, perfect for trying out several new boats. This "short drop in to see what they have" culminated in the purchase of Bob & Joy's two new Necky Manitou composite kayaks!

We moved to a campsite near the dealer, and loaded with the new acquisitions, headed out to Green River Reservoir to try them out the next day.

The lake is a breeding ground for loons, and we were greeted by a curious fledgling, who had not yet learned to fly.

Taking lead from the fast "scooting" of the loon across the water, Kim and Bob engaged in a little racing competition along the shore.... As we headed back to the launch, the late afternoon's sun provided a nice view of the emerging fall colors to remember this beautiful spot by!