Despite being surrounded by nature that often seems boundless, I haven’t been able to hike much since moving to Vermont. For most of the summer it rained every weekend, and weekday afternoon hikes aren’t so easy, since most trails here are pretty hardcore. As I’ve learned, so are Vermonters.
Every time I’ve gone for a hike, I’ve been shamed by at least one person nearly twice my age. At Hunger Mountain, a few women in their 70s darted past us up the steep trail. They climbed the mountain so quickly that they later passed us going down…while we were still trudging up! At least one of them was close to 80, bless her soul. That hike is about two miles each way, with a climb of over 2,000 feet. Vermonters are rugged and fit for life, it seems.
But I try.
So far, I survived the climb to Sterling Pond, though that one is considered “easy” by Vermont standards. It’s just over a mile up to the pond, with a climb of about 1,000 feet. The Nebraska Valley trail up to Nebraska Notch is also survivable, about two miles up with a climb of about 800 feet. There’s a great view of the valley from the top, though the notch itself is quite a treat itself! I’ve learned that the safest hikes nearby are in Little River State Park. On the Moscow side, the Cotton Brook Trail is much like the hikes back in Delaware, only with more elevation changes and a larger expanse. The only thing missing is my old hiking buddy, Susanne!
With fall winding down and snow fast approaching, it’s likely I won’t be hiking much until after “mud season” is over, sometime in May. I’m not ready to be shamed by 90-year-old ladies on snow shoes.
See more photos on Flickr.