Wow what a great last weekend, we were very lucky and appreciative of a good friend for loaning his family’s vacation home in Stratton VT. We arrived on Friday and got settled in and were really happy and looking forward to a great weekend with LuAnn for our three year wedding anniversary. I was feeling anxious to get out into the thick green forest after we got there so bought some light hiking shoes for $50 and headed to Grout Pond. I wanted to make the loop around the pond and we accomplished just that after an hour of walking at a nice pace. It was muddy in some sections and had a few down trees but we managed to get it done. The mosquitoes were terrible but nothing our bug spray couldn’t fend off. The views of the Pond were scarce as the sun was going down and never got a great picture of it I was pleased with. By the time we got to the car it was just about dark so we called it a night and went home to rest.
The next morning was ambitious, I had heard about a hike to Stratton Mountain which sits just a few hundred yards form the peak of the ski resort from a friend and set in in my mind to do it. We arrived at 10:30am and started walking up the trail. It was a beautiful day, sunny and very warm. The shade of the trees offered plenty of shelter from the sun rays. It was so great being out with my family, Bentley and Bowie were doing great and LuAnn was doing awesome as well. The trail rose at a constant but comfortable climb through lush green woods and trail it was truly a good time. We kept at it as things began to steep but was surprised when it was shortly mellowed out after a ¼ mile. The hike offered one view on the way up of Somerset Reservoir which was a small window which was better than nothing. We reached the top really quick, the hike called for 5-6 hour round trip and we were up top in good shape after two hours. Some scouts up there welcomed the dogs as they ran around introducing themselves to everyone and seeing if they had food to offer. I climbed the tower and took some pictures, the views were great! Tallest mountain in southern Vermont. Some lunch was had and we were zipping back down. Bowie was doing great, I was really expecting to have to carry him but he made it up and down with ease, good for you little buddy! Got to the car for a total of 4 hour round trip! This was great since we had more plans later that day and had more time to relax. LuAnn did and absolutely great job carrying her little one in her belly and I give her lots of credit.
Off to Equinox Mountain later on that day. Mt. Equinox is one steep mother of a hill and put a working on the car on the way up. We hopped out of the car on the way up and took in some great views and pictures to prove it on the way up to the summit. I had plans to catch the sunset from a viewpoint but the mosquitoes were in full force and despite bites because we had bug spray on they was just buzzing round us looking for trouble so we dipped. Then we took out time going down not to over heat the brakes. What a way to end the day as we headed home to the comforts of the house and give my 4 month old hot pregnant wife a good rest.
Our only adventure the next day was to make our way to Hamilton Falls at some part of the day. Luckily LuAnn was game and we headed off on our 45 minute journey down some great back country roads. It absolutely amazes me how many really nice mid size houses are down every road. I wonder what all these people do for a living, whether they are vacation homes or part time live there, locals I dunno………… Either way I am very jealous. We arrived at the falls and went to the closest trail we could find and it was right off the parking lot. I regretfully did not bring shoes for either of us and this became a problem. The trail to the top of the falls was mellow and offered a small view at the top pool before it took the plunge which was not visible. I could see that a steep trail lie below and I talked LuAnn into going down with me in our sandals. Bad idea on my behalf but we did make it down. The falls were incredible, really steep as usual and carved quite a bit of rock.