just when we recovered from our big road trip, the kids and i prepared for the drive to our friends in stowe, vt. this was a big deal for me since i never drive on the east coast. it was a seven hour drive with just me and the kids.
we stopped at the yankee candle store in south deerfield, ma. it was nearly the mid-point of the drive and we needed to stretch out. the kids liked the christmas village with their snow machine. (of course) they bought a couple candles. it was a good break from the drive.
as we drove along I-89, gr3 said: the smoky mountains! i had to correct him that we were indeed not seeing the smoky mountains, but the mountains of vermont. it was very green and mountain-y.
we went on two hikes.
hike 1: the fire tower trail at elmore mountain at elmore state park it was listed as a moderate trail, but that didn’t stop us. i brought our walking sticks. it started out simply with wide walking areas, but it narrowed and the climb became steep. we followed the white blazes upward. gr2 made sure we stayed on the right trail. we were surrounded with trees and the kids wanted to see the view.
there was one vista that overlooked the mountains and lake. we took it in and prepared for the last bit to the fire tower. the kids would have been fine to stop at that point, but we pushed on. i pictured mountain goats climbing these steep, rocky paths. you can see the chunked out rocks so you could climb. gr3 and his bud ran ahead as did our friend’s little dog who was eager to hike.
i was intimidated by the fire tower, but my kids were already climbing the three stories up. eek! beautiful views, but i was too nervous to whip out the camera to take many pics. the climb down was just as harrowing. it was exhilarating. we all felt accomplished.
hike 2: atop mansfeld peak we climbed the nose to the chin we entered Stowe Mountain Resort to drive up to the trail. we encountered hairpin turns and steep climbs in the car. good thing gr1 took her dramamine. we parked and were ready to go. we hiked along the ridge of mount mansfield. the climb was about a mile each way. you had to be careful where you stepped. the boys ran ahead with the dog. we followed the white blazes and carefully watched our steps. the bonus was the awesome view that surrounded us for most of the hike. you could see lake champlain in the distance.
we got to the highest point in vermont!
that evening we were in their backyard to look at the stars. the night sky was so clear we could even see satellites! my friend’s husband took out his gigantic telescope to look at the stars and moon. gr1 took some awesome pics of the moon through the telescope.
we liked vermont. the air was so fresh and clean, but it was time for the city folks to get back to nyc.