10 years ago, on a Friday with an auspicious number, in October we were married in a picnic shelter on the shoulder of Mt. Mansfield. The following day we hiked over the mountain with friends, our pooch, and my nephew.
We went out to celebrate with a summit hike again – from Underhill up Sunset Ridge to ‘the Chin’.
Instead of the calamity of walking down the Stowe side of the mountain with the dog and 10 year old nephew, while waiting for friends to drive around and get us, we came down Laura Cowles trail, which was entertaining in itself – with ice up high, water, slippery rock and leaves…
I’ve been spending a lot of time on two feet this fall. The single speeding and riding has been great – but as my health has improved I’ve really enjoyed getting around in the mountains on foot. I’ve been enamored with Camel’s Hump since moving to Burlington, where I can see it (and Mansfield) just about every day. After a few attempts earlier this summer I finally achieved a full moon and sunrise hike, and I brought along the camera for a time lapse.
Alarm was set for 3:30 am, but I awoke at 3. In the car by 4, at the trail head by 4:45.
The new headlamp, a Petzl NAO with Reactive lighting was excellent. I was skeptical and had buyers remorse – but I am sold – a great light!
Change in layers at the clearing by 6, summit at 6:20, just as the full moon was setting (and hiding in some clouds).
Setup camera, made coffee, and watched the sun rise.
The change in light was incredible.
The morning light on the summit and in the trees just below the alpine zone was amazing.
As I started to descend I watched the shadow creep across the Champlain Valley as I started down.
From the top of Camel’s Hump. I had wanted to do more photography, including a time lapse that would have panned around the mountain – but we were met with 30mph winds and hunkered down into sleeping bags and just enjoyed the spectacle.
Three years ago next week my (then soon to be) father in-law had a stroke. Yesterday Jen and I hiked him to the top of Camel’s Hump via Forest City, the Long Trail, and Burrows. Impressed and proud that he made the trek – he has been talking about hiking and climbing mountains since his first dark days in the recovery room.
We certainly tired him out – and the Forest City to Long Trail route was ambitious to say the least – but with our help he methodically scrambled the rock below the summit, cursing the vertical on the last push to the top – and did it all in style. We even managed to snag the bill from our waiter during a post hike feast – the entire day was our treat to celebrate life and recovery and possibility.
The little one and I hiked Mt. Philo today. Trail on the way up, road on the way down. Its a steep climb – steeper with 30 pounds of Ava and kid carrier on the back. Rounding the bend on the top to head down a single speed mountain biker was just clearing the top of the road. Disc brakes and a low gear… and a faint ‘Hello’. The road must top out at 18% +. There are places to get a bit of rest… but its work on a bike. About halfway down he bombed by us through a switchback, knobbies humming on the pavement.