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Vermont Gathering Pg 2

On Tuesday we hiked Mount Mansfield. This is the highest peak in Vermont, and on our 'must do' list. Although not a long hike, it is a very steep hike. And it was a hot and humid day. We split into two groups. Mark, Kate, Owen, Matt, Jimmy, Ted, Craig, Paul, and I did the the Long Trail heading south from Rte 108 and going up to the peak. Chuchang, Emily, Bill, Nancy, Tim, & Janson drove up the toll road and hiked over from the 'nose' to the 'chin' of the mountain. (Jim & Cristina drove up but didn't do the hike over.) This is a 1.4 mile hike, but relatively level. This is a picture we took on Thursday, looking over at the mountain, where I put in the names of the mountain peaks. 'Elongated' seems to be a bit of an understatement for this face. The toll road goes up to just below the 'nose'. The highest peak of the mountain is the 'chin'.

You have to go to Matt's facebook pictures and see the one of Paul dripping with sweat to get an appreciation of the humidity. I had a little trouble initially, but recovered fairly quickly.

Part way up the mountain is Taft Lodge. It is a nice basic lodge that people hiking the Long Trail can stay in overnight. During the summer, a member of the Green Mountain Club stays in the lodge. He wasn't there when we went through, although we saw him later. The door is really short.

The folks hiking the summit ridge left about an hour after we did. The theory was that we would meet at the top of them mountain. Of course, this would not necessarily work. Well, we arrived at the top within 5 minutes of each other! The weather at the top was beautiful. The temperature was good, and the humidity level low. The view was a bit limited due to the hazy day, though. The fellow in this 1st picture behind Paul is the caretaker of the Taft Lodge. He happened to be at the peak. There was also two woman (whom you can see in the 2nd picture, near Mark & Paul) who are summit caretakers.

In the group picture, standing: Bill, Owen (who is 9 & did a great job with the hike), Tim, Kate, Janson, Mark, Ted, Emily, Matt. Kneeling: Paul, Anne, Nancy, Chuchang, Craig, Jimmy. The next picture is of the steep path hikers.

A view down on Taft Lodge.

After eating lunch at the top, we hiked back down. We stopped at a waterfall swimming spot. I didn't bring my camera, but Matt has some pictures on his site. I have some of the location itself on the next page in my report.

That evening, we took a group shot of everyone at the reunion. At least, I think we got everyone!

On Wednesday, unfortunately Chuchang had to leave. Since Ted was bringing her to the Burlington airport, some of us decided to make it a day and go into Burlington. Ted, Craig, Matt, Jimmy, Paul, & I went in Matt's car. Jim, Cristina, Carman, and Sondra drove in separately. (They went to supper at the farm of someone Dad knows who lives not too far away.) After droping Chuchang at the airport, we drove down to the shore of Lake Champlain. It was rather choppy for anyone going on the water. This includes the people having sailing lessons who sailed directly into a barrier dock; I suspect the boat lost some paint. (Sorry, no picture of that.)

They have some art work strewn about Burlington. This chime tower had a nice tone to it.

We wandered around and looked like tourists.

A cute shop name, and Paul admiring the architecture.

Our birthday present to Dad: a sweater.

For lunch, we went to the Vermont Pub and Brewery. They sell a sampler of 6 beers, so a few of us tried that. I split one with Paul. I have discovered that I like beers, I just have to select the correct ones. No IPAs for me! Ted had not herad of this brewery, and was pleasantly suprised by how good the brews were. Well, it turns out that the brewmaster is a well known expert who has written a couple of books. Tim and Kate joined us at the pub, although somehow I don't have any pictures of them!

From there we went to the Magic Hat Brewery. They were not doing tours but there was a self guided walk available. They really need to work on their lighting. I took a picture to show the lights in the floor. I think it reflects well how dart the area was! They had a little film that talked about the resurgence of craft beers, which was rather refreshing in that it talked about all craft brewers and not just them. We were able to try some brews. Good, but I think the VPB ones were better. (I'm no expert, though.)


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August 2009