We got home today from a truly wonderful family vacation backpacking in the mountains near our house. In the end we opted for a slightly different route than we intended Puffer shelter was so nice, that we opted to stay there last nigh, which meant walking home was too far to do in a day. We opted instead to leave the trail and walk down the back country ski trails to Bolton Valley. It was such a wonderful trip.. physically strenuous and away from hustle and bustle and people. In fact we saw only one person yesterday after we left taylor lodge and no one at all today until we came out in bolton . It is amazing that there is that kind of beauty and that kind of isolation within 10 miles of our home. it was great and peaceful time…
As I wrote before . , there was no good way to upload pictures on our walk.. so I’ll do that here.. my apologies for the large number of pics.. but I post these as much for me as for readers.. it makes htem easy to find later on.. and its great having a record of a trip like this
Here we are thursday about to leave from stowe
and there goes our trail angel (and ride) jenny
first leg up was with the gondola, more for fun than laziness
then , the toughtest part of the hike, the cliff trail.. here are the boys at the cave of the wind.. the trail was pretty tough with 40-50 pound packs.. several palaces where you had to hoist tyourself up and over things
at the top of the cliff trial, max and gabe let off a fire balloon with Sam’s name on it.. it was a great way to launch our trip
about 30 minutes into our hike I heard max shouting.. we coincidentally ran in to the couple Aaron and Mary at whos wedding max was in Virginia last week (yes.. Virginia !!!) .. They were honymooning here in vt.. what are the cances of running in to them on a trail at the top of mansfield ?
and hour or so later we stopped for lunch still overlooking stowe,
there were some great scrambles on the trail .. about 7 steep wooden ladders and a few dodgy places.. but all in all a pretty steep but fun trail
around 7 PM we got to taylor lodge.. we started setting up camp to get done before dark
we shared the lodge with soem nice guys from ohio .. they were good company
the lodge was dedicated to our friend Debo who passed away about 5 years ago , Debo used to play soccer woth Diane about 25years ago.
We slept well that night.. the boys in tents and Diane and I on the table out front.. it was pretty warm.. with a fantastic moon
We woke up in shifts.. diane around 6, me around 8 and the boys around 9
it took us a while to pack up
we wrote in the log book placed a samstone and took off south
well. not before gabe tried out the ninja tree climbing gloves that max just gave him
the trail south of tatlor was a mix of up and down hill with .. some great scenery along the way
around 3 pm it started pouring right before we got to puffer shelter.. buy the time we got there , we were pretty soaked.. we got there, ate lunch and started to dry our stuff… and fell in love with the place.. We decided to stray the night… that meant building ‘THAG’ our friendly camp mate..
complete with smoke bomb dyed eyes
then gabe built a siege weapon to defend our space..
it was just past full moon, another beautiful evening.. the photos cant do it justice..
we all slept well .. and woke to find THAG still standing guard.
Gabe did some of our water pumping today.. the stream was almost dry, we had to pump and filter water from some stagnant pools.. yum !
all day I was wearing some goofy pink reading glasses i found at the leanto. quite a fashion statement
we left the camp around 9:30 .. after placing a samstone
and waving goodbye to Thag !
It was a steep half mile climb from there up tot the top of Bolton mountain. Our kids were all raised on this moutain, so it had special significance.. Diane had smuggled in a Redbull.. so we drnak a toast to Sam.. and put our last samstone on the highest rock.
from there it was just over an hours walk down the beautiful ack country ski trails to bolton valley..
to find our car that deb had left there for us. yeah !!!
then back home to shower.. and to wash our gear.. especially our shoes.. check this out !
what a great trip !
OK.. so I’m sure you’re tired of pictures.. and I’m just tired.. .. so I’ll stop here.. now comes vacation phase 2.. more from the road tomorrow
nite all, nite sam