Friday, July 27, 2012

The Long Trail's Lodge in the Sky

When Sarah and I daydream back in time to our 2001 Long Trail hike, many wonderful memories come to the surface.  The mountains, beautiful vistas, the valleys, trail magic, wild flowers and the freedom of the trail.  But one thing that can stick out when you think about all those nights on the trail, where everyday your home was somewhere new, are certain shelters along the trail. Skyline Lodge, in the Breadloaf Wilderness on the Long Trail, is one of those such places for us. We try to frequent Skyline as much as we can, both because its beautiful and because we have adopted the Green Mountain Club shelter and check in on it from time to time. The Lodge is a four-walled shelter with a big front door and two paneled windows overlooking a front porch and serene Skylight Pond; the backdrop is a long-range mountain view. Its such a special place. The Lodge can be accessed  either from the Long Trail, hiking North or South, depending on where you get on to the trail. Accessing the lodge from the south is the shorter of the two options and the better option for a day hike. A good access point is Route 125 (Middlebury Gap), where the trail crosses at the height of land. This hike is a beautiful 5-mile stretch of rolling terrain. Alternatively, there is a blue-blazed side trail, the Skylight Pond trail which can be accessed by turning off the Middlebury Gap Road onto a dirt road (clear instructions are given in the Long Trail Guidebook). This hike is one of our favorites: 2.5 miles of beautiful switchback climbs alternated with long slabs across the hillside make this a mellow approach through beautiful hard- and softwood forests. We highly recommend hiking to this Lodge, using either route. If you're short on time or are concerned about distance, take the Skylight Pond Trail - you won't regret it

Here are some pictures from our recent hike out there:

Have fun out there!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

VTMTB Fest Showcases the Best

When I think of Summer in Vermont, I can easily dream of the the Long Trail and the boundless hiking trails in the Green Mountains, or the swimming holes, the smell of green pastures and farms, and don't forget the cows. But last week, at the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival, it was all about mountain bikes and riding trails. We all came together in Waterbury for two spectacular days of riding, showcasing some of the best single track Vermont has to offer. More than a few folks showed up to try their hands at it.

Rider: Dwight Gies

It seems like yesterday that mountain bikers got their hands dirty, with the relatively recent onset of this mountain past-time. And look how far we have come in that short period of time! Blood, sweat, dirt, and thousands of hours of riders' own time have built some of the best trails in New England.  That's just what people from far and near got to experience at this year's fest. Every year it's clear: Things can and will only get better from here... Here are some pics of the fun times has at the 2012 VT Mountain Bike Festival:

World-class riding, right in Stowe, Vt.
A group tour in Stowe, Vt.
Chris Lee picks trail-side berries.
One of our newest trails to enjoy - its great!
A cold beer at the Trapps brewery.
Some bike derby to liven things up!
The end do great day at the VTMTB fest.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fall-ing early

                                      A flash of color a bit early a top Whiterock via the Bob Kemp.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 4th, Part I: Riding

Rider: Dylan Covington
The fourth of July is always a fun time.  Sarah, Odin and I usually have a mountaintop tradition on the fourth that starts with a beautiful hike, friends, dinner, fireworks and the beautiful hike down in the morning.  This year we let spontaneity take us.  So we found ourselves on our bikes with no plan, only to see where our two wheels would take us.  This is where we found ourselves...

An impressive sculpture on our way up to Roller Coaster.

Local artists leave their mark on the old granite for Rock Fire, a Millstone Hill event this Summer

The 4th, Part II: Relaxing
Our good friends Jim and Carla invited us to Hardwick, where they have found themselves of late.  Odin and Pookah took awhile to get to know each other and we found ourselves reconnecting with good friends from home. The town that food saved has such a charm and personality that we felt the second we arrived.

The view from our temporary Hardwick home.

The suspension bridge in Hardwick

Pookah, one big puppy.

One of our favorite Co-ops!
Odin: This dog is insanely big...
Hardwick local meal: Fresh Tracks wine and fresh  Bruschetta.

See you out there!


From Wasteland to Playland.

Rider Chris Lee playing at Millstone Hill