An Adventure to the Top of Vermont, Part I

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Remember my post on Monday regarding my brother and I’s bonding time? Well, here is part two – we hike. (To tell the full story and provide photo’s I’ll be breaking this up in a couple different segments.)

Hiking. This seems like something my brother and I are starting to do whenever I visit and it turns into an adventure. For some reason, I gathered this CRAZY idea to hike Mount Mansfield (the highest peak in Vermont and sits around 4,300 feet above sea level). The iconic Long Trail flows thru, capturing serious and not so serious hikers along the way. This is a recap of our adventure to the top of Vermont…and probably what not to do while hiking…

Friday, September 6th.

Mr. Green Mountains and I set off to hike. Just getting to the trail head is scenic in itself, winding through the mountains of the Notch.

We arrive at our destination, unable to see the top of what we’re about to embark. We start on what we thought was the trail. Only when we returned six hours later, we realized it really wasn’t the trail at all. When we began on “the trail”, he suggested that we jump off and take a more “direct” route to the summit. (Don’t ever do this.) Soon enough, we realized we were not going in the right direction. Traversing over tree trunks, branches, brooks, trees, lots of branches, we finally found the trail (with the help of a compass and I was with Mr. Green Mountain after all). It only took about 40 minutes. Start on the trail folks, start on the trail! (Disclaimer: I highly believe this man will never get lost in the woods in Vermont, maybe anywhere really. I trust him. Did I give him a crazy, I can’t believe I’m doing this look along the way because I’ve been thru this before? Sure did, but I’d trust him over anyone else. Especially after this ride.)

Once on the trail, we hiked up, and up, and up. Occasionally, I would stop to take pictures (or catch my breath). Living in Texas has made me forget what an “incline”. A couple hours in, the summit never seemed to come. Whenever we reached a clearing and I could see the top, it always seemed so far away. It also didn’t help seeing my brother literally running up the mountain in front of me. I could be standing still watching him and I would feel the energy just being sucked out of my body. Who is this guy?!

“When are we going to get there?”
“Who came up with this idea anyway?!”
“My legs are going to look like Tina Turner’s after this!” were phrases coming from me.

I guess I didn’t think this through. It seemed like a great idea, at the time. Little did I know this was not going to be the hardest part of my hike. It seemed as if we were just hiking straight up, these large rocks, sometimes they were like steps (or giant steps for my short legs), othertimes we were just hiking. At one point I felt like I was climbing like I just got off a horse, wide legged. I’m sure I looked really cute! On the flip side, the thing I love about hiking is the peacefulness of the woods. You feel so tiny and completely remote and the busyness of the world has disappeared. It’s the tranquility. My place of solitude.

Shortly, into our hike, he had me take a picture of him climbing up some step like looking rocks, like we were climbing straight up… ha! What a joke that became!

After a while, we were actually getting really close to the summit. We began scaling rocks, really large rocks. At one point, I said, “There’s no way that I’m going to be able to hike down this. It’s too steep and I have no idea how I even got to this point.”

Then there came a point where we had a two foot wide trail that came literally to a stop. We had the steep rocks we just climbed up behind us, a complete drop off the side of the mountain on our left and a rock wall to our right. There was no going forward.

This would be a good time to mention I have a great fear of heights…and was shaking.

Another couple comes along and he was equally as scared as I was. All four of us are sitting on the trail wondering what the hell we’re suppose to do. His girlfriend seemed calm as a clam. He and I are shaking. I look at my brother… we’re going to have to make a decision. Then it happened.

 I became an intermediate rock climber without a harness…

Today I’m linking up with The Paper Mama, Jenni From the Blog, Seven Clown Circus, Photography Essentials and Communal Global for{Wordless Wednesday}.

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