31 July, Tues: Quimby Mountain: Still fatigued from the nine mile day on Sunday we overslept arising at 8:30 AM. By the time we were foodified, caffeinated, cooler filled with Trail Magic placed on River Road, drove a hiker to the outfitters, and trekked (by auto) a one hour drive from our lodging in Killington (Inn at Long Trail) to Stoney Brook Road, we did not start hiking until 12 noon. But, hike we did!!! SoBo to the summit of Quimby, steep ascent, but not as steep as the NoBo side of Quimby. Temp high was 84 degrees but a nice breeze flowed once we were high in the forest. An amusing view on the hike (photo to be posted): a 15 foot stainless steel ladder was placed against a high boulder. Ascent was up and over! Admired good trail maintenance on this section of the AT. Good stone water bars, nice stone or wooden steps, trimmed overhanging trees (evidence of AT trail maint in VT in the past twenty years. Distance today was about 8 miles RT. Nice view (apart from the power line) of Pico Peak across the valley below. The 8 mile hike took six hours, plus the travel time back "home" to the ILT.
|View of Pico from Quimby Mountain|
30 July, Monday: Sherburne Pass Trail 2 hours Maintenance hike
29 July, Sunday: 75 percent rain forecast for the afternoon. Undaunted, we departed on a hike at 12 noon anticipating a turn around. Interesting stop at the Lookout shelter (see photo below) It was a MirAcle, covering nine miles in seven hours, including the half mile access trail called Green Gate, past Chateauguay Road about twenty minutes to our stopping point a week earlier. No rain! It was our longest hike this summer. Hurray!
|Ron admiring the view atop Lookout shelter|
28 July, Sat: Cynthia Hiked Sherburne Pass Trail two hours. Ron hiked to meadows with maintenance en route for three hours. Dinner at Chantecleer in East Dorset to return Sherpa's trail bag left in our car. The dinner was divine.
27 July, Fri: Augggghhh! It really IS Friday! Rain! Sudoku! Computer projects! New website: AT streambed maintenance. The rain stopped after our marvelous lunch with a former law enforcement officer and a Santa Claus look-alike who had tears in his eyes thinking of his wife left behind.... an understandable feeling. Cynthia hiked for an hour while Ron continued hiking and working up to the meadows at Sherburne Pass Trail... socializing both ways about stream-bed maintenance. The sky is blue at six thirty PM.
|Sherburne Pass Trail GREEN after the rain|
26 July, Thurs: Rain! Sudoku! Computer projects! Auughhhh! Tomorrow is Friday? It is almost August??? What happened to July? We don't have time to go to Nova Scotia, hike, have fun and be in Iowa 6 September. Nova Scotia is cancelled.
25 July, Wed: Delivered Sherpa and Starfish back to VT 103, dropped off Trail Magic NoBo and hiked from VT 140 to Manerva Shelter [7.2 miles RT in 4 hours]. Zooma Zooma Watch Cynthia Run! Picked up two tired puppies, Sherpa and Starfish, at Danby-Landgrove Road; they decided to take a zero in Manchester Center to wait for their pick up on Friday. They deserved a fabulous meal and we found one at the Chantecleer Restaurant in East Dorset. Two bottles of champagne, a magnificent feast plus dessert and we are ready for beddy bye.
|Eerie Forest Floor on Bear Mountain, VT|
23 July, Mon: Happy Birthday Sistah Carol! Enjoy your new frog refrigerator magnet and being the Froggie Queen for a Day. Little Carol Ann excels at coloring, doesn't she? [sidebar: Someone in our family is very delighted with himself for discovering that Sesame Street coloring book: picture a 65 year old guy giggling].
We returned to woods road, (a jeep trail off Perkins Road), we headed SoBo towards Lookout but heat and humidity were deterrents and we turned back. Hiking distance was 1/2 mile to the trailhead, 1.7 miles to Winturri Shelter, 1.5 miles to the stopping point due to almost ninety degree temps and high humidity. Dinner at the ILT.
22 July, Sun: 2 hours, 4 miles! Parked on woods road or trail aka a jeep trail off Perkins Road, hiking NoBo to add distance from where we had stopped previously SoBo from VT 12. We recognized the spot where we had stopped before. The new hoe does double duty doing trail maintenance plus using it as a hiking pole. Lotsa water bars were cleared out. Hikers were delighted to receive apples and oranges from the backpack. One very delightful couple named Sherpa and Starfish were resting at the trail about 1/2 mile from the car. We treated them to dinner and breakfast at the ILT.
21 July, Sat: 3 hours 4 miles from River Road SoBo to Gifford Woods Picnic Area ! FAST. Could not keep up with Smooch Smooch. She has gotten her hiking legs!!!! J.B. Rambo (the Jelly Bean Rabbit) needs an alarm clock set for every ten minutes as a reminder to get those jelly beans in her hands.
19 July, Thurs: 4 hour 4 mile hike Sherburne pass Trail to the mountains.
18 July, Wed: No need to research Major Joshua Sprague once residing in North Adams ca. 1778-1788, the records are online in the Sprague data. Irja, BD, you need to talk Drew into flying to Williamstown to see the Clark Institute of Art's "China" exhibit in progress. Do you know about it Eric and Jean???? Now, we are off to Killington with the Wrangel book formatting to finish, another grant proposal to write, and a few more days of hiking before departure for Nova Scotia (hiking en route). Will we get a ten miler completed breaking our maybe maybe maybe eight mile distance record (if the weather condition permits? Lunch in Bennington after a failed mission to purchase a long sleeved white shirt at the Salvation Army for two dollars or less.
17 July, Tues: MASS MoCA is across the street from the Porches Hotel and on our schedule today along with the Clark Musuem in Williamstown, Mass. WOW! The Clark Institute of Art is a huge surprise. Who would have guessed such fine holdings would be in a small community in Mass? It was a treat including the cold salmon for lunch at the museum. Robert Sterling Clark (founder) was a Singer Sewing Machine heir via his lawyer grandfather who got half of the Singer stock holdings defending Isaac Singer from a lawsuit. He and his wife became art collectors building a "bomb shelter" to house his artwork after WWII. MASS MoCA was not as unique as the Clark; but Cynthia enjoyed the Sanford and John Biggers work. Dinner at the Grammercy tonight was nothing special, nor was the waitress the brightest bulb on the planet. Walking from ten thirty AM to six PM wore us out. Good NIGHT!
|John Biggers, Houston muralist|
16 July, Mon: Happy Birthday! OH BOY! This is beloved Smooch Smooch's Big Day! Cynthia celebrates the entire month of July. But, first, a cute couple named the Pink Panthers needed a ride to River Road to hike the loop. They hiked the AT when he was sixty years old back in the early nineties. She beamed en route hearing the story of our romance. The grant proposal needed another quick review before hitting the submit button. Nothing is ever that simple. It took yet another phone call to D.C. working through the maze of passwords to make it work. B and E waited patiently before saying good byes to return to Brattleboro while we completed the grant process. Beanie is coping with sad news that her kidney donor was not a good match at the very last moment.
Smooch Smooch was duly surprised with goodies, fleurs and a vacation from the perpetual vacation, back to the old hotel restored by MASS MoCA, Victorian row houses once the homes of factory workers in North Adams, Mass. We had a majorly exciting dinner at Mezze Bistro in Williamstown. Even the raw vegetables were a marvelous mix of flavors. Lotzza fun and enjoyment seeing an off broadway musical "A Chorus Line" that has been around a long time for good reason.
15 July, Sun: Ron drove Slippy back to the Stoney Brook Road trailhead and put out Trail Magic with B and E. We picked up Cynthia and hiked Kent Pond until raindrops suggested we turn back. Dinner at Choice's is always delicious.
13 July Fri: Ha. So much for hiking today! We did not get started until one PM and drove for an hour trying to find Stoney Brook Road. Irene did a number on that road now impassable and we barely managed to turn around and get oudda there and find brewery for lunch by a lovely brook. As the official high differential taste tester for hot sauces(having earned an award pin Hottest Tongue in FL), Eric C. sent a second package to determine exactly which one is the hottest. This time none of the bottles were broken, but the one in the wooden casket case was definitely overpriced.
|Lunch at Long Trail Brewery by lovely brook|
12 July Thurs: Feeling frisky and adventurous we hiked up the Sherburne Pass Trail NOBO to the AT junction to River Road. Feeling wornout - we phoned the ILT to ask for a ride back; Jamey picked us up after detailing Mom's interior. 4.3 miles. Ron finished composing a grant proposal for the Craig Collection digitization project. Cynthia is duly impressed: MY HERO! We went to bed at seven PM.
9July Mon, Tues Wed: Either hay fever or a summer cold caught Smooch Smooch blindsided. Fever, sinus, all of the yuk stuff but she is weller. In the midst of this some property sold in TX necessitating lots of paperwork, notaries, etc. After a trip to Rutland's library to print a document, the courthouse notary did not want to notarize witnessing her signature because it was a TX form. Fortunately she walked into the Holden Insurance company open door ant the very congenial owner did the deed with no charge.
But all was not lost: Ron with incredible diligence put together a thousand piece double-sided puzzle!
|Kings Highway VT|
7 July Sat: It is raining and the jig saw puzzle is waiting; so, too, we are writing a grant proposal to obtain a book scanner for the Craig Collection digitization project. The rain stopped and we hiked Sherburne Pass Trail, fed a lot of hikers, did Trail Magic.
6 July Fri: UP UP UP and AWAY to the summit of the mountain off of Thunder Brook Road. The steep ascent was only 1.5 miles, but the two hour climb in 85 degree temps sweat soaked our clothes, the bugs bit and we itched. The great news is that the feet and low back are doing great. Hiking and moving helps! By the time we descended, the two oranges (Trail Magic) we left yesterday were gone. We met four hikers SOBO and one NOBO on the trail.
A jigsaw puzzle was started and stopped long enough to take Daddy Long Legs and his lovely wife to dinner at Choice's. Cynthia enjoyed visits in McGrath's Irish Pub with a group of women from CT who are also breast cancer survivors. Cynthia heartily recommends the book, "Never Fear Cancer Again" by Raymond Francis. After her amazing mammogram results in June, she credits Beyond Health's Ultimate Wellness Kit (cell detox and cell repair); Ron is recruited to become a case study for artery repair but it is doubtful that a diagnostic mammogram will prove its efficacy.
OHHH! Lookie in the July American Airlines Flight Magazine for Ron's letter penned during our flight from ATL to Miami 27 April about the Mensa puzzles in the magazine, "My wife does the Mensa word puzzles while I do the Mensa math, together we make a Mensa." Now that it was accepted for publication, it is entered into competition for 100,000 AA flight miles awarded in January of 2013. Stay tune!
5 July Thurs: Early bird drove the two hikers back to Route 12 right after breakfast returning with a surprise diet coke for his beloved Smooch Smooch. Mom (the Lexus) was emptied in preparation for her girl day at the service center but they just washed the outside and not the inside of the car. At least she has her oil changed and tires rotated. The service department did not find the cause of the front sensors going ballistic when it is foggy or rainy.
4 July Wed: We were going to check on the trail magic we left yesterday near Thunder Brook Falls but got caught up in the parade route and back-tracked outta there. Next stop on things to do was deliver Irish soda bread to the super nice folks that gave us Kool-Aid, soap and water to hose off the poison Ivy Cynthia got on her legs, plus taking us back to the car on Stage Road. After driving forever we realized the gorgeous views were a bonus even if we could not locate the family again. We gave up to KILL poison ivy. Surprisingly, once we were oriented on Stage Road we could see the right road to deliver the bread. The delighted looks on their faces was worth the delivery! Nice people. Returning to Route 12 we trekked up, up and up for a couple of hours only to run into two hikers we had met at the ILT. We offered them a ride back to the Inn for the night with a promise to deliver them back to Route 12 NOBO in the early morning.
|Meadow off Stage Road|
|Poison Ivy soon to die|
3July Tues: drove to Killington, took the gondola up to the summit and hiked down. The entire trip down was about 6 miles. Upon reaching the jungle junction, Ron made the 3.2 miles downhill to catch the last bus to retrieve the car in one hour!
|Killington Mountain Summit|
2july Monday: Hiked from Gifford Woods State Park to Thundering Brooks Falls Road and then drove into Rutland for dinner at Little Harry's followed by shopping for a Camelbak for Cynthia.
1July Sunday: This is the beginning of the month of the 52nd birthday celebration. Sherburne Pass Trail to Jungle Junction to SOBO AT 45 minutes.