Here’s my biggest problem, and it comes with a few elements:
- I LOVE travelling
- I’m a student with a job, a boyfriend, a cat, friends, family, a blog, and almost no free time
- I’m antSY as heck to get go on as many adventures as possible
Here’s the issue: I can’t go all year… I have school four days a week and a job, and a cat, and everything I just mentioned. Here’s what I can do: take small roadtrips to keep my inner travel demon at bay. And that’s not to say our roadtrips aren’t fun; because they are! So much! They’re just shorter sadly 🙁
Nevertheless, here’s my summary of our trip to Vermont. Ian and I love to explore the outdoors, so this trip for us was all about bouldering and hiking! (with some vegan fun in the mix… I’ll talk about that later).
We drove up to set up our tent at Smuggler’s Notch state park, right near Mt. Mansfield; on the way up to the camping site, you pass through the park and boulders that the area has to offer.
Here’s one of the boulders we stopped to see, because we just couldn’t wait til after we’d set up our tent:
(My 5″2 for scale)
The roots boulder, as climbers call it, turned out to be Ian’s favourite boulder of the weekend:
But Mt. Mansfield is literally covered with boulders! And they’re all easily accessible, literally right by the side of the road. I’m not crazy versed in outdoor climbing, but even I found lots of routes that I was perfectly able to climb.
After our tiring day of climbing rocks for no reason other than fun, we trekked out into the ‘city’, where we stopped at a corner store for treats. And this is where I discovered that Vermont is SUPER vegan friendly. At this corner store, I found a product that until this point is the BEST vegan ice cream I’ve tried (close in front of Ben and Jerry’s). Nadamoo!
They had a variety of flavours that I have yet to see from any Canadian retailer. I tried the Cookie and Cream flavour, and it was to die for. Here’s how excited I was: I bought a pint, knowing full well that, because we were camping, I could only store it in a cooler for the next two days. (In case you’re wondering, the cooler kept it surprisingly solid).
So that was the first day of our Vermont adventure. On the second day, we decided t treck up to Mt. Manfield’s peak, and somehow, picked the hardest of all the routes to get up there (seriously, there are like at least ten): Hell Brook trail.
Many of the routes up the mountain take nice leisurely zig-zag routes to the top, but Hell Brook goes straaaight up. That means three and a half hours of steep trekking, and some climbing! A lot of the time, we had to hold onto the roots available just to keep a steady grip on the ground.
At one point, it was so steep that whoever charted the route literally inserted bars into two big boulders, so hikers could climb onto them. It was an awesome route – but if you’re not comfortable climbing rocks, I wouldn’t recommend it.
(Here’s me standing next to one of the boulders we found that would of been fun to climb, had we not been exhausted from all the so-called hiking we already had to do This was not even a quarter of the way up.)
When we got to the peak, we were covered in sweat and exhausted from the hike. But the end of the trail meets up with the end of all the other trails, so we met up with other hikes who took the more leisurely trail – after a vertical hike (more like climb..) of about three and a half hours, they were too cheerful for cranky me. But the peak offers a gorgeous view – it is, after all, the highest one in Vermont.
It started raining on our way down (downpouring, really) which made for a slippery descent – but also for an even more rewarding end.
And that was our trip to Vermont! It was also the beginning of our love for hiking – any good trails you’d recommend?