Hike #1: Killington
Elevation: 4,235 feet
Date: October 6, 2012
Location: Killington, VT
Distance: 8.1 miles
Time: 3:46 (27:53/mile)
Time: 3:46 (27:53/mile)
Aaah, this stinks. It’s Columbus Weekend, the first weekend in October. Fall foliage season, and we’re in Vermont. I haven’t been able to downhill mountain bike in a long while and love-love-love Killington for this. The mountain is the best one I’ve run across for downhill biking, but it’s shaping up to be a crappy day.
I didn’t have a goal of starting my “67 in 67” this weekend – hiking all sixty-seven of New England’s 4,000-foot mountains over sixty-seven months. But biking down a ski mountain on narrow side trails with rocks and trees rarely is easier when everything’s wet. Given my history of going over the handlebars, ping-ponging off of boulders, damaging both my bike and my body, I’m thinking I should look for something else to do today.
As Sara and I explore our options we find that we can hike Killington, which is five minutes away. Or we can… umm… sit and talk about the lack of other ideas. Killington it is! Game on, let’s start the hiking.
|Killington Trailhead, 10/6/12|
Actually, who are “they”? People refer to things “they” say all the time. Is there some secret clan of wise cliché-makers, occasionally pushing out new sayings for inspiration or maybe Hallmark’s benefit? Are we the “they”, but we sound more credible if we aren’t saying “as I, the insightful one, always say…”? Dunno, this’ll be something to ponder as I start walking for hours.
We started off on a pretty flat trail and the weather was only cloudy, so it was easy to be chipper. But as we made the turn onto a trail that would begin ascending Killington, it began to drizzle, which began to cool me off. I knew it would only get worse.
|Killington, 10/6/12. Beautiful view. |
Foliage ain’t bad, either!
We stopped at a stone hut pretty far up the trail, and had a bite to eat. Fog was rolling in, it was getting colder and windy, and I was getting the bone-deep chill. But after a bite to eat we soldiered on. It was closer to the summit than I’d expected, so there was the happy surprise of finding ourselves topping out fairly quickly. No gratuitous panoramic view, though. Fog was really heavy, and my glasses were instantly unusable, no matter how frequently I wiped them off. Without them, it could’ve been an epic day, but I still would have had trouble. Oh well, the wind’s ferocious, the fog and rain are soaking and chilling me; let’s get the photo op and get off this rock!
|Killington Summit, 10/6/12|
After snapping the token summit picture, me with a single finger extended to represent my summit count to date, we got back under the trees, where the wind slacked off a bit. It was replaced with an increasingly heavy rain, but at least we were headed downhill, where gravity can do some of the work. Too bad I couldn’t use one of those inflatable balls you climb inside – now that would make hiking interesting!
|Allegedly thrilled after completing Killington (summit #1), 10/6/13|
That evening, Sara and I celebrated with a great fire, Santa Rita cabernet, and music. The storm clouds were clearing and I hoped that this was a chance for a mix of things: hiking one day, mountain biking the next, and leaf peeping all the while.
See you on the trail,
Jay, AKA Rock Hopper