Moving on up

We’ve been absent from the blog for a little while.  Just because I got lazy does not mean that Paul did.  He is taking on Vermont now.  I’ll go back and catch up on what we’ve missed, but I thought that everyone would like to know where we are.
Vermont is more rugged and has a wilder feel than the previous states.  The gorgeous Green Mountains are steep.  Paul is going to get tested here.  

At Vermont the AT combines with the Long Trail.  The trail now actually looks like an obvious trail now.  So now when Paul can’t find a blaze for a long while it doesn’t matter as much.  The Green Mountain club, which oversees this section of the trail, is very concerned with the amount of traffic on the trail and the damage that causes.  It’s published in our guide book not to get off of the trail.  That means walking through lots of mud.  That’s a fairly new obstacle for Paul.  And since it rains every day, there is lots of it.

I had a planned trip back to San Diego so Paul was on his own for about a week.  I dropped him off in Massachusetts and he hiked his way up.  We are starting to see more of the fast hikers who started in Georgia appear.  Most will never catch Paul but a few of them are showing up.  Plus Paul is seeing more hikers because of the Long Trail and weekend hikers because it is beautiful, yet challenging hiking.  So I did not worry about him being alone.

 We parked the RV at  Greenwood Lodge.  It’s next door to the Prospect ski resort.  Chris and his family were wonderful hosts, the place was impeccably clean and the alpine  setting was beautiful.  I felt very comfortable leaving Paul knowing they would look out for him.

I commented to Chris, our host, that the ski runs next door were short but very steep.  He told me that the lift broke years ago and people either used the miles of cross country trails or they had to climb the mountain themselves and ski down.  I asked if people paid money to do that.  Yep.  These Vermontans are a tough breed.  

When I got back from California I took Paul to a steakhouse to reward him for the hard work.  The Publyk House in Bennington had huge steaks and a magnificent view of Bennington.  When we walked in, Paul was greeted like a celebrity.  A group of hikers from New York that Paul met on the trail were surprised to see him.  It was endearing to see their reaction.  They had all conquered some tough hiking trails and were celebrating.  It’s that commeraderie that makes the experience so rewarding.

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