To reach the start of this section hike, my Mom (our wonderful driver and cook), dropped us off at Stony Brook Road. This was a gravel road that wound up into the wilderness. At first there were houses, but as the road deteriorated we only saw an occasional vacation cabin. At the point where she dropped us off, it was pretty remote. She could not park right at the trail, so we had to start by hiking up hill up the road about a quarter-mile. Then we headed up the trail, and I mean straight up!
My poor daughter, who was already tired after several days hiking, about a quarter-mile in said, “That’s it!” She sat down in tears in the middle of the trail, threw down her pack, and refused to go a step further. lol My Dad and I looked at each other. What could we do? My Mom was long gone. We were in the middle of nowhere. There was no cell reception here. Short of an emergency, there was no way anyone was getting out of here but up and over this crazy mountain!
So after a rest, some water, and a snack, and handing off some of her pack weight to my Dad, she was ready to tackle the trail again. I am really proud of her for sticking it out. After we were done with our trip she told me how she had learned that she can tackle challenges with perseverance and persistence that once seemed impossible. Both she and I realize how much better shape we are in now, both in leg and cardiovascular strength.
My Dad, who has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to where we were in Vermont, taught us how to handle hills. We learned to take it slowly and steadily and to time our breathing with our steps. I ended up taking one breath for every two steps. And sometimes I would just look down at my feet and concentrate on one step at a time. And of course, I would stop and rest when I’d reached my limit. Using that method, we climbed 1200 feet in a mile and a half. And that was a useful tool to get us through all the other crazy hills in Vermont too.
So we survived our five miles and 1200 feet and were very glad to seem my Mom at the other side. Though the hike was super hard, it was also super beautiful. We had a cool ladder to climb up to the top of a giant boulder. And there were actually a couple of peaks we reached on this trail. Each one had a different look from the scenery on the way up and you felt really rewarded for all that hiking to get to see this unique mountain top that most people probably never see.
I have several more days of Appalachian Trail hiking to write about. And next week we are headed back to middle Tennessee to camp and hike on the Cumberland plateau. This is a super interesting area which I was quite surprised to find in Tennessee. I actually think it is actually as interesting as Vermont, though only a 4-5 hour drive (instead of 22! lol) It is an area of higher elevation made of sandstone which easily erodes into waterfalls, boulders, rock cliffs and caves. I can’t wait!! This is our last summer fling before Fall responsibilities. So more posts to come about our Vermont Appalachian Trail and our Cumberland Plateau hike!
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13