Day 148 – Southern Adirondack Pines to Smugglers Notch State Park
Sunday was a travel day, with a fairly long drive, but we had time for Tracey to make a special treat: a big breakfast before heading out. We also had time for a very nice chat with the owners of the campground, definitely the nicest owners we’ve met yet.
Eventually, we hit the road and headed east for Vermont, our 25th state on this trip. It was a very pretty drive and definitely got us excited about the next few days. Our one chore for the day was a stop at the grocery store before continuing to the campground in Smugglers Notch State Park near Stowe.
Day 149 – Smugglers Notch State Park
We had a big day planned, but first we had to get some work done. After lunch, Michael took the after noon off to hike to the “Chin” (the local name for the summit) of Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont. The connecting trail from the campground wasn’t clearly marked, so we ended up in about 1/4 of the way up the peak in the Stowe Mountain Resort ski area. We met another hiker who said the best way up was straight up the mowed ski run, a really steep black diamond trail. It was probably the toughest climb since the Manitou Incline in Colorado, but eventually we made it to the visitor center near the summit (which you can also drive to but we like doing these hikes the hard way). We continued on to the summit and enjoyed amazing panoramic views of Vermont and all the way into New York and Canada.
Needless to say, it was late when we finally made it back to the van, so we ate a hearty dinner and fell asleep early.
Day 150 – Smugglers Notch State Park to Stowe
On Tuesday, we packed up the van and took the short scenic drive through Smugglers Notch, a mountain pass once used by the British to smuggle goods from Canada to Boston. After the drive, we stopped by car wash to vacuum van out while Michael worked. We ate lunch in the van, then headed to Trapp Family Lodge for a nice scenic background for Michael to work while Tracey walked around grounds and found a nice bench to enjoy the view and read.
While we hadn’t really traveled very far, we checked in to new lodging, the Northern Lights Lodge in Stowe.
Day 151 – Stowe
Michael spent the morning working from the hotel, then we headed out for another afternoon of exploring. We backtracked a bit to Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, with a lot of history and a beautiful location on the shore of Lake Champlain. For lunch, Tracey met up with another old Mercy Corps co-worker while Michael took the van to get an well-deserved oil change. Afterwards, we headed downtown to explore the Church Street Marketplace and the lake front. Finally, we headed back to our hotel in Stowe and grabbed a pizza for dinner.
Day 152 – Stowe to Mt. Pisgah
Another morning spent working in the hotel, then back on the road for an afternoon drive. First, we stopped for lunch and some grocery shopping. Michael also had a little more work to finish up, but luckily the Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Factory was nearby, so Tracey had something fun to do in the meantime. Eventually, we continued on to our destination for the night, the White Caps Campground on Lake Willoughby.
Day 153 – Mt. Pisgah
Our campground didn’t have great cell service or dependable wi-fi, so we had to pack up the van and drive about twenty minutes to Lyndon, where Tracey did laundry and gave RC a good cleaning while Michael worked. We stayed in Lyndon at a park for lunch and a couple more hours of work for Michael while Tracey crocheted, then headed back to White Caps campground for dinner and a good rest before a big day of hiking.
Day 154 – Mt. Pisgah to Mt. Washington
We woke up Saturday (the 5 month mark of our trip!) and decided to go ahead and pack up the van, even though the trailhead was less than a mile away. Our hike took us to the top of Mt. Pisgah, the summit of which we had been admiring from our campsite. It was a very humid morning, and all the French Canadians we met along the trail made it feel like we were the visitors in another country. It was a fairly easy hike with a decent bit of climbing, but the payoff was really amazing, with excellent views of the lake below us and the surrounding countryside.
After the hike, we jumped in the van and headed east to our next destination in our next state, New Hampshire. Our base camp was at Sugarloaf in the White Mountains, where we would rest up for another hike the next day (and our biggest challenge yet): Mt. Washington.