Big surprise, I went on Phish tour for two days at SPAC and while up in New York I went hiking. I hike a lot when on tour. I love hiking and take every opportunity to explore new trails when I am traveling. Even when I am on vacation (Panama, Hilton Head, Delaware, and others) I find a place to hike. Last time I was went to SPAC I hiked Cat Mountain and it was a good hike. You hike to the top of a mountain that overlooks Lake George. It was a little hazy that morning, but you could certainly see for a long time.
I had already hike near SPAC and was thinking about going deeper into the Adirondacks for a place to hike. Then I thought to myself, I should hike in Vermont. I have always heard how beautiful the state is, time to experience it for myself. I have been to the state once before with my friend Jeremy. We attempted to see the last Phish show, Coventry, before their first hiatus. That trip turned into a disaster as the field was flooded and they barred people from entering the site. Disappointed, Jeremy and I headed to Burlington for the day and then home to see The Dead at Nissan Pavilion. I remember buying the tickets for the show while jacking some free wifi in Burlington.
This time around I wanted to make a proper trip of my visit to Vermont and found a trail in the Green Mountain National Forest. The loop trail was over six miles long and lead to Little Rock Pond, then to the top of a mount before returning to the parking lot. Just getting to the trail head took almost two hours but I traveled through some beautiful country to get there. Starting in Albany I headed west down a major highway that quickly turned rural as I traveled through eastern New York. It was a noticeable change when I entered Vermont. The population became much more scattered and there was green everywhere! Plus as I traveled further north and higher into the mountains the temps dropped to the mid 70’s. On the radio there was a rebroadcast of From the Archives, both days, and I was loving the drive. The windows where down, the music was cranking and I had beautiful scenery everywhere I looked.
I did make one stop on my trip at Manchester Center. This was the last major town before the trail head and I needed to get a few last minute supplies, mostly food. I loved this quaint little town. It was rural yet they had all sorts of modern amenities. Out door stores everywhere you looked, a Kate Spade, Michal Cole, and some other high end shops. All this so close to nature and outdoor activities.
The parking lot was pretty full when I got there. I saw a family with camping gear headed to the pond for a few nights under the starts. From the weather report it was a perfect weekend to be outside camping. The temperature was 75 and perfect for hiking. The humidity was a little high, but at least it wouldn’t be burning my ass off. The trail up to Little Rock Pond was only a couple of miles and passed with ease. The trail was rather busy with a lot of people hiking back from the pond, lots of family’s. At only 2.5 miles, a quick hike with beautiful landscapes.
I spent a lot of time at the pond. It was calm and there was always a breeze blowing off the water. I walked around to a group of rocks that over looked the pond and ate my lunch here. I must tell you, it was a great view to eat my lunch. Around the edge of the pond I could see other people hiking, fishing, and a few playing in the water. I actually saw a couple swim across the pond. The water looked inviting, but it is much further across than it looks.
After my lunch the real hike began. There was some elevation change getting to the pond but it go real steep from the pond to the top of the mountain. For the rest of the hike I sweated a ton. Climbing that mountain was tough but once I got to the top, the views where spectacular. The tree growth obscured some views, but you could still see far and wide across the valley to other mountain peaks. From one spot could you see back down to the pond. From there I got a sense of just how high I had climbed up the mountain.
One thing I loved about the entire hike up and around the mountain was the smell. The forest was full of pine trees and when the wind would blow all you could smell was fresh pine, that smell was intoxicating, I can see why people live in places like this.
After a few hours I made it back to my car. My GPS said I hiked over 8 miles but it was probably closer to 6.5. I drank almost three litters of water and felt like I sweated just as much. The pond was calming and the mountain top was peaceful and serene. After changing into some dry cloths I headed back to Saratoga for the second show on my mini tour and what happened to be the last show of the first leg of Phish’s summer 2012 tour.
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