Geo: 44.4653, -72.685
Today was going to be a hiking day. This was important because I started off the day with a crepe that was probably way too fattening and sweet to be a breakfast, but it was. It had caramelized peaches with mascarpone cheese and raspberry syrup. Oh my!
It looked to be a rain free day so I set off for the Smugglers Notch State Park. There was a hiking path to a pond that I wanted to take that was supposed to be about 2 hours. The road through Smugglers Notch is only open part of the year and I could see why! Once you get past the gondola area, the road becomes very windy, narrow and lined with giant boulders. It was one of those roads that I don't like to drive on, but I will be doing it again tomorrow when I head back to Burlington. Anyway, the drive was very beautiful and probably was even
more so a week ago when the leaves were all on the trees. I pulled over at one parking lot along the route, but there weren't any signs that it was the main parking lot so I kept going. Well eventually I
ended up down on the other side and decided I had to turn around and go back. Turns out the parking area I had stopped at was the main parking. There were those little information sign places, but no signs in them. And no rangers to direct you. I saw other people heading up a steep rocky path, which must have been the way to the pond, but I am not comfortable hiking on paths that aren't well marked so I skipped it. Maybe the signs are only up during the main season. In any case, I headed back the way I came. Parked in Stowe and wandered around a little, but shopping wasn't something I was interested in and it kept drizzling. I did take some time to wander through the town cemetery where the first
burial was from the 1780s.
I ended up heading out of town to the Trapp Family Lodge. Yes, those Trapps of Sound of Music fame. The movie is really very far from being accurate. All the names of the children were changed, the story of how Maria ended up with the family is different and lots of other things. But, the family seems to take it all in stride as they have weekly showings of the movie at the lodge. Apparently they ended up settling in Stowe because it reminded them of Salzburg. I could see why when I drove past the front of the lodge. It looks out over a valley towards the mountains. These are not nearly as tall as the Alps, but are a good substitute if you can't go home due to Nazi's! The nice thing about the Trapp Lodge is the abundance of hiking trails. Visitors can purchase a $10 day pass and have access to all the grounds and trails. If you aren't a guest or do not have a pass you can only enter the Lodge and eat at the restaurants. There are several gardens and the family cemetery. They have a brewery, make maple syrup and have cows. I first got lunch at the cafe. Several sandwich choices, some quiches, soups and meats and cheeses. I ate outside as all the inside tables were full and I was the only one. I guess it was too cold!
After lunch I finally got my hiking in. One path leads to a chapel. This path was mostly uphill and through the trees. I was the only one at the chapel and it was so peaceful. Then some kids arrived, rang the bell and played hide and seek. Not so quiet anymore! I then took a walk along Sugar Road to the Picnic Knoll and then back along the Russel Knoll track. The Picnic Knoll was the perfect place to run up a hill and twirl around. Luckily there were no other people there! Got my shoes wet and was all warmed up by the time I got back to the car. I started the journey with two sweaters, a coat and gloves. Ended up with just the one sweater. It was very quiet on the paths and they were well marked and a bit muddy from all the rain. I would highly recommend the Trapp Family Lodge as a place to hike if you aren't an adventurous person since you can't really get lost. They also have skiing and snowmobiling in the winter and mountain bike trails. I think it was well worth the $10 fee.
By the time I was done walking around I was pretty tired. So I just headed back to my room to sit down. I went to Piecasso again for dinner, but got a slice and a salad to go.
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