Sun 9 Jun - Manchester, VT

A walk in the woods...

We were heading back to our old favourite, the Appalachian Trail. We thought we would hike a loop up and around Mount Stratton, so we drove to East Arlington and followed Kansas Road to our trail head road. After 2 miles...road closed! The forest service made no mention of this obstacle and it left us 7 miles from the start of the trail.

We could quickly see the problem...

The river chose the road as a new route. You can see some parked cars behind the rocks in the picture below. That's where the end of the road is at present.

A local(?) artist was making the best use of no through traffic and a lovely day, standing down by the river painting.

On the way there we had spotted a suspension bridge that needed to be tried on the way back.

Hans tested out the "swingability" factor of the bridge. Result: high. Very good.

Di was not so keen on sampling the bridge. This is as far out on the bridge that she wandered.

From the middle of the bridge looking down...

Return of the Vortex... Why? Can't people just appreciate the view and the ambience of a place?

Anyway, we needed another trail. No problem. We went back to the Forest Service to look for alternative hikes and agreed that the Bromley Mountain trail may be a reasonable alternative. It is also part of the Appalachian Trail (AT) so all good.

This is the noticeboard at the trailhead and we started out at 9am.

You may notice 2 acronyms on the board below. AT of course is the popular shortened version of the Appalachian Trail, but LT may not be familiar. LT stands for Long Trail, which runs through the length of Vermont and is the oldest long distance trail in the US. I.e. it predates the Appalachian Trail which used part of the Long Trail to connect the dots so to say.

Hans the hiker was happy back on the AT. White marker = AT.

Di much rather preferred these kind of bridges to the suspension bridge earlier on.

Green Mountains of course are green for a very good reason. It rains a lot. Another sign of the dampness are these giant mushrooms we saw next to the trail.

Di is having a break... an apple for morning tea was just perfect.

After around 2.3 miles or just under 4 km, we came across Bromley Shelter, one of those overnight shelters for long distance hikers. It was very neat with 2 layers of timber flooring for the hikers to sleep on, although it is fully open to the elements to the right of the picture.

They had a hikers logbook and we made our presence known to the wider hiking community through some scribbles.

This is the dunny to the left - very civilized. A shovel for sawdust for the dunny as well as for shoveling snow perhaps...

From the shelter it is a further mile to the summit.

The last 0.3 miles or 500 meters of the trail to the top of Bromley Mountain was actually on a ski slope. This was a first for us and this again forms part of the Appalachian Trail. Interesting... Looking up...

...and looking down the ski slope.

Us together at the top of the mountain.

Well, it's the top of a mountain so the ski lifts congregate here together with an array of buildings and shacks.

The Ski Patrol is based here during winter, but the building was open and was being used by long distance hikers at this time. We have to say the hikers were a neat bunch because it was all very tidy inside (albeit old and simple).

How nice - the ski guys had stopped their chairlift in a way that provided a perfect, comfortable seat for our lunch break, with great views thrown in. The padded seat was a unique experience for us at the top of a hike.


This is the AT/LT marker at the top of Bromley Mountain. Not the most professional signage that we've seen.

We returned the same way to the end of the trail, completing just over 10km but it took nearly 5 hours. Very slow for us but we were picking our way carefully over small streams and through mud. This our collective boot and hiking pants damage for the day. OK, so the trail was a tad damp today...we liked it anyway.

The final stats...not that far to hike, but runkeeper gave a good picture of the ski runs too. There were a few...

After completing our hike around 2pm, we drove by the grocery store for a resupply of goods and treats including some local brew. Then back to the cabin for a shower (a nice long bath for Di) and some R&R.

At beer o'clock Hans sampled a new craft beer - Long Trail IPA, brewed by the Long Trail Brewing Co in Bridgewater, Vermont. Quite refreshing. Another one soon followed the first.

The sun was shining, we had the place to ourselves, so we sat on our chairs outside and enjoyed it all.

We went back to town for an early dinner, having zoomed in on Christos, a pizza pasta joint across the road from Thai Basil where we went for lunch yesterday.

Christos. Not good. Shrimp, which is what we both ordered to go with our pasta, had run out. They still took our orders and came back a while later letting us know that it was gonski. We went for plan B and ordered "second best" although there was really no second best. It all felt cheap and microwave cooked and Di in particular left a lot of the food on the plate. Oh well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Back to the cabin where we are sitting outside enjoying the last hour or so of sunshine. Casablanca Motel in Manchester, VT is a very pleasant place. Good night.


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