After spending Christmas with my family, Boh and I jumped back into my trusty Honda and headed even further east to meet up with our dearest friend (Boh did some serious bonding on this trip). We spent a day gathering our provisions, finishing some top-secret work (thanks, Mad) and movie watching before heading up to Southern Vermont to the Merck Forest and Farmland Center, an educational organization that runs a sustainable farm and has several cabins for rent, year-round, on its 31oo acres.
The theme of this trip for us was “luxury camping”, so we hefted our packs, filled with sausage, knitting, reading, down booties, part of a growler of Southwestern beer, brownies, etc. and began the gorgeous hike in to our cabin, a few miles from the main visitor’s center. (Note: the above picture is from the hike out. You’ll notice there is a good 9 inches of snow on the ground. This was not there when we arrived, so we left the snowshoes in the car.) An hour or so later, we arrived at our cabin, stocked with firewood and complete with two wood stoves. Soon the fires were roaring, and we were settled in for the evening.
Note that the dog is in MY spot. We made dinner, brought in firewood for the evening and began to hunker. I made some serious progress on tiger sock number 2:
Santa brought me these deliciously warm down booties, and I was thrilled to have them for this trip. It snowed through the night, and on into the morning. It was still snowing when we packed up and began the hike out — a bit more challenging due to the many inches of powder we’d received over the last 12 hours. Here’s a shot of me and the dog at that same vista overlooking the farm portion of the land trust.
From there, a review of the forecast for continuous snow modified our plans a bit — worried that we might get snowed in at Merck and never make it up to our final destination in northern Vermont, we left early in order to cover some of the mileage before the roads froze and spent a more “civilized” New Year’s Eve making pasta and lounging in a hotel room halfway “up” I-91. The following morning we left early, and it began to snow. We reached the Wheeler Pond Camps just as the previous evening’s guests were leaving. Still snowing.
Plenty of snow for snowshoes. We packed our daypacks and snowshoed out the cabin door, eventually deciding to climb Moose Mountain in the Willoughby State Forest. With Boh leading, we climbed up and up and up, eventually reaching a rather anticlimactic summit that had to be the top! (We confirmed this on the cabin’s map upon return.) Here’s a view of the frozen pond, from part of the way up Moose Mountain.
Feeling invigorated (and okay, a bit sore!), we returned to luxury camping, which involved soup, yahtzee, more knitting and reading, a crackling fire and a bunch more snow. I can’t think of a better way to spend the first day of 2008.
I haven’t been this relaxed in months, and the company and the setting made this one of the best camping trips I’ve taken in recent memory.
(Surreptitiously slipping in some knitting content: See that on my head? That is my finished Foliage, made in purple Malabrigo. I wore it the entire trip. It stretched out a little bit, but that is likely fixable with some blocking…I love it.)
The next morning (still snowing), we dug the car out and drove south for one more evening of lounging before I set out for my parents’ house and Maddy went back to work. The next day, Boh and I began the 1801 miles back to our casita — and here we are.
Now that I’ve told you about New Years, I’ll have to sit down and make my resolution list — knitting and otherwise. Stay tuned!