That which does not kill us makes us stronger

That which does not kill us makes us stronger

Frozen pond off the Long Trail

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get outside more during the off season, both to scout and to get some exercise.  The last couple of weekends I’ve headed out snowshoeing up to Vermont’s Long Trail on Mount Mansfield.

Yesterday I snowshoed up the Nebraska Notch trail to its intersection with the Long Trail, then took the Long Trail south.  It was mid-twenties with wind gusts up to almost 5 mph (thanks to WeatherHawk for the WindMate 350).

One or two snowshoers had gone up the Nebraska Notch trail before me, but I was the first snowshoer to head south on the Long Trail.  My destination was Taylor Lodge.

View from Taylor Lodge

It is just over two miles up to Taylor Lodge.  As you’d expect, most of the climb is up.  Lots of up. However, there are many relatively flat areas and some descents as well.  Total ascents for the round-trip hike are over 7,800 feet.

I took a short break upon reaching the lodge, after doing a brief “Rocky” dance.  I was packing up to head back when a group of three middle-aged ladies arrived.  (If they read this, I just assume they were middle-aged based on their wit and maturity.  They all look much younger.)  The ladies thanked me for breaking trail for them – which I thought was kind.  If nothing else, I am a superb trail-breaker.  I have fairly large snowshoes and that snow ends up pretty well packed down.

Another view from Taylor Lodge

On my way back from the lodge I met quite a few snowshoers heading up the mountain and one back-country skier.  Almost everyone I met on the  trail was accompanied by a dog or two.  Whenever I couldn’t find a blue or white blaze I could always locate a yellow “blaze” left by a four-legged hiker.

It was great to get outside and it was great to get such good exercise.  Snowshoeing up a mountain is pretty exhausting and is difficult enough that you don’t need to be carrying extra weight.  I’ll add this to my growing list of arguments to lose some pounds.  Good thing I gave up donuts for Lent.  Maybe I’ll get a lighter pack.

Porch of Taylor Lodge

Now that I’m inserting photos in this post it has dawned on me that perhaps I should have taken a picture as I approached the lodge.  I’ll have to go back and do that, but not today!

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