Wen and I did an “escape trip” to Vermont last week. Rented a house in Killington, a small ski town. Wen kept working throughout weekdays, while I did some hiking and excursions nearby. We did some kayaking on the first day and it was nice. Saw a loon up close on the water.
Summer is definitely not a popular season for Vermont. I imagine the town will see many more tourists during the foliage and snow seasons. There isn’t much to see in summer, and COVID doesn’t help. Half of the town was closed when we were there, so dining options were kind of limited. Several times I drove half to one hour to Woodstock and even Waterbury just for a nice dinner.
Hiking trails in Vermont all feel similar. The mountains are green, really green, covered by countless tree canopies with almost no openings. That means a hiking trail is often 99% walking in the woods until you reach some peak. Walking in the woods means windless and humid, sometimes buggy, not the best hiking atmosphere I’ve had. Appalachian Trail crosses through Vermont, so there are still some nice parts. But overall I’d recommend waiting until the foliage season to hike here. We rode a ski gondola to reach Killington Peak one day, which I think it’s a nicer option.
Vermont has a lot of farms. When driving around, the most often seen signs by the road are for all kinds of farms. I went to Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, which is apparently managed by NPS and is a designated national historical park. I quite enjoyed this place because I haven’t had much chance to visit museums this year, and this place also has cute farm animals like cows, horses, and sheep. I also went to a maple syrup farm called Baird Farm. They offered a nice little tour to show how they produce maple syrup, and syrup tasting for 6 different kinds!
We actually don’t do overnight/multi-day trip near New York often, so I’m much more used to a lean travel pack with only essentials. This time we rented a big jeep, and Wen actually plan to work for the most time as a “workation”, so the stuff we brought was a bit over the board:
A 27-inch monitor
Two Nintendo Switches. We played Streets of Rage 4 and Moving Out at night.
A big board game (Gaia Project), which we ended up not playing at all.
A big massage pillow, which we actually used a lot
My Celestron telescope. It was rainy and cloudy for the second half of our trip, so this huge telescope wasn’t used either…
A driving trip does give a different feeling than flying. I’d do more if there are nicer views to see around New York.
继续往南开了两小时到达Black Canyon of The Gunnison的北沿，走North Vista Trail。这个公园的北沿连个visitor center都没有，只有个ranger station。这个trail单程3英里多一点，一英里的地方有个Exclamation Point，有很不错的峡谷view，可以看到底下的Gunnison河，爬到顶是个小山头，周围的草木长得太高了，反倒看不到多少东西，有点失望。
这天我意识到除了Black Canyon我还需要找一些别的事儿干，因为晚上订了继续住那个小木屋，而Black Canyon南沿半天也就看完了。于是早上我去了当地的一个土味博物馆Museum of the Mountain West，结果出人意料的还挺好玩。里面的展品都是馆长的个人收藏，everything about American west。有整栋搬来的小学校教室，有从河里捡回来的电话亭那么大的小邮局，有锈成渣渣的老爷车，奇奇怪怪的东西很多，讲解的tour长达两个半小时，相当丰富。
天门洞还是非常值得一看的。山上开了一个巨大的贯通岩洞，比Arches National Park那些arch要大一个数量级。天门山由于地势险峻雄奇，吸引了很多极限运动。这儿搞过飞机穿越，每年有翼装飞行比赛，还有各种高空走钢索挑战。盘山公路号称九十九道弯，搞过赛车还有那种看起来很像汽车人变形还有点二的贴地轮滑。当然这些都得赶上有活动，大多只能通过照片领略。我在的时候看到了一个翼装飞行的人一闪而过，但只是在练习并不是有正式比赛什么的。