Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Discovering New Mountains

We love to hike and usually go to the same place every time (Mt. Tom) and have a picnic at the summit. This time around, we decided to try something different and went to Mt. Ascutney. It used to be a fairly decent sized ski hill that went belly-up and now I'm not sure what's going on with it. It's a shame because the hill is pretty close to us, and I was told it was a friendly place to ski. The resort still functions and there are hiking and mountain biking trails, but it would be nice to ski there. Plus, we have many friends who live in that area.

I'd heard a lot about hiking Mt. Ascutney, and was told you could get a 360 degree view of the entire valley at the top, so we decided to go for it, much to N's chagrin. He always gets crabby at the thought of going on a hike, and then has fun, only to get crabby again the next time. Sometimes we have to force the issue. The hiking trail was actually in a different place than the ski hill, which threw me off. I'm guessing the mountain is big, maybe even a range of peaks, because it sure seemed as if we were nowhere near the resort. In fact, until we reached the trailhead, I was convinced I got the directions wrong and we were in the wrong place.

We landed at the right spot, however, and again, I was struck by how far it seemed from the actual ski hill. The trail head was fairly busy, with numerous cars, and we saw a bunch hikers along the trail. When we climb Mt. Tom, we usually see nobody. I think Mt. Ascutney attracts more city folks and people from further away, because I sensed a more urban element, and perhaps a slightly rougher edge, i.e., tattoos and cigarettes.

We headed up the hill and even though he griped endlessly about going, N took the lead with A and they shot up like rockets. I realize I'm getting old, but I can't keep up with those guys. The hike was nice, the mountain is beautiful and even though we didn't even get close to the top (it's over 3 miles one way), we had nice views. We made it as far as the Cascade Falls, which were nice even though the flow was low. I'm guessing around spring the falls are pretty impressive. At some point we decided to head back, even though N was ready to keep pushing on.

I have to say, it was nice. I'd like to hike it more often, it's more challenging than Mt. Tom, and maybe a little more interesting. Plus, we barely scratched the surface of all the hiking it has to offer.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Zane Hollingsworth for the pic.

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