Yukon and I decided that we would take a nice overnight trip on the Stratton Pond Loop of the Long Trail (LT) in Vermont this past weekend. The planning stage went well. Then came the actual execution of our plan…that is where the beginning get bogged down a little. Long story short, I was about an hour late picking him up at the designated spot for our carpool to the trail head. I had few issues at home involving a wife with a cold and an upset toddler. Those of you who are fathers out there understand where I am coming from.
The rest of the trip went pretty well even though we hiked most of Saturday in the rain. They don’t call Vermont VerMud for no reason! Very muddy…deep dark…squishy mud. I am not sure what was worse, the mud or the bog bridges with green slime on them. They were as slippery as ice. I almost fell off a few times, in fact, I fell on the second day. Fortunately nothing bruised but my pride. To state just how slippery they were, my two dogs had a difficult time walking on them without sliding off!
We decided to take a short cut and detour around the actual summit of Stratton Mountain due to the rain and clouds making for no views at all. We thought that it would be better if we made it to camp, set up, made a fire, dried out, and just hung out for the afternoon. So that is exactly what we did. It took a little bit of skill and persistence to get a fire going in the soggy conditions, but we prevailed and managed to dry out a little.
We set up a nice little camp site with matching WBBBs and SuperFlys facing each other. The dogs were anxious for their dinner, and once fed settled down for a nap. After everything was set up we each made our own dinners. Beef Stew for Yukon and BF5’s BBQ Spaghetti for me (yum!). Then it was time to relax and chat for a while as the darkness of night settled in around us. About dusk I saw a screech owl fly in and land right above Yukon’s hammock for a few seconds before it flew off. Too bad I couldn’t get a picture of it.
Later right before we settled down for some comfortable sleep in the WBBBs, Yukon saw a couple of beavers swimming around in the pond and actually got to watch them chew at some trees. Lucky views.
We had a pretty good night of sleep interrupted only when my dog, Hunter, decided it was time to chase some critters away from camp. He makes for a good camp guard dog, but he is not the quietest while on duty!
I got to try out my new HG Cuben Hybrid 3S (20*) Phoenix UQ. Very nice! It kept me toasty all night long. I was so warm I couldn’t have the TQ on me most of the night. The lows were probably in the low 50s, but I am confident that it will live up to its ratings and more!
When morning rolled around, we enjoyed breakfast from the hammocks then packed up for a leisurely hike back to the car. Sunday’s weather was clear and bright. And the fall colors were popping! Very pretty around Stratton Pond. We will definitely be going back there!
All in all, it was a good trip with good company. I can’t wait until the next trip!
Attached are some of the pictures of the trip. I will try to post more when I get them downloaded off of the camera.