Monday, August 31st. (Day 19)
Today was an adventure. We made a plan last night to take some time off, and thought instead of having a super long day today, and a zero day tomorrow, we would break it up. We got a good sunrise right from our beds this morning.
After the first two small mountains we climbed this morning, we climbed Mt. Mansfield. This is Vermont's tallest mountain. We had a great hike up the mountain and were very refreshed from extra rest last night. We actually slept in til 6:30 on accident. We are usually up by 6am.
Mansfield is a great hike, and didn't lack the difficulty.
There was one part of the hike that was a bit dangerous for me. We both had to remove our packs to crawl around a corner ledge rock. It was the scariest thing I have ever done on a hike. (Until about an hour later, that is)
Our fine plan we concocted last night was to take the gondola down the mountain, rather than pushing the hours to hike all the way back down. Tomorrow, we will get a ride back up and hike down. It will be a very short day. We found that there was a side trail off the Long Trail that was only 0.4 miles to the gondola. Perfect!
However, we should have put a little more thought into the fact that this trail was called the "cliff trail". This turned out to be the most terrifying experience I have ever had backpacking. Not only was this 0.4 mile trail steep, but it was very dangerous. We had to remove our packs several times to perform the maneuvers needed to get down steep rocks, and basically make very large steps over gaps in rocks that plummet down dozens of feet. Not many pictures were taken but this was one of the less dangerous, but annoying maneuvers.
We hitched a ride to our hotel from someone leaving the gondola area. Cathy works there, and is going to pick us up in the morning and take us back. She is going to try to get us to a different point though. We may have to redo a little portion, but hopefully not have to go back up the dreaded cliff trail to get back. Such a sweet lady! She agreed that the cliff trail is way dangerous.
Tonight and tomorrow we are staying in the Green Mountain Inn. It's a lovely place, and probably the nicest room we have had so far. I had a sweet surprise waiting for me in my bed, from Alex.