Time for a story. We’ve been hiking with the children for years. And they’ve said they enjoyed it or at least put up with it for our sake. But once we camped in Vermont, it seemed our roles had changed.
For the past few years, our son and the twins have become our new tour guides. When the Lees crew had begun our hiking adventures, my husband led the way and I brought up the rear to be sure no one was left behind. In fact, on our first hiking adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, my husband and I carried the four-year-old twins part of the way, sticking their feet in our back pockets and clasping our hands around their rumps as they held onto our shoulders.
|Heading on up the Long
Trail in Vermont
This particular year while Camping with Five Kids, we decided to take the fire road to the Appalachian / Long Trail up into the heavens of Stratton Mountain in Vermont to see what we could see. My husband and I brought up the rear for a few reasons. Of course we wanted to be sure we didn’t leave any of our lovely children behind. However this year, it appeared that the only ones left behind were my husband and I. We huffed and puffed all the way up while the children chatted, laughed, and whistled the whole way. Yes, they waited for us…constantly! Our Billy goats had no trouble at all scampering up the mountainside, spry little devils, figuratively speaking. The children are too tall to be considered “little.” It was a grueling 3.8 mile hike up the mountain only to find steps to a fire tower at the top.
The only problem I had with these steps was they moved. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when what I’m standing on or climbing shakes or rattles. My children told me to stay focused on the step ahead of me and stop screaming every time the staircase shook. So I gripped the railing with one hand and the step with the other and prayed as I climbed.
|Kids tickle the pines.|
A much needed cool wind kissed our skin as we cleared the tree line. In fact, it was the beautiful wind that made the metal staircase shake and rattle as we climbed. We needed to crawl through a trap door to get into the enclosed box-house at the top of the tower. As we looked out, the mountains went on forever in all directions. They appeared soft and rounded, covered with trees. Shimmering lakes dotted the scenery, some with little islands in them.
|The view from the top!|
From the fire tower, we could see the sun beams peeking through a few cumulus clouds and shining on the mountains. We could see the New York and New Hampshire mountains according to the ranger in the tower. I sat down on the floor to keep him company for a while. But the family called me to head back down the steps with them.
“Wait,” I told the family. “The least we can do is rest—er—visit for an hour or two with the ranger.”
Nope! The troops left me, clomping down the steps.
“Sorry,” I told the ranger. “I gotta go!”
I must admit. I was ecstatic to be at the bottom of the steps and on that firm rocky mountain. Going down the mountain was much easier, thank goodness. The children didn’t have to wait as long for us to catch up with them. Billy goats can travel faster on rocky ground than the plodding sheep. All in all, the hike took us over 4 hours to complete. It was stunning scenery, but a tedious climb.
The whole reason to go camping with the family is to enjoy each other’s company while traveling and seeing this beautiful world of ours. Have fun on your next camping or hiking adventure, no matter where you go. Feel free to share any hikes you’ve been on. Just leave a note in the comments section here at Camping with Five Kids. It would be truly appreciated. Enjoy your adventure!
2 thoughts on “The Billy Goats and the Sheep: Lees Adventures on the Long Trail in Vermont”
I can only imagine how difficult it was. Ah to be young again like your children. Great post!
Really, Michelle! This is why we need to make the most of life each day, although I fail miserably some days.
It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Camping with Five Kids. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your weekend!