We hiked over Stratton Mt. today, the first of 3 large mountains in Vermont. The name of the state, Vermont, I think is French for “Green Mountain.” The hiking here is rated a 6/10 on the difficulty scale of the AT so I’ve heard. There was a 1700 ft climb. At the top is a fire tower and a house where a caretakers lives who keeps the area maintained. I stopped and spoke with him, Hugh, for 15 minutes while I waited for my hiking companions to finish the climb. I’m jealous of Hugh’s job where he basically gets to read books all day. We discussed Greek philosophy, a shared interest.
A motto of mine on the trail is “I don’t do extra credit.” Basically, there are dozens of opportunities each day to take excursions off the trail. It would take years to see all the vistas, side trails, and towns along the trail. I need to finish by September so I’m headed north only. No east-west travel. A north-going zax.
The trail is marked with white blazes. Standard hiking could be called white blazing, but this term is not used. Here are some other terms that are used.
Blue Blazing – Taking side trails (often shortcuts)
Yellow Blazing – Taking car rides on nearby roads to skip trail sections. (Cheating)
Aquablazing – Taking a canoe down the Shenandoah river.
Pink Blazing – Changing your hiking pace to coincide with a female hiker.
Less well known:
Beer Blazing – Stopping at all the parties and bars.
Green Blazing – Getting high and hiking.
Neon Blazing – Stopping at every restaurant and hotel. (I.e. Don’s Brother)
Sparkle Blazing – riding Grayson Highland Ponies (courtesy of “Blue Eyes”)
Gondola Blazing – taking a ride up a Killington mountain on ski gondolas.