July 6-11, 2016: G4 Weekend in VT

I consider myself extremely blessed to have three so-close-we’re-like-sisters friends (and two of them are) whom I’ve known for 38 years now. Somewhere along the line, and I have no idea when or how, we became known to our families as the “Gruesome Foursome” or G4 for short. As tweens and teens, we went on vacation with each others’ families, and spent one week together each summer at camp in the Poconos. Back in 2013, we decided to get together for a girls’ weekend at a B&B, and make it a yearly tradition. So far, we’ve gone to PA (very close to where we all grew up), NH (very close to where I live now), and last year’s trip was to Salem, MA. This year, we all headed to northern Vermont.

While this wasn’t specifically a hiking trip, there was some outdoorsy stuff.

Driving by myself from NH, I had a much shorter drive, only about three hours not including rest stops. My three friends would be driving together from PA, and would have a much longer drive (it took them about 10 hours including stops). Since I had so much extra time, I chose the more scenic route through Franconia notch.

In the seven years since hubby and I moved to NH, I had never been to the Basin or the Old Man of the Mountain historic site. So those were my two chosen stops. I dressed for walking but not hiking. The two stops only added about an hour to hour and a half to my drive, and gave me a nice little break and a peaceful spot to eat some lunch. (And I enjoyed the break so much I stopped at both places again on my way home.)

While in Vermont, there was lots of driving in the car. But we did manage to do some walking around Burlington, taking in the views of the waterfront between rainshowers. We also visited Vermont Teddy Bear, where I found a cute T-shirt with a hiking teddy bear on it. Near the Sinclair Inn B&B, where we stayed, there was a big nature park called Mills Riverside Park. It looked like it may have been farmland at some point in time. There were trails through expansive meadows, an off-leash dog area, a pond, athletic fields, and a wooded hill with lots and lots of hiking trails through it.

We had quite a bit of off-and-on rain during our trip. There was only one rain-free day, not including our arrival and departure days. Sunday started off rainy, so we opted to do a scenic drive through Smuggler’s Notch and Stowe, and continue down to Waterbury. The drive through the notch was gorgeous! I’ve never seen so many enormous rocks, right by the side of the road. And streams and waterfalls! Mela and I were in our happy place. And when we reached the base of Mt. Mansfield on the south side, we were lucky enough to see a moose! (Safely chillaxing at the back edge of someone’s yard.) So of course we had to do the annoying tourist thing and get out and take pictures.

This short little jaunt to Vermont makes me want to visit more often. But maybe after I’ve explored New Hampshire a bit more. I definitely want to do some hiking around Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump.


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