It’s a beautiful Sunday morning so despite the 270 miles we have to drive, we head for the back roads out of New York State, into Massachusetts’ beautiful Berkshire Mountains and its quaint towns before crossing into Vermont. Today is the first day of our journey that it’s just us; we chose this destination and are excited to be headed to New Hampshire for a week-plus of hiking, kayaking and relaxing.
The truth is I’ve been whining about wanting to hike the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In all the many miles I’ve hiked – now on four continents – I’ve yet to find any more physically demanding hiking than in the Northeast. True, the altitudes of Colorado, Kilimanjaro and Peru kicked my butt; however for a really strenuous workout with trails that don’t switchback and have lots of big rocks, roots and mud, the Northeast has got every place else beat.
Walt, for all that he hates the mud of my beloved New York State Adirondack Mountains, has been persuaded that the Granite State’s mountains will provide less mud and so we’re both looking forward to the challenge.
Our only stop is for lunch in Brattleboro, Vermont, which although it was a lovely spot with a deck overlooking the Connecticut River, I’m only mentioning because of the sign in the restroom that I’m posting. I’ve seen these “employees must wash hands” in every public restroom I’ve ever been in but this is the first time I’ve seen one with the preamble. Too funny.
We arrive at our cabin on a little lake – our first Vacation Rental By Owner accommodation – to find that it is clean, bright, modern, and fully functional. Our host, Kim, is waiting for us and tells us about the town, the lake, the kayaks we can use, and our cabin before heading back to his own nearby.
We didn’t have room in the car to bring any kind of food with us, so our first stop is the nearby grocery store. I had started making a list in the car and we kept adding to it even as we shopped. Bread, milk, cereal, eggs, fruit, peanut butter, jelly are all staples in our life. I’ve brought my own coffee, having over-ordered on my last batch of Death Wish Coffee and being unwilling to toss it but am still tempted by the three different local coffee roasters whose product I can buy in the store. I do love seeing the different labels and fun names on the coffees. But, for today anyway, I resist. Walt finds some steaks and sides for dinner. We add some laundry detergent, wine, beer and chips and we’re headed back “home” for our first evening by the lake.