On June 12, 2024
Columns

Secrets of early summer

By Merisa Sherman - Enjoy a Maple Angus maple creemee.

Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody, but this is one of my all time favorite weeks of the year. The one where I make myself so exhausted that I am asleep before my head even hits the pillow. The one where I am up with the sunrise for no reason except that I cannot wait for the day to start and the adventures to begin. The week where I simply cannot get enough time outside, exploring the gorgeous mountains around me that have exploded with luscious green over the past few weeks that we’ve been drowning in the greatness that is Superstar in the spring.

That’s right, one of my favorite weeks of the year is the one where I finally take my head out of my absolute favorite mountain and start looking at all of the other green mountains surrounding it. All of them. I want to travel through all of them, getting to know their nooks and crannies just as well as I know the ones of Killington.

I start closely, keeping my on foot adventures close to home. I’ve started by running to the big rock on Pesky Cairn trail and back. It’s only 2 miles, but it is short enough that I can run fast enough for my hair to flow behind me and keep the bugs away. Tomorrow I will get lost in the Sherburne Trails and then maybe next week, I will be ready for a lap on the Betty Loop (I always get lost around the five point intersection).

I can feel the trails calling me, my body waiting to flow through the woods of summer just as we had all winter long. Swinging my hips around protruding trees and focusing on the quickness of my feet as I avoid getting a rock in the instep. My body is never quite ready, my legs are still heavy from the power work of ski season, but my feet are light without those damn plastic ski boots. My legs will get lighter and move quicker over the next few weeks, but for now everything is new and challenging and exciting.

But I know my little world will keep growing. Even as I walk Ramshead with a good friend, we are already planning a trip up Camel’s Hump and a journey to the Robert Frost Trail to read poetry while we walk through the woods. I’m thinking about a trip up Mt. Mansfield and all the times that I’m going to let myself get lost in Pine Hill Park just so that I can find myself again. Another friend and I are getting ready to paddle Harriman Reservoir and with another at Emerald Lake.

It’s so marvelous to be wrapped up inside all these beautiful green mountains. We took the motorcycle up Route 100 to grab some smoked wings at Mad Taco in Waitsfield and I already cannot wait to rip up and down App Gap. And then Lincoln Gap. And Brandon Gap. And Middlebury Gap. Ahhh! There are so many ways to find yourself winding through the mountains. To find yourself rolling along with the rolling hills, whether on foot or two wheels. Or even four.

But it’s time to start exploring and dreaming. The skis are all wiped down and lying against the wall where they will stay for the four and half months. Ugh. That sounds painful and I shouldn’t even have thought about that. Painful because ski season seems so far away, but also painful because we only have 18 weeks before we fall back into the addictive abyss of winter.

I want to explore something new this year. Maybe a new section of the Long Trail that I haven’t hiked before? I haven’t done a lot of exploring in the Northeast Kingdom and I’ve never paddled Lake Willoughby, which is kind of sacrilegious to have lived in Vermont this long without doing. Ahhh! I am so excited for all the adventures within a couple hour drive from our little town of Killington. You can get everywhere from here!

Of course, now I have to make sure that I have all the right equipment. Looks like it’s time to break out the summertime gear spreadsheet and make sure that I have everything set in my backpack. Pretty sure I need to take a motorcycle ride up to Farm-Way and trade in my Darn Tough socks. I’ve already stopped at Maple Angus for the best maple creemee in the state, now to make our way over to Maple Soul at least once before the snow flies. 

Only 18 weeks to explore the almost 4.6 million acres of Vermont’s forests. I better start running a lot faster or I’m never going to cover enough ground to see everything in my lifetime. Vermont, I love you so much and cannot wait to see what we’re doing together tomorrow!

Merisa Sherman is a long time Killington resident, town lister, development review board member, local realtor (R) and coach PomPom. She can be reached at merisa.sherman@sothebysrealty.com.

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