Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Snowless Weekend in Vermont

Well, not really. We had planned to meet our friends from Boston Ron and Phil in Woodstock Vermont to enjoy a weekend of cross country skiing on the Mt. Tom and Mt. Peg trails. Helen and I had been here in past years and found the skiing excellent. This season, however, has been a disaster for the cross country ski crowd, because natural snow has been extremely scant.With not even enough snow to snowshoe, we decided to do a winter hike instead. That became problematic, as the trails were iced up and had a thin layer of crusty snow at best. The pros at the Woodstock Inn cross country center suggested MICROspikes by Kahtoola, as the only practical means to tackle the trails under these conditions. I bought a pair at the sports shop in town and I have to say that they worked great! At no time did I feel unstable, even on an icy ascent of Mt. Tom. This is a great product for all cold weather hikers! Their website is at http://www.kahtoola.com/.
We got a great view of Woodstock at the top. Generally, these carriage roads of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park are not steep, but the icy conditions made even a casual stroll treacherous. We stopped for a rest at the Mt. Tom cabin and enjoyed the front porch for a while.
Our stay at the Charleston house was again fantastic. It is a great inn, clean, reasonable, and has a tasty breakfast that precludes getting lunch. Our innkeepers were friendly and efficient. We ate at Bentley's the first night, and at Prince and the Pauper the second night for two delicious dinners. Hopefully the. next trip to this area will be more successful from the skiing aspect. Even though our Sunday hike started at 11 degrees F and ended at 14 degrees F, energy and comraderie kept us plenty warm.

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