Even without any major adventure vacations this year I was still able to take a lot of small trips, some weekenders, mini adventures and a few staycations. And just like every year this year was not without adventure. Like I said "there's always something going on". So if you can't do one thing there's always something else you can do. So there's really no time to be bored.
If there's one weekend trip I look forward to every year it's the annual family summer camping trip up north too either Vermont or New Hampshire. This is always a good time because these two states are filled with amazing scenery and plus they both have all kinds of cool activities to enjoy. This year my cousins choose Emerald Lake in Vermont. In some ways it was like last years summer camping trip at White Lake in New Hampshire. The pluses and minuses between the two places are almost irrelevant because it mostly comes down to personal preference and what activities to want to enjoy. So you have to do your own homework to find out what park is best for you and your campmates.
I was never a big fan of the Lean-to but this campground still gives you a choice. Lean-to's are nice if you don't have a tent, but they're not as bug free as a tent. So they do have there up's anddowns. The campground has showers and bathrooms so it makes it very comfortable. Emerald Lake is beautiful. There's a nice trail that goes around the entire lake. On your hike you will see a couple of rope swings. Even when the rope swings don't look safe, there're still extremely appealing for some reason.
Our first day we decided to hike up Mount Equinox, which is about a 25 minute drive from our campsite. Our trail head started on West Union Street. The Blue summit trail is about 3.1 miles and takes approximately 3 hours to reach the summit. The trail has a few steep parts but over all it was a very nice hike. The best views are at Lookout Rock, which is below the summit. The summit has only a couple limited views so don't expect better views then the ones at Lookout Rock. When we finally did reach the summit we were greeted by vintage race cars. The annual Mount Equinox Hill Climb is a must see for any vintage sports car enthusiast. After talking with the vintage race car divers and admiring their cars, we had a bite to eat and headed down the mountain. The hike down only took 2 hours. When we returned to the campground we had a great time sitting around the campfire cooking marshmallows and singing songs. The next day the weather turned and the threat of rain changed our original plans of going to Bromley to ride the alpine slide. So instead we kept things local.
Our first stop was Dorset Quarry, which is America's Oldest Marble Quarry (1785 ). A couple of us decided to jump off the cliffs while the rest of us just watched and took video and pictures. The Quarry is very popular as you can see entire families enjoying themselves as if they were at the beach. It reminds me of when I was young in the 70's. We had quarries to go to in the summer with all our friends. It was a great time. So it's great to see a quarry still allowing people to enjoy life and have fun. This is one of the reasons why I love Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. They have preserved what true American life is, free, fun and simple. My town has been ruined by over development that has literally destroyed all of its small town character that I grew up with and loved. So I'm not surprised when I see people moving out of Connecticut. I love New Hampshire's Motto "Live Free or Die". The town of Danbury where I grew up, the motto went from "We have restored let us go forward", to "We have destroyed so let us get out of here". Sadly we're running out of places to go so its time for all of us to start protecting what we have left.
Our next stop was Manchester, which is a cute little town full of life. We decided to have some breakfast at a local restaurant called "Up for Breakfast". Good food and a nice change from our normal campground food. Not to say that we don't eat good food while camping. My cousins know how to cook and they're always generous, sometimes too generous because I actually gained five pounds. I have never eaten so many pancakes and bacon in my life. And wouldn't you know it, some of us actually had the same food at the restaurant, so funny. After filling our bellies we decided on a little site seeing around town.
Our first stop was Lincoln's Hildene, which was the summer home of Presidents Lincolns son Robert Todd Lincoln. After that we walked around town and checked out some of the stores.
As we returned to the campground the rain started to fall. So we decided to take a short hike around Emerald Lake. As we returned to the campground the wind started to blow. Almost like we were in a hurricane. Some of our guests decided to pack up and leave. So my brother and I decided to move our tents into one of the abandoned Lean-to's so that we would have protection from the gale force winds, which it did because we slept like babies. The next day the weather was nice so it made for an easy drive home. Can't wait till next year. - Howie
A 10 Minute Video and Photo Slideshow Review of our Vermont Camping Trip
The weather was so nice on our drive up to Vermont we decided to take a drive up Mount Greylock in Massachusetts, which was on the way. The good weather made for excellent views and a nice break from the car.