Monday, March 1, 2010

Humpin' the Hump

Camels Hump. I've hiked it a hundred times: At five a.m. to catch the sunrise, during a full moon in the winter, in the onset of fall with brilliant hues of red and orange, in the sweaty depths of summer, and the first bright greens of spring. There are times that my car has been the only one in the parking lot where the Burrow's Trail begins. Or day long celebrations with girl-friends as we hiked the 12.4 mile route up the Long Trail from River Road. And, it has landed me in the hospital with a torn ankle tendon and a six month pause from any hiking or running or pretty much anything besides swimming.

I love this mountain and what it gives to us as well as represents for Vermonters. The solidity and contentment of the Hump in the distance exudes hope, strength and peace.
Stripped down to a t-shirt at the start of the hike as snow began to swirl around us.
Our hike yesterday was like no other hike I've experienced. Each time up and down is a new adventure. With the unusually warm winter, this February day felt like it was March. But as we headed up, a snow squall swept past, the snow got deeper and the slush at the trailhead transformed into a white, fluffy winter land.  
As the temperature decreased and the snow increased, we finally made it to the "space ship landing." It's where three trails converge and the .3 mile Long Trail to the summit begins. The sign next to bill is on a stake that sticks up five feet or so out of the ground. The sign had been dug out so as not to miss the trail.

The evergreens turned to marshmallow fluffs.

The snow clung to every branch with the delicateness of powdered sugar.

And soon, Camels Hump turned into another world. It looked as if powdered sugar and marshmallow fluff exploded...delicious enough to lick off the gingerbread house trees that surrounded us.
On the summit, planet marshmallow transformed into a Futurama version of Mars. It was truly out of this world.
Smiles at the summit.
On Dave's blog, he put that I was resting on a tree. The first time I read it, I saw it as "wrestling" with a tree. On our way down we were running and sliding and jumping, oh my! Well, my aim was off mark and I jumped into a certainly felt like playful wrestling.

Another day, another adventure! The next hike up Camels Hump will be totally different. It always is.
For more photos of wintery Camels Hump, check out David Seaver's blog:

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