With a forecast of 95 and high humidity, there was much discussion in the preceding days about the route we were actually going to take. We were apprehensive about subjecting everyone including 3 pups to a 12 mile day with those temps. So, we agreed to just slightly modify the original route. Rather than hike all the way to Killington Peak, we settled for a lookout at the base of Little Killington leaving us with a 9 mile day instead.

We met early, parked 2 cars at the base of Shrewsbury Peak Trail and then “rode dirty” in the back of a pick up truck to the trailhead of Black Swamp Trail. As we set out on a trail none of us had yet ventured on, we took a steady but manageable pace as the heat began creeping up and the deerflies unleashed their fury.

As we reached the intersection of Black Swamp and Shrewsbury Peak trail, a very poorly marked intersection, we breezed right past believing we were still on the right trail. After several back and forths, and consulting the GPS system and multiple maps, we backtracked about 50 yards and jumped on the right trail (which was disguised as a trail that lead to a shelter). Along the way, the dogs kept us entertained as Heidi decided to lick a frog. Apparently they don’t taste good as she began trying to spit the taste out of her mouth. We tried to help wash down the “yuck” with some puppy treats and water. She recovered quickly and decided she wasn’t going to do that again.

Once we reached the junction of the Long Trail, we enjoyed a quick bite to eat, and stories about speeding tickets and how to get out of them. We then agreed to continue on about another ½ mile to a lookout point before returning to the cars.

The Shrewsbury Peak trail proves to be a steeper trail than the Black Swamp and we were so grateful we were taking it for the return as the temperatures were quickly becoming unbearable.

Back at the trucks we finished up the remainder of the cookies and gratefully jumped back into our air conditioner vehicles (well, some of them had air conditioning in the form of rolling the windows all the way down so the dogs can hang their head out…ha ha ha)

No better way to spend a Monday off of work, than with great company in the woods of the Green Mountains.

Participants: Kelley Mackison (Trip Leader) her dog Trigger, Taylor Christie, Walker Christie, Phil Hazen, Lee Wrigley, Larry Gagne, Sarah Coburn and her dogs Heidi and Lucy