We ventured out into the Breadloaf Wilderness on one of the hottest days so far in the summer – with temperatures approaching the 80s by 9:00 a.m. The weather report was calling for thunderstorms after 2:00, so we were eager to get to the top of Breadload Mountain and back before then.

With lots of water in our packs, the four of us started out on the Emily Proctor Trail. The tree canopy and a slight breeze helped keep us reasonably comfortable as we made our way up the trail. About a half hour into the hike, a few of us took off our boots to cross the New Haven River – the cool water was quite refreshing on a hot morning!

We traveled 2 more miles up the trail and reached the Emily Proctor Shelter where we stopped for a short rest. The black flies were plentiful at that elevation, so we didn’t linger for too long.

We joined the Long Trail at the edge of the shelter clearing and hiked south for a half mile to Breadloaf Mountain and a short spur trail that led to a westward vista. Although the haze was pretty thick, we could make out the outline of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks to the west and the ski trails at the Middlebury Snow Bowl to the south.

Hiking along the ridgeline, we felt like we had stepped back a few weeks in time, as the trillium were in bloom and the ferns had yet to unfurl. As we headed back down the Emily Proctor Trail, the heat reminded us that we were indeed in the month of June and not May!

After wading in the New Haven River again on the descent, we returned to the car around 2:30. As we drove down the Lincoln Road towards Bristol, the sky darkened and large drops of rain pattered on the rooftop.

Participants – Dean Bloch, Dave Prodell, Bob Robbins, Valerie Wilkins