Thursday, July 8, 2010

Appalachian Trail...I think not

Today I have made a definitive decision.....I am not going to add "Hike the Appalachian Trail" to my Bucket List. As cool as it sounds to hike the Appalachian Trail from start to finish, I have come to realize that it is just not for me.  I studied the Appalachian Trail map today prior to my hike of the day. It is really long. I mean REALLY long.  I talked to a park ranger about it and he said that you have to hike at least 10 miles a day carrying full gear in order to get through it. Today I hiked 2.4 miles carrying one water bottle and I just about expired right there on the spot. Therefore, I have substituted "Hike the Quechee Gorge Trail in Vermont during a blazing heatwave" for my Bucket List and can now check that off my list. As I was heading south out of Vermont, I came up with the brilliant idea to get a hike in before I left the state.  I chose the Quechee Gorge State Park as my destination. It was really a lovely place to hike.  The only problem was the oppressive heat. It was 93* in Quechee as I set out on my hike.  The trail mostly followed a beautiful pine covered path alongside the falls. There were so many pine needles on the ground that the ground was bouncy. Kind of like a kids' playground that has that extra spongy material to it.  It was fun to walk on.  There were lots of people hiking the trail to the lower gorge in order to go swimming for the day.  I seriously wished I had thought to put my swimsuit on before I started my hike. So sad.  I was boiling by the time I got to the bottom and almost jumped in the water fully clothed.  The only thing that stopped me was that I didn't want to hike back to my car and then drive for 4 hours in a soaking wet swimsuit.  Turns out that if you walk alllllllllllll the way down to the bottom of the gorge and then turn around and walk alllllllllllll the way up to the top of the gorge and it is 93* outside - your clothes will be SOAKING wet from the drenching sweat anyway!  I should have jumped in.  I did manage to get a few pictures with my cell phone so I could share them with you.
Here is the bottom of the gorge:
Doesn't it just say "SWIM HERE, SWIM HERE, SWIM HERE?!!!"
I wish I had just taken the plunge!!!
This is right at the end of the small rapids where the water made a deep trench through the rocks.  I had wanted to jump in here as well!
I walked past the bottom of the gorge and followed a beautiful trail that kind of reminded me of a Jurassic Park type setting. There was tons of green foliage and lots of birdlife. It was really pretty.  I then decided that I would go ahead and hike up to the top of the gorge so I could get the whole perspective. I had to do a lot of cheering. I kept silently saying "Come on can do it. You can DO it."  I needed the encouragement. It was that hot. I finally made it to the top. If you look past my left ear you might be able to see the falls:

Here is a closer look:

I did manage to make it back to my car and was quite happy that my car has nice cold air conditioning.  I had it on the coldest setting all the way to the Connecticut border.  Thanks dearest sister, brother-in-law and my sweet nephew! I had a great visit in your beautiful state!!!!

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