Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autunm Rambles

Today was autumn perfected. The weather was amazing, sunny and warm with temperatures in the 70s! The leaves all around are ablaze with color. Since my hubby abandoned me, on this glorious day, to go play with his friends; I decided to climb faithful Mt. Philo.

Since Mt. Philo is only 968 feet above sea level, it makes for a good, short workout (45 minutes to an hour of walking up the road or light to moderate hiking up the trail). It's outdoor recreation that fits easily into my schedule and provides gorgeous views of Lake Champlain.

Upon my arrival at Mt Philo State Park, the driveway was blocked by emergency vehicles and orange cones. Strange. I thought. So I parked my car across the street, changed into my trail shoes and crossed over Mt. Philo Road.

I was greeted by a pleasant woman who informed me that the park was closed to hikers all weekend because there were cars doing "time trials". How disappointing. She proceeded to tell me that they did it every year on the same weekend in October. Who knew?

Further investigation led me to the Sports Car Club of Vermont's webpage where I found the annual "Hillclimb" on Mt. Philo. I also found the New England Hillclimb Association where I discovered these events happen all over Vermont as well as my beloved Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I wonder if they tell people that they can't hike Mt. Washington on those days?

What a drag. :) So I tried to use the situation to my advantage. I visited the Shelburne Country Store, where I bought maple chocolate fudge, maple sugar candy and some King Arthur Flour whole grain chocolate waffle mix. I then visited the Flying Pig Bookstore, where I had to resist buying some really cool books; in particular 600 Black Spots, a totally awesome pop-up book.

All dressed up with no place to go, I drove back towards town and headed for Red Rocks Park. With my fancy digital camera in hand I wandered through the woods, taking pictures of the lake, mountains, trees, leaves and other plants. I explored paths I had never been on before, and found a number of dead ends, but it didn't matter. Everywhere I turned it was gorgeous.

What a beautiful day for walk in the woods by the lake.