In a recent post by Steven, he had asked if anyone would be interested in writing a guest post. I thought that I would give it a shot. This is my first ever guest post so I hope I don't scare Steven's followers away with it. This also gives me the opportunity to promote my beautiful homeland of Vermont.
My name is Joe and I write the blog The Adventures of Jobiwan. I usually write stories of my adventures in Vermont but since Steven's blog is titled My Life Outdoors I thought I would stick to that theme. This is my life outdoors.
My life revolves around being outdoors. It completely consumes me. Not one day passes that I don't use the words hike, backpack, woods et cetera in everyday conversation.. I am in the woods of Vermont quite a bit of the time. It started at a very young age...before I can even remember when I tent camped with my parents. I fished and hunted while a pre-teen and teen with my father and grandfather and went through the boy scouts in which we did a lot of hiking and camping. I do recall the time where I would like to think that it changed my life forever. I was 14 when my scout troop went primitive camping in the winter. We built our own pine bough shelters and stayed in them. I immediately knew that the outdoors, in all her glory, was the route in life that I wanted to follow. And I have for the most part. I will not hunt any longer.
I am blessed to live where I live. Vermont is home to the Long Trail and she and her side trails are the trails that takes up a lot of my time. They are my church, my psych ward, my school, my playground and my workplace. Although I have never completed this beautiful footpath in the wilderness in it's entirety, I have hiked and backpacked quite a bit of the sections that surround my home. My first thru-hike of this historic trail is scheduled for September of this year. Although the Long Trail is not the longest trail or even the most extreme it does have some of the roughest terrain. It is the U.S.'s oldest long distance trail at 101 years of age and was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail. It is stewarded by the Green Mountain Club and most of the work on these trails, like many around the world, is done by volunteers.
I am an active member in the Green Mountain Club and volunteer a lot of trail work so others can enjoy my beautiful state in it's natural form. I also sector check a short but aggressive trail called the Canty Trail which to me is my baby. I simply love this trail. It's a side trail of the LT system and offers an array of Vermont terrain...lower wetlands to steep rocky terrain to roots & rocks with waterfalls and impressive views at the 3278 foot summit of Blue Ridge Mountain. It's a 2.4 mile out and back trail with an elevation gain of 1600 feet. This is a great four season day hiking trail.
I enjoy all the seasons of outdoors Vermont. Winter is one of my favorites. Ironically I live 20 minutes away from some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the East but I refuse to go down a hill with sticks strapped to my feet. I've been skiing a few times in my life but never got into it. Snowshoeing is my thing to do in the winter. It gives me great opportunity to wander off the beaten path aimlessly without too much concern. Backtracking makes this possible. I love winter camping as well...primitive winter camping. Backpack, snowshoes, food, decent warm clothing, snow and I'm good to go.
Spring gives me some down time. The trails are too muddy and as a trail steward I heed Vermont's mud season ordinances. State lands close from mid April to Memorial Day weekend. I do however help do trail maintenance with the GMC before the summer hiking season opens by cutting away blown down trees, repairing puncheons, painting blazes, clearing out waterbars and pruning any overgrown vegetation. It's my time to give back to the trail.
Summer puts on the mileage on my Merrells. I started a hiking group on Facebook last August and have accrued 120 members so far and I have the feeling that this year my summer will be busy. Summer is great in Vermont...not too hot and not too cold. The green of the mountains really pops out. It truly is a great place to hike. Swimming is another favorite activity that I enjoy. Vermont offers many uncharted swimming holes that are just amazing albeit some are quite chilly. Clarendon Gorge is a favorite spot for me to cool down.
Autumn mountains in Vermont are so amazingly beautiful. The foliage is renowned and attracts visitors from around the world. The reds, oranges and yellows dominate the rolling land. This, to me, is the best time to hike and backpack. It's cooler, there are no bugs and the trails and shelters are no longer filled with adventurous college students who spent their summer backpacking.
So there ya have it. My life outdoors in the great state of Vermont. It's a great place to live let alone hike and backpack. The folks here are friendly and the air is clean.