Friday, July 15, 2011

A Day With Randy

July 8, 2011

My brother Randy had gotten in touch with me about doing a hike somewhere in the Sherburne area. The last time I had saw him was a month ago briefly when he visited my parents. He is also moving out of Vermont by the end of the summer so a hike was in order. I had planned a hike to summit Pico since I hadn't done this peak since I started keeping track of my adventures. When we met at the parking lot he really wanted to go up to Deer Leap instead of Pico. This was a favorite spot of his when in high school and he happened to hike up here for his honeymoon. So Deer Leap it was. This was also our first hike together since last October. The weather was warm in the mid 70's with clear sunny but hazy skies. 

As we headed up we noticed that we were not the only ones on the same quest. This is a popular lookout and it's very common to see others on this trail. This trail isn't one of my favorite day hiking trails but I was here to spend time with my brother. The trail itself is tore up, wide and muddy in spots. The first half mile went great only running into a few people and dogs of course. At this half mile point the Appalachian trail continues on towards Maine. Ben's Balcony is a lookout a tenth of a mile off this intersection so we decided took head there first before reaching Deer Leap rock.

Killington from Ben's Balcony

 After a few minute break at Ben's Balcony we headed towards Deer Leap. Once we got to the junction of the AT south and Deer Leap spur a group of hikers came upon us. They were doing a loop around the mountain and decided to continue north. Randy and I went southwest. We continues up talking, getting caught up etc and before we knew it we had reached the lookout.

To the south
To the southeast

To the north

To the west
When we arrived there were others enjoying the views as well. Then another group showed up with 10 minutes so we decided to take off. When we came across the junction that leads to Deer Leap Mountain we decided to take that around and adding some mileage to our trek. Within a tenth of a mile we turned back. Randy wasn't up to the steepness of this valley let alone climbing up the other side. We took our time heading back to the parking lot enjoying each others company along the way. Once we got back to the parking lot Randy still had a few hours to kill so we went for a small road trip through the back roads of Vermont and thought we would pay a visit to my late mother and brother. May they rest peacefully together.

Mom & David; Miss you both
With time to spare and only a few hundred yards down the road, we thought we would visit our "Aunt" Barb. She is actually our father's cousin but we grew up calling her "Aunt". It was a great visit. I hadn't seen her in over 25 years. 

Overall the day was awesome. It's probably going to be 5 years before I see him after he leaves but we intend on getting together before his journey south. He will be moving to Georgia and is gladly giving me 4 pairs of snowshoes. (This is a hint to my daughter and a few friends who like to use the excuse that they don't have snowshoes. lol,) We hiked 2.5 miles gaining 600 feet of elevation.


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