After travelling in New Zealand for four months last winter any travelling we have done has been on a much smaller scale but no less valuable in its own way. A few weeks ago we drove down to Williamstown, MA to visit The Clark museum at Williams College. There was quite a good exhibition of Vincent Van Gogh entitled Van Gogh and Nature.
Wichada is taking an art class in East Middlebury so we’ve been driving down there once a week. While she is in her class I’ve been driving five minutes up the road and hiking on the Oak Ridge trail. I’m really enjoying my hikes there. In the eight or so times I’ve done it, I’ve only seen about five people. Since I effectively only have about 90 minutes to hike I’ve been walking as fast as I can to walk further up the trail.
I think the hike is perfect for me because of the problem I have with my right knee (I broke it skiing about 10 years ago). I’ve been using an app on my android Tracfone called Runkeeper to track and pace my walks. It uses GPS and can track my altitude as well as my route. I was surprised to learn that I gain almost 1000 feet on this hike! It’s not a very steep climb though. The first mile and a quarter follow an old road appropriately named, Old Town Road.
Last Friday, Tui had a class in Barre so I drove over to Groten State Park and took a couple of hikes there. The first was on the Rail Trail which follows along Groton Lake. It is a short but moderately steep hike down to the trail from the road but once on the trail it is very flat, at least where I hiked which was only about a mile.
After I returned I drove back the way I had entered the park toward route 302. I took a right near the southern end of the lake to access the Silver Ledge Mountain trail. This trail is pretty short–only .6 mile but it is quite a nice hike and there are some pretty good views from the summit.