Saturday, September 7th, 2019
We had a nice night at the Air BnB and headed to White Mountain Bagels after loading up the car. We wanted to go to the pancake place where they say, “you’ll flip for our flaps,” but there was a line out the door.
We drove a short distance up the road to Flume Gorge and got the trail/tram combo pass. We took the trail next to a covered bridge and up the hill to the gorge. Frisbee and I had been here before, but knew it would be a mellow and scenic hike for Emily, Robby, and Middle Brother.
We walked passed waterfalls, caves, overlooks and across a covered bridge before spelunking through “wolf’s den”.
We caught a glimpse of some of the White Mountains from the trail before driving through them as we headed north to ride the tram up Cannon Mountain. It was chilly at the top and the others couldn’t resist drinking a beer at the highest taps in the state.
I was stoked to show Robby and Emily what it’s like on top of the White Mountains and to point out Franconia Ridge which we hiked across when we completed the Appalachian Trail in 2017.
Back to Vermont we went to visit a couple more breweries. We found ourselves out front of an old abandoned shopping mall with signage for J.C. Penney and Payless Shoes out front. Inside we found Saint J Brewery which consisted of a small, empty room with a bartender and an old German Shepherd. We loved on the dog as the bartender gave the others a round of drinks and made us all sandwiches.
Then we headed off to The Alchemist Brewery which was jam packed full of people. They were having a jazz festival out back. This might have been the only times I’ve regretted my sobriety in a while. The Alchemist is known for one of the top rated beers, Heady Topper, which was something I’ve always wanted to try. You can only really get it at the brewery and some beer stores in northern Vermont. I settled for a smell of Middle Brother’s sampler.
It started to drizzle on our way out. It was time to head to the trailhead. The drizzle turned into a downpour. Figures. Fortunately it lightened up by the time we hit the dirt road which would lead us to the parking lot.
My phone sent me an alert welcoming me to Canada as we arrived. Our farewell to Robby and Emily was brief as we unloaded our packs hastily to head out into the rain. Frisbee chased them down to get his bottle out of the car which he left behind. I worried that I might have forgotten something myself, but they were already gone.
We grabbed water before completing the short walk in the dark and the rain to Journey’s End Shelter. I felt disoriented. It was getting chilly as we set up shop and listened to the rain as we went to sleep.