Hiking the Sterling Pond Trail at Smuggler's Notch.

Jeffersonville Travel Blog

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Sterling Pond, Smuggler's Notch.
Our primary reason to stay in Jeffersonville for an extra couple of days was to get the opportunity to do some local hiking.  Both of us had hiked Mount Mansfield on previous visits and after a stop at the Smuggler's Notch information booth, we decided to take the Sterling Pond trail and push for Madonna's Peak.

The weather was beautiful.  New Englanders may argue that it gets hot up there, but at 85F in Jeffersonville, and probably high 70s at the trailhead, we that dwell in the southern U.S. consider that nice Fall weather.  I was thinking that mid-July in Austin frequently breaches the 100F mark, so this was a bit of a break.  We even brought our light jackets for the higher elevations and an ever present chance of rain. 

A late start saw us hiking up the trail while most other hikers were descending.
Sterling Pond.
  Fine by us.  Less people means more wildlife and a quiter, more pristine experience.  Who wants to see more people when they take a hike?  Not me.  That's why you tell someone that is annoying you to "take a hike", so you don't have to see them for a while and they won't bother anyone else while they're gone! ;P

We were making pretty good time, but as usual, as soon as I broke out the camera the pace deteriorated to an uphill trickle.  Of course, I had just gotten a new camera in time for this trip and it was an upgrade from my old point-and-shoot so I had lots more functions to play with and investigate.  I wasn't quite ready to afford myself a DSLR because when I consider a new camera I must, in all fairness, take into account the price of the camera plus the underwater housing plus the external lighting (and the mounting brackets) that I've been jonesing for for ages now.
Lori and I at Madonna's peak.
  I felt that I needed to improve my photography skills before I would be comfortable with spending that much money.  So, I decided on an Olympus SP560-UZ, which would allow me to greatly increase the range of manual functions I could use compared to my previous camera.  The point being that, due to me playing with a new camera and new settings and functions, our push for the summit, which was never a huge priority, was hindered. 

The birds were singing, the flowers were blooming, the sun was shining.  Sterling Pond was acheived, and the beautiful scenery was pondered and savored.  The hike allowed us ample time to catch up on 8 years of little correspondance.  Madonna's Peak ended the day lonely for our company, but we were not disappointed.  The view was outstanding on such a clear day.  We knew our legs would be sore later, but this also meant those beers we were already dreaming about and drooling over were going to taste all that much better. 

We were smiling.
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Sterling Pond, Smugglers Notch.
Sterling Pond, Smuggler's Notch.
Sterling Pond.
Sterling Pond.
Lori and I at Madonnas peak.
Lori and I at Madonna's peak.
Dunno what kind of moss it was, bu…
Dunno what kind of moss it was, b…
Smugglers Notch.
Smuggler's Notch.
Hiking up to Sterling Pond.
Hiking up to Sterling Pond.
Hiking at Smugglers Notch.
Hiking at Smuggler's Notch.
Hiking in Vermont.
Hiking in Vermont.
Sterling Pond.
Sterling Pond.
Reflections.
Reflections.
Reflections of nature.
Reflections of nature.
Sterling Pond.
Sterling Pond.
Looking back towards Jeffersonvill…
Looking back towards Jeffersonvil…
Smugglers Notch ski run.
Smuggler's Notch ski run.
Vermont.
Vermont.
Enjoying the buttercup.
Enjoying the buttercup.
Sterling Pond.
Sterling Pond.
Sterling Pond, Smugglers Notch.
Sterling Pond, Smuggler's Notch.
Jeffersonville
photo by: Reephboy