Wednesday: As noted previously, I had intended to alternate hiking days with non-hiking days. Thus, Wednesday should have been a hiking day. However, the weather forecast indicated there might be late-afternoon thundershowers, and I thought that it would instead be prudent to go zip-lining, thinking that we could be finished with that before the late afternoon.
From the Internet, I had learned that ArborTrek has a facility in Jeffersonville, near Mt. Mansfield (and not far from Stowe), and decided that would be a good introduction. — We later learned that a more intense zip-line experience is available at Mt. Mansfield itself, with longer and faster rides, but we’re not sorry that we went to ArborTrek, as we did not have much zip-line experience. (It was Batya’s first time zip-lining, and while I have vague recollections of zip-lining as a child at summer camp, that was a long time ago.)
While my Panasonic DMC-GF1 (micro four-thirds) is not a large camera, it is also not a compact camera, and certainly not a rugged GoPro. I’m not sure that there would have been any convenient, safe and secure way to carry my camera with me while zip-lining. So I decided to leave it in my car, especially when I learned that our ArborTrek guides would take photos of us. It turned out that the photos they posted on their Facebook page were very reduced in resolution, and therefore in hindsight I wish that I had asked if I could take my camera with me.
The course included eight zip-lines of various lengths and speeds, two rope bridges, and two rappels. The photos are presented in no particular order. Here we are on one of the rope bridges:
Here is a shot of me beginning a zip-line:
And a shot of me coming to the end of another zip-line:
Batya and I were placed in a group of seven, with two guides. The zip-lines typically ran from one tree to another, with platforms added to allow a small group to stand on the tree. One of our guides stopped on the zip-line about 10′ from this platform to take this group photo. The guides were well-trained and we felt very safe.
I had rappelled before, while taking a rock-climbing class in Birmingham, Alabama. But that experience had not been extensive, and had been many years before, so this was a novelty for me.
We had not taken rain gear with us, as it was somewhat warm, and as they warned us that once we were placed in the protective harness we would have to stick with whatever clothing we were wearing. We made the right choice, as it didn’t rain.
Another tourist thing to do in Vermont is to visit a maple syrup farm, so after zip-lining, we drove to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks outside of Montpelier, the state capital. It was well outside of maple sugaring season, so there was no collection or processing happening. We were able to watch a video about the history of the farm and about sugaring, wander around a bit and visit the large gift store.
Batya poses next to an old wagon:
A short trail in the adjacent woods showed the use of a plastic tubing collection system that has somewhat modernized the collection of maple syrup over the old days, when workers would have to visit each tree separately to empty a bucket placed below a tap.
A view of the farm from the trail:
We then returned to our motel in Stowe.