We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have skied Mount Mansfield countless times (at the Stowe ski area) but I have never hiked it. Hiking to the top in summertime would be quite the challenge for me but I'd love to give it a shot. Or maybe not. Mansfield is the tallest peak in Vermont. New Hampshire has higher peaks.
In winter, you can get up there on skis, cruise along the ridge, and go down Madonna Mountain into the Smuggler's Notch ski area.That's really a better ski area - fewer people.
Ace posted this painting of a guy taking a leak picnic party atop Mt. Mansfield, by Jerome Thompson (1858). I wonder how they got up there with their dresses and picnic baskets but in that era nature hiking was all the rage for the gentry.
You can start doing the 4000 footers in VT, then NH, then NE. VT has some fairly easy ones to get started. Both Maine and NH have some challenges. I never got interested in NY - too many great long hikes with no view at the end and various parking problems. AMC has maps and guides for many of them. I did VT with topo maps and a long trail guide.
Bird Dog, nice post! I was not familiar with this painting. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. The title of the painting is “The Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain.” Here’s what the Met says about it (link):
[Jerome] Thompson earned a reputation for combining the breadth of Hudson River School landscape painting with the anecdotal appeal of contemporary genre painting. This work is one of several in which he used Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, as a foil for domestic recreation. As half the party of day trippers admire the summit and the vista toward Lake Champlain, another young man holds his watch aloft, warning of the lateness of the hour and the need to descend. But, as people their age are wont to do, the three youths watching the sunset ignore him, enraptured by the beauty of nature.
The party is at or near where the Nose (4062’) on Mount Mansfield rises up from the ridge. The painting shows the ridge north to the Chin (4393’), the highest point on the mountain. The elevation that they are at is about 3900’. The party is watching the sunset over Lake Champlain, visible in the painting to the left (west). The Adirondacks of New York are just barely visible beyond Lake Champlain.
The party probably got to very near the spot in the painting by horse, and they may even have stayed at a nearby hotel at the base of the Nose. There is currently a road on Mount Mansfield, called the Toll Road, that one can drive up to the base of the Nose. This road was constructed in the early 1850s and in 1858, the year of the painting, a hotel was built/moved to the top of the road. The hotel lasted about 100 years. The road remains open today. My source for the information in this paragraph is Mansfield: The Story of Vermont’s Loftiest Mountain, by Robert Hagerman, 1971, page 58.
Bird Dog, you can absolutely hike Mount Mansfield. It is no more difficult than the Maggie’s Farm Urban Hike. My family did it four days ago, up and down the Sunset Ridge Trail from the Underhill side. No problem. If you want to come north and hike Mount Mansfield sometime, please look us up.
One minor correction: the beautiful photo is from the Underhill side (the west side), not the Stowe side (the east side). The photo shows the Chin on the left and the Nose and Forehead on the right. They are reversed when looking at the mountain from the Stowe side. Also, ski trails would be visible in a view from the Stowe side, and there are no ski trails in this photo.
The Switchel Philosopher
I'd have to dig a hole over 2000 feet deep to get to the top of it from my home in Colorado. :)
I once knew a group of very experienced ladies (experienced in the outdoors, that is). Guides and outdoor professionals mostly. Each year they would gather a group of women and hike the Chilkoot Trail (Alaska/Yukon) together, all of them in dresses and skirts for the whole thing.
'Twas a beautiful sight to see.
When it comes to simulations, algorithmic machines have to do a whole lot of work to model even simple things. But in the real world, air and water molecules don't have to calculate what to do next, light beams do not have to calculate their trajectory, molecules do not need to figure out their chemical reactions.
I remember many years ago a scale model of the Mississippi river system which enabled researchers to predict flood times and locations by pouring appropriate amounts of water into the scaled tributaries. Since the model was only a few hundred feet long, time scales were fast enabling them to warn communities well ahead of time. That same process could be done with a super computer, but the amout of processing power required would be enormous.
Come and hike them and see if you keep that sneer on your lip. Your hikes start higher up and have easier terrain and trails.
Assistant Village Idiot
I was going to guess horses - thanks for that confirming research.
Assistant Village Idiot
Yup, Vermont is a good place to start that. Only five 4000 footers in Vermont, none too difficult.
See http://www.amc4000footer.org/ for lists of mountains in New England that “peakbaggers” climb. See http://adk46er.org/ for the list of 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks of New York. There is the Northeast 111 Club for those who climb all the 4000 footers in both New England and New York. Originally the list was 111 mountains. I think the number is up to 115 or so now, with updated surveys, but they did not change the name of the club.
When I was younger and in much better shape, two friends and I completed the 111 in winter, finishing on Killington (Vermont’s second highest mountain) in March 1992. We were inspired by two other friends of ours from Burlington, Vermont, who completed the 111 in winter in 1983 and 1985, respectively. We caught the “peakbagging” bug while helping the woman who finished in 1985. She was the first woman to complete the 111 in winter, and #6 overall. We were with her when she finished on North Brother in Baxter State Park (in Maine) in March 1985, and we just kept going until we had completed the list ourselves.
My hiking adventures these days are more subdued. The Maggie's Farm Urban Hike and Mount Mansfield in summer have been just about right this year. Mrs. TSP wants to do Mount Katahdin again, so that is a goal for the near future.
The Switchel Philosopher