I love my husband. I do. He is a wonderful person and a great dad and a dashing dresser.
But the man really loves to run up hills. And occasionally, I get thrown into these running-up-hills situations and I complain a lot. My love of complaining about running up hills does not mix well with his love of running up hills.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to go to Burlington, Vermont together. Without our children. As overjoyed as I was with the prospect of spending 5 days sleeping in and doing whatever the hell we wanted all-day every-day, I also suspected that there might be some hill-running in my future. I prepared for this by trying not to think about it and hoping for a miracle.
Our first run on the first morning was a disaster. A freaking disaster. If you ever go to Burlington, Vermont and someone tells you that a great trail run is running up to the top of Camel’s Hump, they are a liar and they don’t want to be your friend.
It is a beautiful…hike.
Here are a couple of pictures:
Him running up a hill…tra la la.
Me saying, “Ha ha I’m having so much fun. Someone help me…please. Please?”
After a couple of miles running straight up the slippery, rocky, stupid mountain, we bailed. It might have been the daggers I was imagining throwing into his back, but I don’t think Robb was having a good time, either. We then found a nice cross-country skiing trail and sorta salvaged the day even though the air was still thick with our mutual annoyance.
My favorite part of the cross-country trail was when a butterfly followed me for about a mile, trying to land on my shirt.
When I told Robb about the butterfly he said, “You mean it was a leaf?” I still don’t think he believes me.
This takes us to Saturday. We did extensive research on our next run. And by extensive, I mean we googled “trail runs in Burlington.” We came to an article in Runner’s World calling one particular trail, “The Trail of The Month.” Great! We would like to do The Trail of The Month in Burlington, VT and have fun together as a couple on our wonderful retreat without kids. Yes. That is what we would like to do.
When we saw the elevation gain and the words “fairly arduous”, it seemed a little daunting, but, this was The Trail of the Month from the very reliable Runner’s World.
As we drove toward Mount Mansfield, I started to get a little nervous. It looked…big. We parked and paid and talked to the Park Ranger and when she told us that The Chin is the highest point in Vermont I became a little more nervous.
I was kinda trying to keep it together, though, because I really didn’t want to have a repeat of the day before.
Robb really wanted to do the 9 mile Trail of the Month that Runner’s World wrote about. I was more into doing the 7 mile trail that the Park Ranger recommended. So, we looked at the map and
argued discussed and decided that we were up for being tortured having an adventure.
There were 3 good things about The Trail of the Month in Burlington, VT as called by Runner’s World:
1. The first mile was nice.
2. Beautiful views.
3. We completely bonded over our shared misery.
You see, this was not a running trail. Not by any stretch of the imagination has any human ever run this trail. And if they have, I would like to meet them and just stand in their miraculous presence. This was 9 miles and 3 hours of class 2 scrambling and some occasional jumping over large crevasses.
At the top, there were about 200 people (including an older woman in freaking orthopedic shoes and a skirt) and I was like, what the what?
Well, that was when we saw the Gondola.
Don’t I look super-duper happy:
The views were, indeed, spectacular:
But please don’t go to Mount Mansfield and expect to run to the top of Vermont.
The happy ending is that we then stuffed our faces and it was good. If you are ever in Burlington, go to The Farmhouse Tap and Grill. Food so good that I forgot, for a moment, the three hours of pretending that I was an incompetent mountain goat. They did not pay me to say this.