Author Archives: ml242
Saying goodbye to summer hasn’t been easy. Like a lot of things in life, sometimes you have a list of things to do that just never seem to get checked off. Even if you keep your list of goals small, the number distractions to divert you are endless.
As Joaquin pushed off the coast Sunday morning, the sun started to shine through my window. It was too late for me to head to the Gunks for another attempt on Bonnie’s Roof (which had previously kicked my butt), so I decided to stay in town to adventure locally.
Perhaps entering an early form of a mid-life crisis, I purchased a skateboard last month and started to push around town. I hadn’t skated since I was a kid and I still haven’t gotten the gear dialed in, but it’s been really fun to flow through the streets in a new way and shave a few minutes off of my walking commutes too.
I tossed the hiking shoes in my trunk as an afterthought while heading to Quebec, but then quickly considered it to be the right decision. Unlike skiing or hiking, climbing is not the best way to familiarize yourself with a new place, so it made sense to fall back on the classic activity while in the Sutton region of Quebec.
This charming area, known as the Canton l’Est to the Quebecois (aka the Eastern Townships to us), is like a French speaking mirror of the Green Mountains on the other side of the border, though the mountains are not as tall as the US section of the spine, and they don’t stretch out in the same north-south orientation.
So while these peaks aren’t as rugged, they do feel at least as remote. From any peak in the area you can see rolling hills stretching in all directions. The mountains were also sculpted by the same glacial forces as those that cut Jay Peak and Mansfield and many share the same pyramid-shaped summit.
As I discovered on a recent weekend while trying to park at Lake Minnewaska, it’s hard to call the Gunks hiking scene “overlooked.”
Granted it may seem that way to obsessed rock climbers and skiers who drive by searching for taller mountains. Still, after being pleasantly surprised by the in-lot snack shack, it was nice to see how empty the trails were once you got past the Minne swimming area.
I was on my way to rediscover a seminal Gunks hike, venturing out for a loop from the lake to Gertrude’s Nose, and then up to Millbrook Mountain.