Sutton on a Sunny Afternoon

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.

Sutton-prive

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.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Everything changes and from what I can see summer vacation is no different. In the old days, we’d use our time off to explore the Siamese Ponds Wilderness and the south central Adirondacks.

water-sports

We’d push our week or ten days of time off as late in the season as possible. That time right after Labor Day is possibly the best time of the year in the mountains, outside of ski season.

Now we take it when we can get it. When our daughter entered kindergarten, like many families, we moved our vacation into late August, after camp and before school. Sometimes, our schedule of activities shortens that long week in the mountains into a long weekend.

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A Gunks Classic: Gertrude’s Nose Hike

As I discovered on a recent weekend while trying to park at Lake Minnewaska, it’s hard to call the Gunks hiking scene “overlooked.”

Gertrudes-Nose-hike

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.

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