Vermont Public Radio Commentary
INTRO: For 25 years, commentator Rick Hubbard has spent most Tuesday mornings hiking Mt. Mansfield with a group of friends.
Shortly before 7am most Tuesday mornings, my life-partner Sally and I meet a small group of friends in the parking lot at the base of Stowe Mountain Resort.
We come to hike Mt. Mansfield, as many of us have been regularly doing for more than 25 years. Most Tuesdays, our goal is the top of the quad ski lift, high on the mountain.
Throughout the year we experience all kinds of weather, and dress accordingly. At various times in winter we climb with Micro-spikes, or snowshoes, or skis with climbing skins. But on warm and sunny days in the late summer or fall, we climb in trail shoes or hiking boots.
Often we head diagonally up along the Crossover trail at a conversational pace, passing several of Stowe’s famous downhill runs. But when we get to the North Slope trail, conversation stops and it gets more serious. Each of us then heads uphill as rapidly as we can, and slowly we drift further apart according to our various abilities.
At the top, we regroup, snap a picture, and head down together, when it’s time for conversation again.
I’m 72 now and most of us are in our 60’s or 70’s. We’re all clearly in, or approaching, what we might call “use it or lose it territory” and I’m sure we all share the same preference to keep our fitness up as long as we can. Continue reading