I'll soon be moving out of Vermont. I'll miss it. Overall,, mile after mile, the trail I've encountered in Vermont is the best, most well constructed and well-kept trail of any state. What makes it so? It just has that X-factor. It's not pretentious and yet the quality gets your attention. It's not gaudy or glamorous - it just goes through the woods, and yet it's a pleasure to experience.
Perhaps the fact that we're finally into the full flush of summer helps, but there's more to it than that. Perhaps the fact that the trail spends most of its time in good wild land, remote from the distractions of civilization helps, but I found that boring in other states. Perhaps its the fact that the woods here rarely suffer from dry spells - so they are consistently lush and green. I really don't know. It's just that X-factor - something undefinable that nevertheless makes all the difference. Vermont's got it.
Today was a fine example: there was almost nothing worth taking a photo of, and absolutely nothing I'm eager to share here. Furthermore the weather was hotter than I'd like and the 7.8 miles of trail I covered had several big climbs. But I felt satisfied, in my element, happy to be here.
It kind of bothers me that this feeling defies analysis - I pride myself in being able to coax some explanation out of almost any situation. But today I'm stumped. The X-factor wins the day.
Here's a map of the day's hike and a link to the photos I did take.
AT Day 163 at EveryTrail
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