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Exhausted — but happy — after another day of exploring the backcountry

Sunday brought day two of sunshine and day two of skiing in the backcountry in northern Vermont.

We had discussed exploring the forest on the flanks of Camel's Hump. So off we went this morning.

After a long approach by car to Camel's Hump State Park in Duxbury, Vt., we buckled into our telemark boots and headed for the Monroe Trail. It's a busy hiking trail in the summer. Today there were hikers, snowshoers and a few skiers. 

I learned it's challenging to skin up a hiking trail. This is because there are lots of bumps, turns, ups and downs so my skins didn't always have a lot of contact with the foot-packed snow. I had a better time when I went off trail into the powdery snow.

After a while, we started traversing across the hardwood forest away from the Monroe Trail to make our own way downhill. We broke our own trail. We found mostly tight trees and hobblebush. And we crossed many streams with running water. Some crossings required creativity to get across! The snow was challenging. There were about five inches of light powder on top of a breakable crust.

But the sun was out and we were exploring in the snowy woods. The only sound in this remote area was the cracking noise from cold trees and the busy work of woodpeckers. So nice.

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