On the eigth we climbed Moon Mountain, wearing the holy paper necklaces and cotton hats of Shinto priests, following behind a mountain monk whose footsteps passed through mist and clouds and snow and ice, climbing miles higher as though drawn by invisible spirits into the gateway of the sky–sun, moon, and clouds floated by and took my breath away. Long after sunset, moon high over the peak, we reached the summit, spread out in bamboo grass, and slept…
…How many rising
clouds collapse and fall on
this moonlit mountain…Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” translated by Sam Hamill, the Essential Basho, p. 24-25
A Mount Mansfield-West Experience
We quickly end up with the sweepers. Bob, our 76-year-old guide, sets too grueling a pace for us–half his age–to maintain. There is a reason Smuggs classifies the Mount Mansfield West hike as one of its most strenuous. We ascend and descend and ascend again. The trail leads through wooded groves and up steep rock scrambles. We breathe hard by the time we reach the summit.
But, oh, what views we have the Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks of New York beyond. Not to mention all of Boyden Valley that lay before us.