We took an entire week of vacation last Saturday when we drove up to northern Vermont to hike the last section of the Long Trail with one of the kids who was completing her through hike of the trail.

Somewhere between Waterbury and Stowe, the sense of being on vacation was so apparent that our shoulders relaxed. We’ve been so focused on staying home, hurrying through public places and doing our jobs.

It was so refreshing to drive (albeit through a ton of construction) from Waterbury to Stowe to Morristown where we spotted a great swim hole and detoured in to check it out via a street that doesn’t really look like a street and led to a dam, beyond which the gorgeous swim hole was found.

Onward up Route 100 past Eden and past the wind installation on Lowell Mountain and Westfield and Troy until we headed west on Route 105 and drove to the top of the gap to the Long Trail where we met Olivia, our hiker, and a friend from a trusted household.

The hike itself was great. Some steeps, but not too many and only 4 to 5 miles. The Long Trail ends abruptly with a cement pillar located in what looks like a mowed right of way. That 10-foot right of way is actually the U.S./Canadian border. There’s no fencing or crossing. Those who strayed into Canada would find themselves in a deep wooded wilderness, fairly high up on a mountain.

From there we hiked back down to the parking lot through amazing groves of bear-scarred beech trees. Olivia drove us back to the starting point where we had a tailgate party to celebrate her accomplishment.

We took a different route home and found ourselves in Cambridge and then went through Smuggler’s Notch. Not having been there in many years, it was amazing to see the rock formations and narrow road (and lots of people!) as well as many signs warning tractor trailers not to try to cross.

We were away from the house from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and yet it felt like we’d been gone a week. Heed the recommendation of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and try a staycation. Vermont is so beautiful. Take a ramble.