|The sunrise behind the ski-lift.|
We got to the trailhead a few hours after midnight, with the forest silent and the stars out and shining above us. The path was easy to follow, even with the darkness all around us. We were able to keep track of the blazes, which were everywhere (this section of the path is the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail, after all). It never got steep, and it made for a great, relaxed ending to all the other hikes we've done so far. We passed the lean-to, then emerged onto one of the ski slopes, lit up by the stars above. The lights of Manchester could be seen behind us, with Equinox Mountain visible. We made it up to the summit, where we wandered around the ski-lifts for a while, awaiting the sunrise.
|The ski-lift in silhouette over the rising sun.|
|Peru Peak from Bromley Mountain.|
|One of many ski-slopes.|
As we waited for the sun to appear, I began to take notice of all the early signs of winter. Not only did a fine layer of frost cover most of the equipment, but all the water on the summit was frozen as well. While we were waiting for the break of day, I found many of the huts doors being unlocked, which provided momentary warmth from the freezing winds outside. From the summit could be seen the Coolidge Range to the north, Glebe Mountain to the east, and Stratton Mountain and Glastenbury Mountain to the south.
|The ski-lift as the clouds began to move in.|
As the wind began to howl, the sun started rising, which lead to the clouds moving in. Usually, an event like this would lead to poor visibility, and in this situation, a lousy sunrise. However, the clouds elevated the experience. As they filled the sky, it appeared the sun was sitting high above a raging fire on the mountain side. Words can barely describe the sight, as it perfectly sat behind one of the ski lifts, putting everything in silhouette. After we watched the sunrise for a while, we tucked away inside the ranger cabin.
|The sunrise can be seen through the clouds.|
|Another view of the sunrise behind the lift.|
|Some of the chairs in silhouette.|
Once the sun had fully risen, we realized the clouds wouldn't leave us, so we began to head down as dawn was breaking. Despite the lack of views from the ski slope, it still made for a beautiful descent. A while after entering the trees, we passed a vista, which offered a decent view toward eastern Vermont. On the way down we were able to admire the trail more. There were many portions that were flooded, but they were pretty easy to avoid.
|The Ranger Cabin|
|The Appalachian/Long Trail north.|
|The long and winding trail down the slope.|
|One of the partially flooded sections of trail.|
Overall, Bromley Mountain wasn't anything special (despite the truly unique sunrise), and I'm okay with that. Not all things need to finish big, as long as I enjoyed it, I'm fine with it. When it comes to what the future holds for hiking and this blog, I'm unsure of it. I might change the blog slightly, or I might take a break for a while. From Mt.Alander to Bromley Mountain, all I can say is that this wasn't only a great year for sunrises, but it was a fantastic year for hiking in general.