After completing our Gust application for the UVM Business Pitch Competition, Austin and I decided we needed to let loose. We threw around a couple of ideas and finally reached a consensus of what needed to be accomplished that weekend. At first we were going to bike 20 some odd miles to Underhill State Park where we would disembark and go for another 4 hour hike up Mount Mansfield (tallest mountain in Vermont) before making the bike ride back. We were both up for the challenge but then came our conscience knocking at our ambitious goal. Our Jiminy Cricket came in the form of our good friend John Little who was skeptical that his own bike could make the trip, instead we opted for riding in style in his VW GTI. And was it sweet. The trip there was short but it was magnificent. Being brought up in the suburbs of Georgia looking at the scenery of Vermont was somewhat reminiscent of those cliché scenes when a country person enters a major city like New York. The Green Mountains though diminutive in size to the Andes that I had seen in Ecuador were no less awe-inspiring. The ride their was like a portal to a new area I had never been to even though I have lived in Vermont for 2 years now.
Once we got to the park, first thing was first, how do we get to the top? So after trying to pay for our entrance to the park with no place to put the fee into, we just jumped into adventure mode. We needed to find how we could get to the summit using a topographical map, which for me can sometimes be a little troublesome. If John hadn't corrected me on the routes we might have extended the hike another 2-3 hours. So we got right to it and made our way to the Sunset Ridge Trail. Hiking with Austin and John made me immediately reminisce about the scenery of the Appalachian Trail as portrayed in Bill Bryson's novel A Walk in the Woods. It was sick, we talked about everything that would come to mind. It's magical how something as simple as walking in the woods can get best friends who have known each other for years to dig deeper and forge an even stronger bond. This was the good vibes that I constantly was feeling step after step up the mountain. To be honest Mansfield was a tougher battle then I had expected as I had been brought up on hiking the Southern Appalachia. I was wimp compared to John (White Mountain bred) and Austin (Adirondack seasoned). But in the end we did get to the top in one piece. I have to say that at the point we reached the top together I was the happiest I could be. This feeling of euphoria jolted through my veins and everything felt right. I was in good company, the view of the surrounding valley was insane, and there was nothing else I could ask for. I was content where I was in that particular moment.
As we made our way back down we had a couple of spills along the way ( as it had rained the night before making the rocks slippery) but not anything too serious. As time passed it was as if the sun was slowly overpowering the cloud cover and finally opening the true scenery surrounding us. It was unreal. We laughed, joked around, and just had some good old fun. It made me reminisce about my time as a Boy Scout where I would have moments just like this one without any form of technology. This was good natural fun. There were no touch pads in sight and because of that we (Austin, John, and I) really got to know each other that much better. So in the end I would love to see Napo Natural be a company that really is geared to people like us who in reality is everyone they just need to be reawakened as I was to see the beauty of nature. I want to see Napo Natural be a catalyst to get people outside and have some good ole' fun. Napo Natural will be the catalyst to live, learn, love, and laughter.