Ripton families dream big and take on the Long Trail

MIDDLEBURY — Anyone who has hiked with their children know that it has its delights and its pitfalls. At the Green Mountain Club Breadloaf Section annual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, two families will tell the story of what happened when they decided to join forces and hike together. The presentation will follow the business portion of the meeting, which will take place at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society at 2 Duane Court, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
In “Short Legs, Long Trail — Four Summers on the LT,” the McIntosh and Harrington hiking families, both of Ripton, will present a program on how their two families, each with their individual loves of backpacking, decided to try backpacking together. As they recently described it, “It started with a simple overnight with just the two oldest kids (then 6 and 7). That trip planted the seed from which our adventures were born. Starting small, dreaming big, and staying flexible kept us going. (That, and plenty of M&M’s)!”
The Harringtons have lived in Ripton since 2003. Prior to settling in Vermont, Tracey and Jay had their own backpacking adventures: Tracey in parts of East Africa and South America, Jay as an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Their children Baxter (12) and Mary (10) have lived in Ripton their whole lives and, in addition to backpacking, enjoy Nordic skiing, playing music and reading.
The McIntoshes have always had a love for the outdoors. Living in Ripton gives them ample opportunity to get out and play, whether backpacking, skiing, paddling or pedaling. Andy and Laura have always made outdoor adventuring part of their lives and their kids have joined them since infancy. Watching them grow into accomplished young adventures themselves has been a tremendous privilege.
The presentation is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. For more information go to gmcbreadloaf.org.

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