Our Story…


On Friday July 12, 2013, Cara Nelson and her son Carl test their pack weight (17.5 lb and 33 lbs) in preparation to hike Vermont’s Long Trail end-to-end.

After weeks of heavy rain and flash flooding in Vermont, my son Carl and I have committed to a start date to hike Vermont’s Long Trail. We will start hiking up the Pine Cobble access trail at the southern most part of the Trail on the Massachusetts border on Sunday July 14.

This isn’t just any ole Long Trail end-to-end hike. We are following in my Grandmother’s (Carl’s great Grandmother) foot steps. Her name was Catherine Robbins. In 1927 she and two other women, Hilda Kurth and Kathleen Norris, hiked the Long Trail as a summer vacation. They unknowingly became the first women to hike the Long Trail end-to-end and were hailed as “The Three Musketeers”.

3 Musketeers Canada

“Our fondest hopes realized — the Canadian Line” August 25, 1927

This is my second LT hike. In 1997 my sister Amity Robichaud and I celebrated the Three Musketeers 70th anniversary by hiking the LT end-to-end in 26 days. We promoted the Green Mountain Clubs Long Trail Protection Campaign and raised funding to protect the Long Trail for all. Our motto was “All for the Trail, and the Trail for All!”

After working 28 years for the same corporation, I was offered an amazing opportunity to have this summer off. When I told my 10 year old son Carl that I could spend the whole summer having fun with him, his first excited words were “does this mean we can go chase after The Three Musketeers on the Long Trail and hike the WHOLE trail end-to end?!” Without a hesitation, I said “YES”!.

I had hiked it once before and noted in my 1997 journal that I promised myself that I would once again hike the LT. Now is that next time. This special time with my son will allow us both to experience the Trail that made our family part of Vermont history. This will be the most perfect summer vacation. And that is what the Three Musketeers set out to do 86 years ago — so shall Carl and I. As I did in 1997, we will hike as the “Three Musketeers Too” ( as in, also Musketeers).

As cell service and battery allow, I plan to up date this blog to share our adventures on Vermont’s Long Trail. We have my Grandmother’s 1927 Guide book with notes of interest and plan to visit Three Musketeer’s noted favorite or interesting places. Since 1927 the LT has had many trail relocations. Our hiking strategy is to retrace the Three Musketeers foot steps to bring us to some of the original LT locations that impressed or offered adventure to The Three Musketeers. One of these places is around Bourn Pond. We plan to stay at Stratton Pond Shelter but will venture off to explore Bourn Pond. I will explain later…

One more day to prep meals, confirm all of our gear and determine that our packs are as light as they can be. Then off to the trail, Canada or bust, we must get there!

4 Responses to Our Story…

  1. cole and jenn w. July 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    ~Love your story!

  2. Amity Robichaud July 16, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Go Musketeers Too!!!!!!!

    • Cara July 29, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      Our motto is “We must get there — the Canadian border! It may take Carl and I some time to get there, but the experience is worth it!

  3. Bamby August 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Sounds exciting and very WET!
    Keep on trucking………

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