First off, you might be wondering: who is Spencer, you ask? He is the first person known, to our organize at least, to have successfully visited all existing hut structures in Vermont within a 6-month period. We caught up with him recently to hear more about his Vermont hut-to-hut adventure. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation:
How’d You Hear About Vermont Huts?
Devin: Thanks for taking the time to chat! Talk to me about how your first heard about Vermont Huts and how you came up with this idea to visit all the huts?
Spencer: I first found out about Vermont Huts after skiing the Catamount Trail back in 2013. I kept tabs on the CTA after completing the trail, and at one point I saw a message about Vermont Huts and knew I had to check it out. I started thinking about huts and thought they’d be great fit for my adventures. I’m not the kind of guy that wants to a posh experience – I love the idea of being off the grid in cabin rather than high-end hotel. So over time I schemed up this idea and made it a reality.
When Did You Visit the Huts?
Devin: After hearing about Vermont Huts, when did you actually take the plunge and visit all Vermont Huts?
Spencer: I grabbed my wife and stayed at each destination starting in the Fall of 2018 and going through the Winter of 2019. Merck Forest was the first place we visited, and we loved it!
Which Was Your Favorite Hut?
Devin: So you got to visit all of the Vermont Huts. Which one was your favorite and why?-
Spencer: I’d have to say Nulhegan Hut was our favorite. Has all the ingredients of what I happen to love – post-and-beam, woodstove, just a cozy place. If this was my house… it’d be just awesome. It’s a great setting with lots of wild character. It’s so remote, such a great area. Cross-country skiing on the trail along river is a great experience.
Most Memorable Hut Experience on Journey
Devin: Did you have a particularly fond memory while visiting the huts?
Spencer: I’m a member of a bushwhacking outdoor group – we meet fairly regularly to explore different places in and around Vermont. I coordinated a group to go into backcountry where we bushwhacked up by Lake Willoughby then back to the hut. At that point, we held our yearly gathering there – it was a blast.
Now I’ll ask a few quick questions and I’m looking for rapid fire response. Ready?
Devin: Woodstove or Gas Stove?
Spencer: Woodstove, particularly wood for cooking
Devin: Big or Small Structures
Spencer: Smaller cabins are preferred, for sure
Devin: Favorite Season?
Spencer: Winter! – If it were up to me, I’d live in a world of 10 months of winter, 2 months of bad sledding…
Devin: Favorite Sport?
Final Thoughts About All-Things Huts in Vermont?
Devin: Great! Any final thoughts to leave us with?
Spencer: You don’t have to be a hardcore, outdoors wilderness person to enjoy the huts. If you want some modern features, there might be some intimidation… Many of the huts are readily-accessible – they strike a good balance between being remote and having modern amenities. Don’t hesitate to take the plunge!