We are avid hikers and geocachers, so when we saw this pop up on Living Social, we jumped on it right away. A weekend away AND a treasure hunt? Cool!
Everything takes place in the town of West Dover, VT, a town known for Mount Snow, and not much else...until now. The GMAC is a brilliantly constructed marketing plan to put West Dover and its' many amenities on the map. There are several options for places to stay, from rustic lodges to elegant inns. Dining is just as diverse, from burgers and beer to five star cuisine, all within a few miles.
The GMAC itself takes you to many of the most remote regions of West Dover, with baffling clues and trails that lead seemingly to nowhere. But along the way, you meet other adventurers and local people who are willing to give you a hint or at least try to point you in the right direction. At the end of our GMAC adventure we were hot, tired, dirty and sore...and as we drove home we both agreed that we can't wait to sign up for next year's challenge.
A couple of things that would have me rating the GMAC as "Excellent" instead of "Very good":
1. As another reviewer mentioned, there are no checkpoints and there is no protocol for adventurers who may experience an emergency. Weather systems move fast in the valley, making the current radar images deceiving. As a result, we got stuck a few miles out on a trail in a violent thunderstorm with lightning strikes just feet away from us. In the future, perhaps the organizers can use a smartphone app such as "Share My GPS" so that adventurers can communicate their exact location if they run into an emergency situation.
2. The most frustrating part of the challenge was the amount of time we spent in the car. Not only was it a bummer to be stuck in the car (usually going in the wrong direction), but we used a lot of gas. That's not very "green" for the Green Mountains.
3. We were provided with water bottles and we made good use of them, but for the amount of hours spent on certain legs of the challenge, I would suggest having water purification tablets handy to make sure challengers can rehydrate out on the trail, or at least strongly suggest that adventurers have them in their gear. A water bottle with a wider top that fits ice cubes would be great, too.
4. The hiking trails are lovely, but I would have liked to see some water sports in the challenge also, like kayaking or rafting. Maybe next year?
Overall, this was truly a unique weekend getaway that we will be talking about for a long time. And we can't wait to return to West Dover and do it again next summer. Thanks!
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