Trip Reports for May – August 2010 (updated 8/30/10 – several nice photos)

8/30/10
Jerusalem Trail
This was a fun hike and good group in spite of a very hot day. I changed the route from Jerusalem to Mt. Ellen to Jerusalem to Stark’s Nest and down App Gap. 2.3 miles shorter! Participants: Sheri Larsen, Harvey Schugar, Marjan Schugar, Katy Wrigley, Lee Wrigley, Martin Maitner and a couple others. Trip leader: Russ Kinaman

8/28/10
Mt. Abe
We lucked out! The weather was great, the participants were all strong hikers and we made it to the top in very good time. The summit did not disappoint us. The views were lovely, and we had enough time to search for the airplane that went down just north of the summit. The hikers were rewarded with brownies at the bottom. Attached are some photos – a group photo (with the leader taking the picture) and a couple of the mushrooms seen along the way. Trip Leader: Sheri Larsen, 8 Participants including leader; Participants: Sheri Larsen, Jenny Lynch, Mary Keenan, Ed Blackwell, Gwen Dunnington, Martin Maitner, Allen Finn, Tom Brock The group included three hikers on their first GMC hike.

8/15/2010
Worcester Range
The first thing that should be noted is that the hike was actually around 10.5 miles, and not the 14.5 miles advertised. This is because the distance for the Skyline Trail, linking Worcester Mountain and Mt. Hunger is around 5 miles (5.4 by the signs and 4.9 by the new Mansfield / Worcester Range waterproof map), and not 9.2 miles as stated in the Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont, 4th edition, 2002, which the trip organizer was relying on when writing up the description. The description in that guide of the Middlesex Trail is also a little deficient for anyone doing the same loop we did and heading down Middlesex Trail without having first gone up it. So, for future hikers reading this: when you reach the woods road coming down from Mt. Hunger, turn right. The Guide book description going up the trail says it turns west from the woods road, but saying it turned left (and hence on the return would turn right) would have been more useful. Also, very soon after the (mangled) iron gate, look carefully for a poorly marked turn off the road to the short trail section that leads back to the parking area. Fortunately our combined sketchy memories of the trail were enough to keep us from making wrong turns or missing the correct ones. We met at the Richmond Park and Ride on I-89 at 8:00 AM, and took two cars (Wes rode with David) to the trailhead for the Middlesex Trail, where we left Darryl’s car and proceeded in David’s to the trailhead for the Worcester Mountain Trail. It was sunny but cool as we started out at about 9:10 AM. We made pretty steady progress to the rocky summit of Worcester Mountain, passing and repassing the only other two other hikers we encountered. At the summit we stopped for a snack and looked south at the various peaks we would be going over later that day. It was still sunny, but hazy. The trail from Worcester Mountain to the Hogback Trail junction was not very lightly traveled, and we met a guy with a chainsaw from the Vermont state trail crew doing maintenance. He was travelling in the same direction as we were, so after we passed him we encountered some blowdowns, but nothing very hard to get around. The trail doesn’t have a lot of net elevation change over this span, but it has a lot of smaller ups and downs. We took a lunch break around 12:30 just before reaching the Hogback Trail junction, and from there we proceeded along the ridge toward Hunger Mountain. The weather was getting cloudier by this time, so while we could see views of Mt. Mansfield, Stowe, and Waterbury Reservoir, they were pretty indistinct. Again, the trail appears on the map to be pretty level through here, but it has a lot of smaller ups and downs. At the summit of Mt. Hunger we saw a few other hikers. By this time the clouds had thickened up and descended and threads of clouds were blowing across the ridge. After a short break we headed down the Middlesex Trail It is very steep with lots of bare rock in many places, and even a questionable looking rope to hang onto while descending a particularly steep bit. From the junction with the White Rocks trail it became much easier, and after navigating to and from the woods road (see above comments on the guide book description) we made it back to the car at about 3:50 PM. Participants Darryl Smith, Wes Volk, Trip leader: David Hathaway

8/14/10
Nebraska Notch
Warm and sunny. Nice summer hike. The newcomers enjoyed scrambling on Clara Bow. Trip Leader: Russ Kinaman; 4 additional participants including Marlene Price, Sarah Bombardier

7/31/10
Lake Champlain Bikeway
The best roads on the Bikeway are actually the dirt roads that go north-south in the areas around the actual bikeway. These roads are out of the way, have little traffic and allow for mildly challenging ‘almost-off-road’ riding while still allowing one to cover some real distance. Hybrid bikes are needed. The next best are the north-south paved roads which have lengthy straight sections with good views for drivers hurtling up behind you to see you. The worst are the paved east-west roads which I try to avoid. These are dangerous due to traffic, blind driveways and hills that cause many blind sections. On our short trip we avoided these roads. Three of us enjoy a leisurely bike ride in Shelburne and Charlotte on mostly dirt roads passing by orchards, beaches and the spectacular scenery typical of the area. We lunched at a cemetery on Greenbush Road and spotted a cow far from the barn with an infected foot. Not knowing if the farmer was aware, we went to the farmhouse and told a young man who said he would call the vet, ensuring our little altruistic effort was the right thing to do. Victoria Davis, Jean Cannon and trip leader Ted Albers

7/24/2010
Mt. Moosilauke, NH
Connie was coming from Lebanon, NH and David (and Bailey) were coming from Underhill VT, so we met at the Glencliff Trail trailhead at around 8:30. Weather was overcast and cool, but the rains held off. We set out at a good pace climbing the steep and in some places slippery Glen cliff trail, and reached the summit around 11:30, where we had lunch. The summit was pretty much in the clouds, though we got a few brief glimpses of the nearby peaks and slopes as pockets of clearer air blew in and out. There were also a surprising number of people (probably over 20) at the top. We opted not to take the Benton trail down, as originally planned, both to get back a little earlier (David had a concert he was trying to make that evening) and because the guidebook says there is a stream crossing at the bottom of it that is difficult in high water, and it had been been raining a lot in the last week. So we took the Carriage Trail down instead, and then took the Hurricane Trail back to Glencliff. The Carriage Trail was wide, gradual, and easy (heavily switchbacked), but the Hurricane Trail looked like it needed some maintenance, with many blowdowns and several quite wet sections. The sun came out occasionally as we descended. We got back to the cars a little after 2:30, for a total hike time of about 6 hours and a toral distance of about 11 miles. Trip leader: David Hathaway with Connie Johnson, Bailey Greene (loyal dog)

7/17/10
Beaver Meadow
We started our hike on a warm summery day and hiked the Beaver Meadow Trail to the Beaver Meadow Shelter, then climbed steeply up the Chilcoot Trail to the Long Trail. We continued north to Hagerman’s Vie and had lunch at Whiteface Shelter and decided to forego the climb to the summit of whiteface Mountain and took the whiteface Trail to Beaver Meadow Trail and then out. We ended the outing with creemees in Waterbury. Participants: Carlene Squires trip leader, Anneliese Koenig, Llyn Ellison, Lee Ann Lee, and Mary Lou Recor.

7/18/10
Mt. Mansfield – Wampahoofus Hike
A break from the ugly weather provided for a very nice hike. Group gelled well. Frost – Maple Ridge – Wampahoofus – Butler. Lee Wrigley, Katy Wrigley, Jeff Clements, Ruth Stewart, Harvey Schugar, Marjan Schugar, Peter Huber. Russ Kinaman, Leader and 7 other participants.

7/5/2010
Little Killington via Black Swamp trail Return via Shrewsbury Peak Trail
7 Participants and 3 dogs
With a forecast of 95 and high humidity, there was much discussion in the preceding days about the route we were actually going to take. We were apprehensive about subjecting everyone including 3 pups to a 12 mile day with those temps. So, we agreed to just slightly modify the original route. Rather than hike all the way to Killington Peak, we settled for a lookout at the base of Little Killington leaving us with a 9 mile day instead.
We met early, parked 2 cars at the base of Shrewsbury Peak Trail and then “rode dirty” in the back of a pick up truck to the trailhead of Black Swamp Trail. As we set out on a trail none of us had yet ventured on, we took a steady but manageable pace as the heat began creeping up and the deerflies unleashed their fury.
As we reached the intersection of Black Swamp and Shrewsbury Peak trail, a very poorly marked intersection, we breezed right past believing we were still on the right trail. After several back and forths, and consulting the GPS system and multiple maps, we backtracked about 50 yards and jumped on the right trail (which was disguised as a trail that lead to a shelter). Along the way, the dogs kept us entertained as Heidi decided to lick a frog. Apparently they don’t taste good as she began trying to spit the taste out of her mouth. We tried to help wash down the “yuck” with some puppy treats and water. She recovered quickly and decided she wasn’t going to do that again.
Once we reached the junction of the Long Trail, we enjoyed a quick bite to eat, and stories about speeding tickets and how to get out of them. We then agreed to continue on about another ½ mile to a lookout point before returning to the cars.
The Shrewsbury Peak trail proves to be a steeper trail than the Black Swamp and we were so grateful we were taking it for the return as the temperatures were quickly becoming unbearable.
Back at the trucks we finished up the remainder of the cookies and gratefully jumped back into our air conditioner vehicles (well, some of them had air conditioning in the form of rolling the windows all the way down so the dogs can hang their head out…ha ha ha)
No better way to spend a Monday off of work, than with great company in the woods of the Green Mountains.
Participants: Kelley Mackison (Trip Leader) her dog Trigger, Taylor Christie, Walker Christie, Phil Hazen, Lee Wrigley, Larry Gagne, Sarah Coburn and her dogs Heidi and Lucy

6/27/2010
Montclair Glen and Beaver Ponds
Leader: Dot Myer, 7 participants
The June 27 hike scheduled for Abbey Pond was changed to Montclair Glen and Beaver Ponds due to the possibility of Abbey Pond Trail being closed. The weather was fairly nice and we all enjoyed the hike, especially the brook along the way. The view of Camel’s Hump was mostly obscured by fog, but it opened up several times while we ate lunch at the beaver pond.
Participants: Barbara Wanner, Emily Thurber, and Dot Myer and other friends.


6/20/10 Sterling Pond
Trip leader: Russ Kinaman and 7 additional participants
Soaking wet hike to the pond, then cloudy to overlook, then partially sunny on way down. Very congenial group and all had fun in spite of the weather.
Participants – Phil Howard, Ginny Heidke, Lynda Hutchins and others

6/13/2010 Mount Ellen
Richard Larsen. 7 participants. The weather report was marginal, with a better outlook for north of Burlington than south, but we went ahead with the scheduled hike on Mount Ellen, and hoped we would not get rain. We went up the Jerusalem Trail (2.4 miles, 1750′ elevation gain) in about 1 1/4 hours, then along the LT to Mount Ellen (1.8 miles, 650′ net elevation gain) in about another 1 1/4 hours. All along the ridge, the temperature was in the low 50s – a little cooler than we had expected – but all had adequate clothing. There were a number of blowdowns in the area about 1/2 mile from the ski slopes, and we were able to clear a few, but we had not brought a saw and had to leave some others. At the top of the ski lift, we were in the clouds, but at least it was not raining. After lounging around and having a leisurely lunch, we hiked the few remaining feet to the summit of Mount Ellen, then headed back the way we came. The rocks were very slippery going either way, and there were a couple of tumbles, but fortunately no injuries. (Let’s be careful out there, folks!) It took about an hour to get back to the top of the Jerusalem Trail, and just over an hour down and back to the cars. As we reached the cars, there was a lot of blue sky becoming apparent, and as we drove north things really cleared up. Burlington obviously did have better weather, but we were glad just not to have had rain. Participants – Marc Faucher, Peggy Faucher, Wes Volk, Scott Springer, Debbie Marcus, Sheri Larsen, Richard Larsen.

5/31/2010 Mt. Mansfield Loop Hike
When we woke up the morning of the hike, there was a news report that smoke-filled air from forest fires in Quebec had blown into Vermont. We weren’t quite sure what that would mean for our hike on the ridges of Mt. Mansfield. We did our hike as planned – hike from Stevensville Trailhead up the Frost Trail, then across Maple Ridge Trail, down through the caves and narrow passages on Rock Garden Trail, then down Butler Trail back to the cars. We could smell the smoke much of the way and couldn’t see across the valleys, but on Maple Ridge we did get a little sun from above and could see the top of Mt. Mansfield. Although the views weren’t great, we had a lot to keep us interested, including seeing a great display of recently opened lady slippers at the top of the Frost Trail and crawling under and over rocks on the Rock Garden Trail. The hike with a snack on Maple Ridge and lunch at Butler Lodge took us four hours. It was a very enjoyable outing.
Sheri Larsen, leader, Rich Larsen, Phil Howard, Mary Keenan, Marjan Schugar, Linda Cooper, Lynda Hutchins


5/1/2010, Snake Mountain
Trip Leader: Dot Myer, with Barbara Wanner
We had very good weather and lots of wildflowers. Especially there were huge patches of large white trillium’s all the way up the mountain. The trail was muddy.

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