July 4, 2008
17 participants. One newlywed couple. A set of identical twin brothers. Two folks who just relocated from out of state. Three who want to relocate to Vermont’s Green Mountains. A reality TV series? High school class reunion? Cruise ship guests? No on all counts! The correct answer is the GMC’s Independence Day hike to Camel’s Hump via Burrows. The day started as a foggy one, but quickly burned off as the sun burst onto the scene for the 17-person hike up the trail. One incredibly ambitious member had already made his way to the summit via Monroe, then descended via Forest City and met us right on time at the trailhead. (When he phoned me at 5:20 that morning to tell me his plans, I was in my pajamas watching the news and suddenly felt a little lazy…..) What a fantastic day we had! Lots of laughs, the weather was superb, no bugs on the summit, four 4-legged companions joined the group and new friendships were forged. A perfect way to begin a holiday weekend.
Participants – Kathy Williams, Karen Amirault, Todd Pollak, Kevin Kelley, Rich Larsen, Sheri Larsen, Miguel Brosse, Mary Keenan, Phil Hazen, Dan Hinson, Walker Christie, Taylor Christie, Kelley Mackison, David Warren, Decla Noonan, Neil McCarthy. Trip leader: Robynn Albert.
Burnt Rock via Hedgehog Brook Trail
10 participants, 3 dogs
It was a beautiful day for the trip (Sunny with a high of about 82 degrees). As one participant said it was “The perfect ending to a perfect weekend”. The hike up went quickly as the dynamics of the group allowed for great conversation. About half of the group had hiked this trail before and shared their knowledge with the other half on this trail for the first time. Many were commenting on just how beautiful and lush the trail looked, though some of the tree roots were a little slippery. The dogs never cease to amaze as they scurried up the tougher climb at the top as though they were just walking through grassy rolling hills.
At the top we enjoyed our conversation, our views, and our lunches. Though a faulty sandwich bag allowed for a scrumptious peanut butter sandwich to seductively fall to the rock catching the instincts of one dog who seized the opportunity.
The hike down always offers a different perspective than the hike up. The ladders looked steeper, the rocks a little more slippery, and the trail can sometimes be hard to find…but a little venture off the trail and Taylor found the pothole that he had heard about.
Back at the car we enjoyed fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, said our goodbyes and were all glad to have met new friends and offered some new faces to the Green Mountain Club.
Participants: Andy and Carlene Squires and Callahan (dog, Golden Retriever), Melissa Kretmar, Marnie Rivett and Mosely (dog, Yellow Lab), Carmen Trombley, Jennifer Jany, John Kellner, Jeanne Kellner, Taylor Christie, Walker Christie, and Trigger (dog, Vizsla)
Trip Leader: Kelley Mackison
July 12, 2008
Juniper Island Paddle
2 Participants. After a last minute cancellation from a third prospective participant, Roger and David met at the Shelburne Bay boat launch a little before 10:30 AM. David was paddling his Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 kayak and Roger was paddling his home made (from kit) wooden / fiberglass kayak. The day was sunny, warm, and the water was extremely calm, with virtually no waves except for the occasional power boat wake. We went up Shelburne Bay, around Shelburne Point, and reached the west end of Juniper Island after about 1.5 hour. We then continued around the island and paddled back. After getting back to the boat launch, we wandered up the La Platte River a ways (very weedy), then went back to the boat launch and ended the trip at about 2 PM. Trip leader: David Hathaway
Overnight at Twin Brooks Report –
Three of us ventured up to Twin Brooks on the only sunny day in July. We took the short cut (good thing too, as our packs were heavy with tents and pots of chili and small kitchen appliances). We arrived just in time for dinner. What a glorious sunset! Unfortunately, the campfire was a bust but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort. Too much rain made all the kindling soggy. Still, spirits were high as we tried to outdue one another telling silly jokes. We all agreed this is one fabulous place to camp out and maybe we’ll make another trip back, but next time with a good supply of dry kindling.
Herm Hoffman, Lance Polya, Curry (the dog), Linda Evans, trip leader.
July 27, 2008
4 Participants. We hit the blueberry season just right. Everyone came home with blueberries – one person with three quarts! The weather was great and we had a nice hike. Rachel Moulton, Kathy Williams, Bob Chaperon. Trip Leader: Dot Myer
August 1, 2008
Lincoln Gap to App Gap
10 Participants, plus 2 dogs. We got a fairly early start @ 0800 from Lincoln Gap under cool skies and a bit of mist. Actually, most agreed it was just the perfect temperature to hike. We noted Ben Rose and Anya had checked in at the register on Thursday night @ 2010 heading for Batelle to spend the night. Since they were heading on up to Birch Glen for Friday night, it looked as though we would miss them. Nice climb to the top of Abe where we regrouped. Limited visibility, with small patches of blue sky above. It was nice to have several new hikers to a Burlington Section hike: John, Rose and Carol. We checked out the wreckage of the Cessna near Abe and proceeded North. Stopped at the Castlerock ski patrol hut for a snackbreak on the deck and now we were seeing some clearer skies and direct sun. Carol told us a fascinating, true story of someone who had a python as a pet. The owner observed the snake wasn’t eating for a long period of time and became increasingly concerned. It would sometimes curl up and coil itself at the foot of the bed. She asked her veterinarian what the problem might be. Given that the snake was coiling up on her bed, the vet said “get rid of it immediately; it’s sizing you up”!!!! Yikes……..just 1 of the conversations that can come up while hiking on the Long Trail. We topped out at the ski lift on Mt. Ellen around noon and with a few showers, we ate lunch and continued on. 2 Sugarbush lift mechanics were working on replacing some of the wheels on the lift towers and their weather report was of no thunderstorms for the rest of the day. We were certainly glad to hear that!! Our next stop was at Stark’s Nest for a snack, then on down to App Gap. The lift guy was 100% correct as the rest of the hike was dry……can you believe that for this season? Dick Petit mentioned it takes about 8 hrs to complete the hike and we actually finished right on time. It was a leisurely pace with lots of very interesting and varied conversations occurring simultaneously. I can’t remember a time when we’ve had such an entertaining bunch of hikers. Great hike, weather held (but around 1930, we had a steady downpour for about 1/2 hr on my way back to Burlington, via Jericho to drop off John). PERFECT timing!! Participants – Kelley Mackison and faithful dog “Trigger”, John Lamb, Phil Howard, Ed Blackwell, Wendy Savoie and “Trevor” – standing in for “Maggie the Wonder Dog”, Louanne Nielson, Richard Petit, Carol Caroscio (aka Alice), Rose Dauerer, Pete Saile (trip leader)
August 9, 2008
Brunt Rock Peak
4 participants. After many rainy days, the forecast for our hike day was good – sunny with a high temperature in the 70s. We did have great weather, but we also had high water in the streams. Rather than try to cross the stream at the very beginning, the trip leader suggested an alternative route to avoid getting wet feet. The alternative route would have been good if we had found the right trail, but we missed an early turn and ended up walking up a logging road, turning around and then bush-whacking back to trail! Oh well, it was a nice day and we were able to hike an extra 40 minutes. The views at the top were lovely. And, we found some nice patches of blueberries. Everyone enjoyed the hike as well as the stop for ice cream on the way home. Participants – Rich Larsen, Jenny Lynch, Phil Hazen. Trip Leader: Sheri Larsen
August 10, 2008
4 participants. This was a lovely hike with a fine group of hikers. Perfect weather. No rain. This was the first hike for some for the participants, and they will be back. Participants – Shelley Bistram, Ronnet Sasse, Mary Keenan. Trip leader: Russ Kinaman.
August 16, 2008
9 participants. For a hike that had only one signed four days before Sunday, a flurry of calls and messages poured in the last three days. We met at the Hinesburg Park and Ride (yes, yes there is one, behind the town hall, entrance on Charlotte Road). Nine of us ventured out for what was advertised to be a sunny day, but ended up being a bit on the cloudy side. With the rain that has fallen, the trail was surprisingly dry. Met a few folks along the way and was glad we arrived at the trailhead when we did as the area filled rather quickly with vehicles. Unfortunately, the view at the top was cloudy in all directions! As we left the trailhead and headed back to Hinesburg, the sky broke into beautiful sunshine. I hope folks were able to enjoy the remainder of the day and were feeling refreshed after a nice hike! Participants – Rich Larsen, Sheri Larsen, Phil Hazen, John Hankins, Les Hankins, Miguel Bossi, Mary Keenan, and one other participant. Trip Leader: Robynn Albert
August 24, 2008
Mount Mansfield – Halfway House / Laura Cowles
5 participants. These were two trails not usually hiked. It was a tough up and down for some of us, but we all made it, and everyone had a good time. It was a good group. Loose rocks on top of Laura Cowles presented a challenge. Participants – Sheri Larsen, Mary Keenan, Robynn Albert, Ronnie Sasse. Trip Leader: Russ Kinaman.
Beane Trail to Molly Stark Balcony
A perfect low humidity day in the 70’s made this 5 mi (round trip) no sweat. We parked near the end of the Carse Road in Huntington (just below Maple Winds Farm, itself worth a visit) walked 1/2 mile down the access road (which, if followed, heads towards the Huntington gap) to the Beane Trail, then onto the Long Trail south. The Beane Trail meets the Long Trail at Birch Glen Camp, a shelter in good condition. We walked up to the little Balcony and found it packed with Middlebury students on a freshman outing. I felt old – but only for a minute. We could see the Adirondack, the Green and the White Mountains, lake Champlain and of course looking straight ahead (north) Camels Hump.
Dot Myer, Brenda Ellis, Eric Adler, Ellen Murray, Ted Albers trip leader.
September 5, 2008
Mount Mansfield Loop Hike
5 participants. After a last minute cancellation and a waiting 15 minutes for someone who didn’t show up, we ended up with a group of five experienced hikers. We did a lovely loop hike on the side of Mt. Mansfield from Stevensville Parking Lot — Frost Trail, Maple Ridge, Rock Garden, Butler Trail. The views were nice along Maple Ridge Trail and the scrambling through the Rock Garden was lots of fun. We enjoyed lunch at Butler Lodge and had a pleasant hike back down.
Participants – Rich Larsen, Jerry Lasky, Cilla Kimberly, Ed Blackwell. Trip leader: Sheri Larsen
September 6, 2008
One Participant, plus a dog. Two expressions of interest earlier in the week fell through, so on Saturday morning David loaded Bailey in the car and started from Underhill Center at 6:30 AM. The forecast was for 50% chance of rain, with amounts of less than 0.10 inches, mostly between 11 and 2, but by the time we got to the Upper Works parking area it was already raining. The rain was light and let up after about an hour, but it remained overcast with low clouds and intermittent rain throughout the day. The first 5 miles were on trails and went very quickly, so by 11 we were ready to start bushwhacking up from the Duck Hole trail. Even though it wasn’t raining much, all the rain that had fallen was on the brush we were pushing through, so we were soaked pretty quickly after starting up. The guide book said to stay to the SE bank of a stream, but for much of the route it was easier to walk up the stream bed. Near the top the stream bed disappeared (fortunately we were above the worst of the blowdowns) and we continued following occasional traces (or imaginings) of herd paths to the summit ridge, reaching the summit around 2. We then turned around and, after losing a compass out of an unzipped pocket somewhere on the upper reaches of MacNaughton, got back to the trail around 4, back to the car around 6, and back home by 8:30. Participants – David Hathaway, Bailey Greene (dog)
September 7, 2008
Beaver Meadow and Sterling Range Loop
5 participants. Beaver Meadow is a beautiful bowl in Morristown located 1,500 feet below the Long Trial and the summits of the Sterling Range. Our group of 5 started out for Beaver Meadow in a light rain and a gentle breeze that stayed with us for most of the hike. We moved along at a good clip to the Beaver Meadow Lodge, where we stopped for snacks and a rest before ascending the Chilcoot Pass Trail. Hiking up the Chilcoot Pass Trail was a good choice on this rainy day, as the steep trail was strewn with slippery rocks and roots.
We joined the Long Trail at the base of the pass and hiked north for a mile or so. Although we did not have the hoped for views of Mt. Mansfield and Lake Champlain, we passed the time with interesting conversation and enjoyed the hike along the ridgeline all the same. Soon after we arrived at the Whiteface Shelter for lunch, we were joined by a woman from Hyde Park doing an end-to-end hike from North to South. She shared one of Dean’s homemade brownies with us before heading on to Sterling Pond Shelter for the night.
We continued on down the Whiteface Trail and rejoined the Beaver Meadow Loop. We took a short detour back around the meadow to see the Burling Shelter. We had heard from another hiker (one of the shelter adopters) that the shelter was still warm from some overnight guests who had had the wood stove going – so we decided to take advantage of the remaining heat!
As we left Beaver Meadow, we began to see patches of blue sky and the sun started to shine through! The sun highlighted some of the early fall colors starting to appear in the trees. We all vowed to get out for some more hikes in the next few weeks to enjoy the fall colors that would soon be at their peak!
The hike ended up being a surprise reunion for us, as we were joined by Megan Daly (who attended the GMC trip leader orientation with us in February) and Galen Wilkerson (who rode with us on Local Motion’s bike trip to Montreal in May). Also with us on the hike was Mariana Matrajt, a friend of Galen’s from UVM. We enjoyed connecting with old friends and new in one of our favorite hiking and backcountry skiing places in Vermont! Trip Leader: Dean Bloch and Valerie Wilkins
September 13, 2008
Camels Hump (moved from Belvedere)
3 participants. The trip leader needed to shorten the drive and the hike in order to have time to deal with a car purchase, so the hike was moved from Belvedere to Camels Hump. One potential participant dropped out with this move, so we ended up with three folks. The forecast for the day had been ‘iffy’, but as we headed up Burrows Trail the leaden skies seemed to lighten some, and any threat of rain disappeared. The top remained cloudy – and cool – but we did have some limited views for brief moments. By noon, the crowds even started up, with more people taking advantage of the day. While driving back to Burlington (and avoiding the closed Richmond bridge), the Champlain Valley was actually becoming pretty sunny. As often is the case, the weather forecast had been inaccurate! Participants – Peter Cottrell, Sheri Larsen, Richard Larsen Trip Leader
September 14, 2008
5 participants. It had rained during the night and early morning. Several potential hikers called to cancel. Weather reports were calling for more rain, but, since it had stopped raining, we decided to go. Humidity was high and as we climbed higher we found fog. When we reached Harrington’s View, we had some lunch, and then the sun started to shine through the clouds. The fog cleared, and the Bolton Valley Sports Center and parking lots came into view. We all enjoyed the hike and thought ourselves lucky not to see a drop of rain. Participants – Andy Squires, Ronnie Sasse, Dot Myer, Mary Keenan, Carlene Squires trip leader.
September 21, 2008
3 participants. They say quality rather than quantity is the key sometimes. Well, that was the case on the most recent GMC Hunger hike. Phil, Jack and I headed out from the Richmond Park and Ride around 9 am. Cloudy skies were on the horizon and Phil and I debated the forecast, which was vastly different from one another’s. As Phil and Jack have vast hiking experience, I had the good fortune to hear their stories firsthand. 98% of the day’s conversation was hiking, 2% of the up and down stock market of the previous week. Yikes! to the latter and glad it was only a minute portion.
Made good time on the way up with one brief break. Very fogged in at the summit, where we spent about 40-45 minutes. Shortly after heading down, met Mark, current GMC member who grew up in the area but now lives in NH. He and Phil know many of the same GMC folks so more stories were shared. Mark raved about the hiking in the Whites, Phil and I the Adks., our home mountain area, but we all love the Greens, no doubt about it!
Despite the lack of a view at the top of Hunger, all was not lost for the day. Made the necessary top at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Waterbury Center and hit the new-relocated Cabot store, where Phil and I proceeded to fill our faces with every cheese sample ever created by the fine sample people at Cabot. I think Jack made out with the better end of the bargain, purchasing a whole block! Participants – Phil Hazen, Jack Lutz, Robynn Albert trip leader.
September 28, 2008
Mount Mansfield / Wampahoufus
2 participants. With the forecast for bad weather, three people canceled, so only the trip leader and one other met in the AM. With the sky looking gloomy, they decided to head to Indian Brook as a more friendly destination with probable rain. No rain materialized. Did a long outer loop and a shorter inner loop. It was actually a nice hike. Participants – Ronnet Sasse, Trip leader: Russ Kinaman