Trip Reports May – August 2014 – with trail work photos (updated 8/31/14)

8/24/14, From the Appalachian Gap
On a lovely summer day we met at the Richmond Park and Ride and drove three cars to Carse Road (Deane Tr.) We left one car and drove to Appalachian Gap. We started off with a steep rugged climb out of the gap as we climbed up Baby Stark Mountain. When we neared the summit, Andy commented that it was a baby brat to climb. We encountered a difficult rocky drop, but managed to cling to the roots and narrow ledge to one side of what looked impossible. There was no other way around it. We all safely negotiated it and we were happily moving on. Next we climbed up Molly Stark Mountain which was much easier. We came out to a lovely opening in the trees near a rock bench with a view. (picture of the group at this bench) We stopped at Molly’s Balcony for a lunch and beautiful view to the west (Lake Champlain and Huntington) and north (Camel’s Hump and the Worcester Range). The hike gradually got easier as we descended to Birch Glen Shelter for a nice rest. It was a pleasant hike out to Carse Road. The drive of the car took two drivers back to Appalachian Gap to retrieve the cars and returned to pick up the hikers on Carse Road. Participants were leader Carlene Squires, Andy Squires, Carol Hignite, Sue Brown, Mary Keenan, and Dimitri Currey.
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7/12/14 – Laraway Loop
Agnes Chapius, Ted Albers,Max Seaton, Phil Hazen
We met at 9 AM at the Cambridge park and ride, consolidated into one car, and drove to the Cross Road trailhead for the Davis Neighborhood Trail. David was using “tred-not” deer fly strips, which are basically a strip of flypaper you put on the back of your hat, and Ted took up the offer to try one as well. Ted had left his water bottle at home, but others on the trip had enough to share, so he didn’t go thirsty. The weather was sunny and pleasant, and we got on the trail a little after 9:30. We took the clockwise route, following Codding Hollow Road (and the washed out parts that used to be a road) to the Long Trail, and then headed north up Laraway, We reached the beginning of the long overhanging rock wall near the top of Laraway around 11:30, and stopped for a chat with Walter, a GMC board member. We continued to the Laraway Lookout where we had lunch around noon and met a couple of south bound aspiring Long Trail end to enders. David’s new GPS was preloaded with geocache locations, so when the others started up again, he took a few minutes to search out a small cache near the lookout. We continued to the summit, and then down the north side of Laraway to reach Corliss Camp and the David Neighborhood Trail junction around 2. There we stopped to talk with another aspiring Long Trail end to ender who was an at large GMC member from Jericho, and who Phil and Ted recruited into the Burlington Section. We continued down to reach the car a little after 3, where David and Ted tallied their deerfly catches (David 10 and Ted 7), but it was still nothing compared to the haul David had on the same hike two years ago (see picture). Trip leader: David Hathaway
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6/28/14 – Bamforth Ridge trail
The day started off well, we met at Richmond park and ride and left for the trail heads. We dropped a car off at Monroe trail head and proceeded back to the Bamforth Ridge trail in our cars. Our hike started at 9:30 and we plunged ourselves up the mountain. We took lunch at a ridge and tried to get out of the sun for a rest. Then we continued and made it to the clearing. Some of us decided to go to the summit and off we went. Next we made our way down the Monroe trail, happy that we didn’t have to go back down the Bamforth Ridge trail. We made it to the bottom around 5 o’clock happy that our hiking had successfully come to an end. Sheri Larsen, Peter Smith, Max Seaton, Wes Volk. Pictures courtesy of Wes and Sheri.
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6/22/14 LaPlatte River
Nice paddle today up the Laplatte River almost to the falls. We had 4 kayaks, a Hornbeck and a canoe. The water became too shallow for the canoe so we didn’t reach the falls. There were 5 GMC members including myself, and one guest. I’m guessing we did around 6 miles in about 3 ½ hours.Russ K.

6/21/2014, Worcester Ridge
We met at 8:30 AM at the Richmond commuter lot, consolidated into two cars, and headed for the trailhead. Unfortunately, there was some confusion about exactly which trailhead and how to get there, so it was about 10:40 before we had a car parked at our destination and were started up the trail to Mt Worcester. The weather was pleasantly cool and breezy, and we got to the Worcester summit around noon, had a snack, and continued on. The trail between Mt Worcester and the Stowe Pinnacle trail junction is very lightly traveled, so there is a lot of moss and other soft footing (including many moose droppings) along the trail. We reached an unnamed and tree-covered peak around 1, and the Stowe Pinnacle trail junction around 2. We finished our lunch and then continued along the ridge leading to Mt Hunger, which we reached around 3:30 or 4. We then made our way down the slabs on the east side of Mt. Hunger, which include one spot where a rope has been left to aid hikers. We continued down the Middlesex Trail, reaching the car around 6:30. Martin Maitner,Max Seaton, Wes Volk, Phil Hazen; Trip leader: David HathawayDSCN1725

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June 15, 2014 Battell Trail/Long Trail to Mt. Abraham
We had a lovely hike on the Battell Trail/Long Trail to Mt. Abraham. We observed one chipmunk, one toad, one shrew, and three newts along the way. We had a bite to eat at the shelter and then on to the summit. We had no views as it was still surrounded by clouds. By the time we reached the parking lot, the summit was visible. Participants were Carlene Squires, Martin Maitner, and Michael Lapoint.CSphoto

June 14, 2014 Paddle Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge
The paddle went well yesterday and everyone had a good time. The Refuge is just north of Swanton and it’s an ideal place for quiet water paddling and wildlife viewing. We paddled out the Missisquoi to the lake, around an island and back. Approximately 9 miles, 5 hours. There were 4 GMC members and 5 guests.
Russ Kinaman Leader

June 8, 2014 Mount Mansfield Loop
Eight people showed up on a nice day. In the parking lot, one was murdered by an irate camper (seems the driver took ‘his’ parking spot.) After a short moment of silence, we continued. We headed up the CCC Road, and ran into a bull moose that had way too much testosterone. One hiker was trampled, and bit the dust – but we still had 6, so we carried on. Going up Halfway House, we saw signs of mountain lions activity, but ignored that – they are extinct in Vermont, you know. Ten minutes later, the cat pounced, and hauled off yet another unfortunate member of the team. Five left, but still had a majority of those that had started. We made the summit with no more incidents, but, once there, a husband and wife pair started arguing, then wrestling – and then plunged off the top, with hands wrapped around each other’s throats. Two more down. Only 3 left. On the way down, one hiker took a nasty (and, unfortunately terminal) fall off Sunset Ridge. Two left. Both of the remaining hikers made it back to the State Park, and agreed that we had a very nice outing on Mount Mansfield, assuming we were willing to overlook a few events. A picture of the group is attached, courtesy Wes Volk.
Participants – Karen Furland, Tom Furland, Wes Volk, Robin Moore, Jenny Lynch, Scott Springer, Bruce Bassett, Rich Larsen018

Memorial Day Hike 2014:
I had lots of interest in this hike even though the weather was a little questionable. A dozen of us kicked off another hiking season by hiking the Frost, Maple Ridge, Rock Garden and Butler Lodge Trails around Mt. Mansfield. We found several wildflowers in bloom including Red and Painted Trillium, Trout Lily, Spring Beauty, Clintonia, Goldthread, Dwarf Ginseng, Star Flower and Hobblebush. The weather cooperated for the most part with just a brief sprinkle for a few minutes. By the time we donned raincoats the shower was over. Although overcast we still had a view looking out to Lake Champlain and nearby peaks. Our inner child came out as we crawled under the rocks, squeezed through some then up over more on the Rock Garden Trail. We arrived at Butler Lodge right at lunchtime. After a relaxing lunch we headed down the Butler Lodge Trail to the cars. Trip participants included Debbie Page, Joey Corcoran, Sue Brown, Bill Ross, Lee Wrigley, Wes Volk, Marty Holbrook, Lynda Hutchins, Anneliese Koenig, Wendy Savoie, Jan Tobias and trip leader Mary Keenan. Pictures from Mary and Wes.
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5/24/14 Trail Work outing:
Dot Myer, Carollee Reynolds, Lisa Hardy, Thomas Passburg, Max Seaton, Ted Albers, Scott Albertson and John Sharp, leader.
Scot, Lisa and Max clipped and cleared water bars on the Frost Trail to the Maple Ridge Trail to the Rockgarden Trail and from there to Butler Lodge.
Dot and Carollee clipped the Butler Lodge Trail until they met up with Scot’s group at which they point all descended together.
Ted, Thomas and John worked the upper part of the Butler Lodge Tr, the Wallace Cutoff and the LT south to the Twin Brooks tenting platforms. Ted handled the Hazel hoe while Thomas and John clipped. The chain saw was used twice, once on the Butler Lodge Trail and once on the Long Trail.
Started around 9:15 and all back at cars by 2:30. Some lightening, thunder and rain, but all in all a successful day with fine drink and snacks at end.
Side Note: Three young lads passed us heading north toting full packs. I asked where they were headed and if they were through hikers. They said they were only out for a few days and had planned to make Sterling pond, but when they reached the forehead on Mansfield they had made wrong turn and headed south. They realized the error upon reaching the tenting area. Despite being totally turned around, they took time to thank Ted for the trail work.

5/18/2014 – North and South Hero bicycle trip: Trip leader: David Hathaway, with Robynn Albert
There were no takers for the planned trip along the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, but Robynn said she’d be interested if the trip moved to paved roads. So a change of venue was made, and we met at 10:30 at the Fish & Wildlife access across from Sandbar State Park. The day was sunny and pleasantly cool with light winds, and after about 10 minutes to get organized we started out at 10:40. We crossed the causeway, turned left onto Langdon Road and then followed South Street, West Shore Road, Moccasin Avenue, and Griswold Road in a loop around the west side of South Hero Island. Some of West Shore Road is unpaved, but it was hard packed gravel that didn’t cause Robynn trouble with her skinny road bike tires. We headed north over the bridge on US 2 to North Hero where we turned left and followed South End Road to Camp Ingalls on the southwest end of the island around 1 PM. We then retraced our track with a brief side loop on East Shore N and Faywood Road right after we got back onto South Hero Island. On the way back we stopped for 15 minutes for lunch at about 1:30 at the Fish & Wildlife access a little north of the ferry landing. We got back to the cars around 2:45.

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May 10 Work Hike: We had 6 people show up in the early morning rain to do trail work. By the time we started to hike, the rain had stopped and did not return! We cleared Nebraska Notch trail, Clara Bow Trail, and the Long Trail between Taylor Lodge and Twin Brooks testing area. Very few trees down (only used the chain saw for one near the parking lot). Trail was very wet. We had experienced volunteers Pam Gillis, Max Seaton, Rick Manning, Scott Albertson, and Forrest Aldrich, along with a new volunteer Wes Volk, who carried the chain saw for us! We enjoyed drinks at the end. Thanks to all!

May 3rd – Trail Clearing
Thanks to the 18 who showed up for our first trail work outing. We divided into three groups of six.
Group “A” – John Sharp – Leader
We cleared from Jonesville to the large beaver pond, where some of them arrived while group B was having lunch. They had the new chain saw and only used it once (it cut nicely).

They clipped and cleared the trail with a crew consisting of veterans George long, Fred Royce, and Dot Myer and new volunteers Ben and Paul Truman.

Group “B” – Pam Gillis – Leader
We cleared the Long Trail from Bolton Notch Road south to the large beaver pond. Our section President, Ted Albers, carried and used the chain saw (the older club one) and cut several trees. Ted also ripped down a large rotten one. The others (all returning trail workers), Forrest Aldrich, Carlene Squires, Maggie King, and Louanne Nielsen clipped and removed branches trees from the trail. I used the Hazel hoe to help with the trail drainage, clearing some leaves and mud from ditches. We have a picture from our lunch break at the pond with everyone (including the 2 dogs) but the photographer, Forrest. We were too busy working to take more pictures! We did see a moose across the beaver pond, but it left before it could be photographed. The moose was being chased through a clearing near the beaver pond by Group C who were chattering so much the moose had no problem getting away in time.

Group “C” – Phil Hazen – Leader
We had a great turnout for our first trail work outing of the year. (It must be because of the news that refreshments would be provided by Trails co-chairs Pam Gillis & John Sharp at the end of the day!) This allowed three trail work crews of six each to go forth to clip, clear water bars and remove blow downs (larger trees across the trail).
While the first two crews did their work on the Long Trail from Jonesville to Bolton Notch Road, Group “C” headed up to Buchanan Lodge from the Bolton Notch Road. New comers Scott Albertson, Jon Miller, and Max Seaton joined seasoned veterans Lisa Sipsey and Rick Manning along with old timer Phil Hazen pressed into service as trip leader (I had a chainsaw).
This group was particularly ambitious, rarely allowing me start up the chain saw.They preferred to hand saw trees or just throw them off the trail. And not only that, but they clipped on the way in and on the way out. That must have been because of the “catered lunch” with white linens at Buchanan Lodge. Next time, sign up for Group “C”.
To add, we heard or saw 17 bird species including our state bird, Hermit Thrush, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Blooming wildflowers were not prolific but we saw Spring-beauty, Trout Lily, Yellow Violets, Dutchman’s Breeches and Wake-Robin Trillium. Also, Woodland Sedge was in bloom. – Louanne
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