Trip reports – April-June 2018 (updated 5/14/2018)

5/13/2018 – Lamoille Valley Rail Trail bicycle
We met at 9 AM at the Jeffersonville park & ride on Rt 15 on a cool sunny morning. We hopped on the Cambridge Greenway trail which is a short spur at around mile 64 of the LVRT. We went across the new Lamoille River bridge by Cambridge Junction to the current end of the trail (though it continues to be extended) at VT 109, then turned around and headed east, following the river. After inflating an underinflated tire that had been slowing one of our group, we crossed Rt 15 and passed the Long Trail crossing and Johnson Farm & Garden, then took a break at the playing fields in Johnson around mile 53. We took another break a little farther along to see Dog Head Falls, then continued east to the other end of this section of open trail at mile 47. We headed back to Lost Nation Brewing at mile 49, arriving just before noon, where we had lunch and beverages (some we ordered there, some we brought with us). The day had warmed enough that almost everyone who had started in long sleeves was down to short sleeves by this point. The leaves were just coming out enough to provide a little shade on the trails, and we saw a variety of wildflowers by the sides of the trail, including trout lilies, Marsh marigolds, spring beauty, and purple trillium. After a leisurely lunch we returned the way we’d come, reaching the cars around 2:30. Participants: Robynn Albert, Rowena Albert, Tule Fogg, Sammie van Gerbig, Joy Snow, Nancy, Juri Prince, Kristen McLane, David Hathaway (leader). Photos: Kristin, Robynn, & David.

5/5/2018 – Spring Trail Work
Great weather and great turnout for our first spring trail work. 15 people so we divided into 3 groups of 5. One group went from Bolton Notch Rd to Buchanan Shelter, one group went from Bolton Notch Road and then the LT south, and the last group went from the new parking lot on Rt. 2 on the LT north until they met the second group. the first group had the most trees to cut, but all groups did some sawing. The trail was in pretty good shape. We also clipped and dug out places for drainage. Attending were Pam Gillis (leader), Ted Albers (group leader), Phil Hazen (group leader), Mike Arthur, Ann O”Day, Reid Willis, Kimberly Farone, Thomas, Mary Keenan, Peter evan Smigh, Paul Believeau, Arthur Beliveau, Jessica Beliveau, and Dasha Zentrichova. Thanks so much to everyone! Many of us enjoyed refreshments at the end in the Rt. parking lot.

4/29/18 – Wildflower Hike at Niquette Bay State Park
Several people had signed up for the annual wildflower hike, but we all decided not to go out in the rain and cold (low 40 degree temperature). There is another wildflower hike scheduled for next weekend. Hopefully, they will have better luck. Would-be leader: Sheri Larsen

4/22/18 – Honey Hollow
The hike is a loop 5 miles long that goes up the Honey Hollow Trail, climbing about 1000 feet of elevation, to the junction with the Honey Hollow Road, and then down the road and return to the cars. On the hike we always look for ferns, wildflowers, birds, and anything else the participants can identify. This year, we had a fine spring day, temperatures in the 50s, and 7 hikers. Scott Springer, Jack Lutz, Solveig Overby, Cathy Tilley, Cathy McIsaac, and Sheri Larsen joined trip organizer Rich Larsen for the walk. The only problem was that the weatherman had not heard about spring before this day – so the ground still had a lot of snow in spots, and on the trail up the only things we could observe were the places where various plants would be at some later date. But, we had a good walk, with a few diversions around downed trees from the winter’s various windstorms. On the way down the road, we found the first flowers – Coltsfoot (is a group Coltsfeet?). Among ferns, we had Christmas Ferns and Scouring Rush – a fern-relative – but all the Royals, Ostriches, Cinnamons, etc were still waiting to make an appearance. Birds were limited to few sparrows, crows, robins and chickadees. Other than trees, nature was pretty sparse. We had a good walk, at a fairly leisurely pace, taking 3 hours for the loop.

4/7/2018 – Laraway
Howard VanBenthuysen, who makes the wonderful new trails signs for the GMC, saw this trip on the schedule and asked if we could bring up and install a replacement for the Laraway summit sign, which we did. Seven of us met at the Cambridge park & ride and took three cars up to the Codding Hollow trailhead, where we met our eighth participant. After recent thaws and rain and a subsequent hard freeze the snow surface was very hard, so we left snowshoes in the cars and started up in microspikes around 9:45. It was sunny and in the high 20s. There was a faint track from previous hikers, but it was snow covered, so we managed to lose the trail once briefly on the way up. We reached the start of the cliffs around 11, and spent some time admiring the impressive ice columns coming off the cliffs. We got to Laraway Lookout around 11:30, but it was pretty windy so we didn’t stay long. We then continued up to the summit, ducking under a lot of snowy branches, and reached the summit around noon. I hauled out all the tools I’d been carrying (drill, wrenches, etc.) and found I didn’t have the right socket for the bolts holding the old sign, but managed to get an adjustable crescent wrench on them (both sheered off at the post when turned). The new sign went up easily, and will be a great improvement on the old one, which was weathered into near illegibility. After a brief lunch we headed back down, meeting a few people and dogs headed up, and reached the cars around 2. Participants: Steve Titcomb, Ray Geddens, Lori Johnson, Sunny Kim, Deb Forcier, Robynn Albert, Tom Smith, David Hathaway (leader).

Checking out the big ice

At the summit (with the old sign)

The new summit sign


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