Trip reports for October 2021 (updated 10/15)

10/13/21 – Taft Lodge deck repair
Five of us met at Bryant Camp at 8:45, loaded with tools, and hiked up to Taft Lodge to replace the rotting planks of the deck. The new planks had been brought up previously on the gondola and carried over from on the old Fern Trail by members of the UVM Outing Club. Removing the benches and some of the end planks was tricky, as they had been screwed in and the screw heads were sunken into the wood and almost completely hidden. But once those were removed we came up with a technique of prying the old nailed in decking with a sideways 2×4. Almost every plank broke apart when we did this, showing the need for replacement. Putting in the new planks went much faster. They had all been cut to size, and only one cut with a handsaw was needed on site to notch a plank around the metal grating. A couple joists were beginning to show some degradation, so we added sister joists to those to share the load. The old benches were then put back, with a couple rotted base supports replaced. The benches will need complete replacement in the next couple years. We finished up and headed down around 2:30. Work crew: Dana Baron, Tom Candon, David Hathaway, Steve Titcomb, Howard VanBenthuysen.

10/9/2021 – Prospect Rock
We had up to 13 people signed up or waitlisted for the 10 spots on the trip, but some last minute drops left us with 6 people who met at the Cambridge park & ride at 10 AM. We took two cars to the route 15 Long Trail crossing, and started hiking around 10:30. It was sunny but appropriately cool for October as we started up, and the foliage was near peak color. Some of us too the ladder down into the dry channel of the Lamoille River, but some found and used a fairly well worn alternative path a hundred feet or so to the east. After looking out over the river from the suspension bridge, we crossed Hogback Road and continued up the Long Trail to Prospect Rock. There we found quite a few other people also enjoying the views. We had lunch and talked about bears and other concerns for those doing overnight hikes on the Long Trail. Eventually we headed back, reaching the cars around 1:30. Participants: Tom Farran, Nick Persampieri, Caroline M, Debora Nascimento, Renata Cupertino, David Hathaway (leader).

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