8/21/2021 – Sunset Ridge bridge repair
Scouts and leaders from Boy Scout troops 624 of Essex and 627 of Jericho and Underhill met with David Hathaway of the Burlington section at 2 PM to help carry up size 2″ x 10″ x 5′ rough cut green hemlock planks from the state park parking area to repair a bridge on Sunset Ridge Trail. We started with some planks carried on shoulders, and others between two people. But the planks were quite heavy, probably 35 pounds plus, and we ended up dropping some by the side of the trail and carrying most up in pairs,then going back for a second trip to get the dropped ones. Three planks in the bridge had holes or gaps in them, and three others were quite soft and rotted in places. Others are in adequate condition for now, but will probably need replacing in future years. The scouts also helped remove the old planks and nails. We had planned to carry down the old planks, but they pretty much disintegrated as they were removed, so we carried the pieces back into the woods to let them finish rotting away. The new planks were anchored with 6″ timberlock screws. The whole operation took about 2.5 hours. Participants: Ben Edwards, Brian Edwards, Ian Ritter, Jason Ritter, Calan Abair, Mike Abair, David Hathaway.
8/14/2021 – Worcester Ridge
We met at the Richmond park & ride at 8 AM, took three cars to the Worcester Mountain Trail trailhead, and piled into one car for the short trip back to the Middlesex Trail trailhead. It had rained heavily earlier in the morning, and was still raining as we started up the trail at about 9:20. The rain had mostly let up by the time we reached the rocky stretch near the top of Mt Hunger, and the wet rock made it a little slipperier than usual, but not too bad. It seemed like someone had gone crazy with blue blaze paint, and the blazes were practically a dotted line over some of the rock sections. We saw no one at the Mt Hunger summit, which was unusual, and saw only 5 or people the whole day. The Skyline Trail from Hunger to Hogback was very wet in many places, but it looks like some work will be done on it, as we saw pink flagging with notes on it indicating the length of puncheon to be installed in several places. The clouds lifted enough to get intermittent views of Mt Mansfield and Waterbury Reservoir from the lookout near the Stowe Pinnacle Trail junction. The sun came out as we travelled from Hogback to Worcester, and we got down to the cars around 6:20, for about an 8 hour hike. Participants: Daniel Scheidt, Mattie Scheidt, Tim Welsh, Dani Buneo, Dean Wiederin, David Hathaway (leader).
8/3/2021 – Cantilever Rock sign repair
I trimmed 2 rotted inches off top of the sign post at the Cantilever Rock junction, and re-anchored the sign to post with new bolts. I also built a base for the post, which just been leaned up against a tree.
Since I had gone halfway up Sunset Ridge, my pack was a lot lighter without 15 to 20 pounds of wood, and it was a beautiful day, I continued up to the Mansfield Chin. David Hathaway.
8/1/2021 – Cantilever Rock
Three of us met at the Underhill Center commuter lot at 9:30 and, after waiting about 5 minutes for a no show, took one car up to the trailhead, where we met our 4th hiker. It was raining lightly as we started up Eagles Cut around 9:50. The rain remained light but steady as we continued up the Sunset Ridge, until letting up shortly before we reached the Cantilever Rock trail. While the rest of the group hung out around Cantilever Rock, David took a chainsaw back a couple hundred feet to clear one head height blowdown across the trail, and a couple others encroaching on it from the sides. One high blowdown above the trail that appeared stable was left in place, as removing it would have been quite involved. At the trail junction David made an attempt to tighten the bolts holding the sign to the post, but the post was rotted our at these bolt holes. We got back to the cars around 12:45. On a separate work trip the Burlington section will try to create a base for the sign, cut the last few rotted inches off the post, re-anchor the sign, and build a base for it. We will also try to do some much needed clipping along the trail. Participants: Caroline M., Heidi, Keri, David Hathaway (leader).