Section 6 (AT in a Day)
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Vermont - Vt.12 in Woodstock, VT to Vt.9 in Bennington, VT - 113.6 miles
Section Chief: Caitlin Johnson '10
Vermont from VT Rt.12 westerly to Chateauguay Rd- 9 Miles
Hikers: Scot Drysdale, Pete Bundschuh, Kevin Peterson '82, Vicki Peterson '78, David Kotz '86 and kids
My trail section, in Vermont from VT Rt.12 westerly to Chateauguay Rd, was well-covered today. Prof. Scot Drysdale (top photo), hiked it from east to west, swapping cars with Pete Bundschuh who hiked it west to east. Meanwhile my kids and I hiked (bottom photo) from Chateauguay Rd to The Lookout (the site of both photos below) and back, while Kevin '82 and Vicki '78 Peterson hiked from the Lookout to VT Rt.12. I started hiking at 2pm, which turned out to be ideal in terms of the weather - we reached The Lookout at 4pm and there were 360-degree views of Vermont in full color.
Mt. Ascutney is at Scot's left, and Moosilauke is to my left.
David Kotz '86
Chateauguay Road to US 4/Killington- 14.7 Miles
Hikers: Liz Salesky '12
I went from Chateguay road to Route 4 in Vermont. I had completely forgotten it was Columbus Day weekend, so when I was going over from Hanover I think I passed 3 or 4 apple and craft fairs, and there were people everywhere. The hike was fun! It was pretty muddy in patches, and those patches were relatively obscured by leaves, so I had some rather funny moments for sure. It didn't help that I'd left campus from practice, so I was a little sore and probably more likely to slip. I passed a couple hiking with their very small son, who really wanted to walk with them, but was in a backpack. When I stopped for a sandwich break though, I had to take a lot of things out of my backpack to get to it. A chipmunk ran up to the AT in a day logo printout - it was really adorable and I wish I'd had my camera out. Close to the end of my hike there was a little waterfall slightly off the trail. I ran into a couple there, who took my picture, and then leaving it I passed 6 more people in a group. It got pretty cold right when I was getting to my car, so I guess I timed it well! When I was driving through Norwich back to Hanover, I saw that the scrolling construction sign had had one of its three messages changed to CAUTION ZOMBIES AHEAD, which truly capped the day off for me. I love that there is such a combination of fun outdoors experiences and a slight bit of craziness in everything related to the DOC. It was a really fun experience, and I'm really glad I did it. The DOC was how I started my college experience, and it was a fantastic start, so I'm really happy I could contribute to something it was trying to achieve (and did achieve now!! yay!). ~Liz Salesky, '12
US 4/Killington to Clement Shelter -10.6 Miles
Hikers: Dave and Louise Ransom
Vermont Route 4 in Killintgton below Sherburne Pass, to Upper Cold River Road in Shrewsbury (12 miles) was completed yesterday, 10-10-09, from 7:30 AM to 4:40 PM, by Dave and Louise Ransom, "Spoons," from Waterville, Vermont. 802-644-8144. We took pictures at lunch at Cooper Lodge with the AT sign and later when we met Helen Wilbur and "Astor" at Route 140. We had signed in the registers at Churchill-Scott, Cooper, Clement. On Friday night we shared the "Elm" Leanto at Gifford State Park with Helen and Astor. We left our car at Route 4, took quite awhile finding the Trail! Helen drove her car to Upper Cold River Road, taking a while to find the road. We drove Helen's car to meet her at Route 140 and met her just as they were starting to feel a little cold! Helen hiked from Upper Cold River Road in Shrewsbury, forded one stream, walked to route 140 in Wallingford with Astor, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Helen and we said that during the last 2-5 miles of our hikes, THE SUN CAME OUT!!!! We saw the sun later, of course, as we were up on the south side of Little Killington-I just paused and soaked in the sun at one point! We met one N-bounder, headed for Hanover and home to the West Coast, "Night Train.". We met a family group at Cooper who had come up the Gondola and walked over--the kids loved climbing in the windows. Trail notes: Helen found a place to park next to the bridge across the stream on Upper Cold River Road. Helen said she found no problems with the Clarendon Gorge Bridge,- we had warned her about possible frays/cuts. Helen met a troop of Boy Scouts. Astor, 6-month-old puppy, had a great hike and will have slept well last night! We had forgotten Helen's cell phone number and Helen had forgotten her cell phone, so the gods were kind! We found that fantastic work had been done from Route 4 South. We, of course, had a muddy trail, but found that by opening up some water bars some of the heavy rains could easily be drained away. we did a lot of rock-hopping as it was cold and we didn't want to start the day with wet feet. Churchill seemed to be in great shape, except that, as at Cooper, it appears that the roofs leak. The composting is working weally well, and having brooms, and even dust pasn and a brush at Cooper! really helps the areas that are difficult to sweep away from the sleeping areas. We walked up in mist and rain and in a cloud. We had trouble finding the trail initially as the sign led to a stream ford; we eventually found the bridge W. of the parking area. Thanks, GMC for the tremendous amount of trail building, rock stairs, water bars, rock walks even up and over Little Killington- which we had experienced as a difficult rock hop when it was first cut (but much improved over the previous trail, which was like the S. side of Little Killington toward the former Tamarack Shelter, rock and eroding slippery root, and slow! Many puncheons were, of course, slippery, so we shuffled off leaves as we went. We hauled blow-downs to the side and away and cleared with our sticks as we went, as well as used our sticks to open up water bars of leaves, moss,sticks. Thanks. GMC, also for the sign telling of work at Gov.Clement. We really appreciated the new blazing as the Trail was a little confusing with the gorgeous red-yellow-orange carpet on which we walked. The rock work was amazing, and we are so grateful for that, as we know that it will help maintain the Trail for years to come when it is well done! Thanks! and Thanks! for the switch backs on the South side and North side through those beautiful birches and firs above Churchill-Scott!!!, a plus of the relocation! ---- we were glad we brought gloves and woolens, though layers seemed to do the trick as we were walking uphill when it was cold and the layers were enough with the cold wind as we ventured down Little Killington. Our love for your journeys, and hope the DOC came close! Hey, prof! a 95% is still an "A"----dave and louise
Vt.140 to Danby-Landgrove Road (USFS 10)- 8.3 Miles
Hikers: Ross McIntyre '53, Bill Herrington, Bob Hession '67
Ross McIntyre '53, Bill Herrington, and I (Bob Hession '67) set out heading south from route 140 in Wallingford, VT. at 8 AM. We were expecting the thick mist and occasional rain to clear, but it never did. Our spirits were unaffected by the weather. Along the Appalachian Trail, we encountered an incredibly artistic compilation of rocks anonymously left for followers such as us to enjoy, and we found Little Rock Pond to be as pristine and undisturbed as I'm sure it was 100 years ago. We arrived at USFS highway 10 where we took the attached picture, and later we had a wonderful lunch in Danby, VT. I wasn't a member of the DOC when I was a student at Dartmouth, but my interest in the outdoors was piqued by the stories of friends who were members. It was only later that I appreciated the activities of the DOC and the contribution that the organization adds to the Dartmouth experience. - Bob Hession '67
Danby-Landgrove Road (USFS 10) to Bromley Mtn. -14.8 Miles
Hikers: Richard Schramm '57
I had a wet, chilly but adventurous hike. Even though my section began at Bromley Mountain I, of course, had to get up there. Consequently I started at Route 30 and 11 and followed the AT to the Bromley Summit and then hiked over Styles Peak, Peru Peak, and Baker Peak, and on eventually to the Danby-Landgrove Road. This totaled 17.5 miles.
When I was getting ready for the hike I read that I should use non-cotton clothes. Given the continuing drizzle that surrounded me for the first half of the hike, and the water underfoot throughout, this was good advice that I unfortunately did not heed. My cotton pants acted like a wick, with the dampness from walking in water moving slowly but surely up my legs and finally almost up to my belt. I did bring an extra sweatshirt, jacket and pair of socks, which came in very handy but no second pair of pants. Fortunately the sun came out in the afternoon and the pants dried except for the very bottoms. I wore low hiking shoes and as I felt the water seep in I was continually calculating when would be the optimal time to switch to the dry socks. I decided to do it at the half-way mark. Don't ask me why.
Like others hiking in northern New England, I experienced wet, chilly and slippery conditions at least through early afternoon. Wet rocks, wet leaves, wet shoes, and wet planks kept me "on the ball" literally of my foot, perhaps where this expression came from. No views except in the afternoon (see photos sent in part 2) and not a lot of success in taking pictures of myself holding the AT in a Day sign (see attached photos of me without my upper cranium).
The adventures came at the end of the hike. I ran out of daylight with a mile and a half to go. Even with a headlamp, it's hard to pick up the trail and blazes seem to disappear. My cell phone was ringing with friends fearing the worst, but I assured them I had everything under control. I finally emerged triumphant from the woods onto the road, but before I could send out the "I told you so" message, I realized I couldn't find my car. It was dark, my lamp was fading, I walked both ways on the road. By the time I learned from the Forest Service that the AT continues north way down the road from where I emerged, and the parking lot was beyond that, and I was reunited with my car, my cell phone had died. It was only later that my friends learned to their amazement that I wasn't still in the woods, slowly freezing in the falling temperature or more rapidly being eaten by a bear. I think I assured them that black bears are vegetarian.
When I reflect back on the hike, I have to say there were many times when I wondered when does the fun start. But when I shared the Dartmouth Outing Club AT in a Day idea with hikers I passed, they all thought it was a great idea, and one even told me that I would be part of Appalachian Trail history. That made me smile.
Bromley Mtn. to Vt.11/Vt.30- 3 Miles
Hikers: Josiah Stevenson '80, Steve Schreider '79
It rained the whole trip, with a cold misty rain at the Bromley summit. It was great to catch up with friends, both Dartmouth and non-Dartmouth. Josiah Stevenson '80 and Steve Schreiber '79 are pictured here under the shelter of the summit lift.
Vt.11/Vt.30 to Stratton-Arlington Road- 17.5 Miles
Hikers:Julie Sudikoff Weisman '79, P'08 &'10; Doug Weisman, P'08 P'10 and Eliot Weisman
We had a very good, very long day yesterday. We completed our 17.5 piece of the AT. Hikers were: Julie Sudikoff Weisman, '79, P'08 &'10; Doug Weisman, P'08 P'10 and Eliot Weisman, ROD (Relative of Dartmouth). We began our hike just after 8am. The walk up to the summit of Stratton Mtn. was pleasant, a bit wet. We met the GMC caretakers who were on the lookout for the DOC hikers as they had heard about ATinday on Vermont Public Radio. The walk down Stratton to Stratton Pond was very wet & muddy. But we could appreciate the beauty of the New England fall all the same. The sun came out when we had about 5 miles to go. That was nice as it made those last miles beautiful with the evening light. We ran into a couple of Dartmough connected folks hiking and they were all excited to hear of this feat. We finished about 6:30 - happily before it was dark. Our feet were wet (not Doug's - he has amazing waterproof boots as he kept reminding us) but we were prepared for the weather and were not uncomfortable. 17.5 miles was a long hike for us old folks. But we enjoyed it and were happy to be able to be part of it. Thanks for organizing this. Very cool. --Julie
Stratton-Arlington Rd to Story Spring Shelter
Hikers: Emily Katz '80, Ellen Groetch LaBerge '80, Daniela Weiser-Varon '80
Emily Katz Anhalt '80, Ellen Groetch LaBerge '80, and I, Daniela Weiser-Varon '80, had a hearty breakfast at the Blue Benn Diner in Bennington, Vermont and then set off for the trail, getting lost only once in search of the Kelly Stand Road, and hitting the trail south from the Arlington-Stratton Road at 11:00 a.m., by which time it was no longer raining, drizzling, or even spitting. There were too many cars with Mass. plates parked at the trail head for us to leave little notes on all of them in hopes one of them would be Julie Weisman's car -- but we contemplated it. We had the southbound trail to the Story Spring shelter entirely to ourselves, a beautiful walk although of course very wet and muddy, to often comical effect. We admired the bridges along the way, especially the one over Black Brook. Someone had left an artful display of stones and crystals at the first bridge from the trail head. We were surprised to see/hear almost no wildlife, just a couple of chipmunks and a small nuthatch seen, and a large bird of prey heard. We were more surprised to see a "gang marker" along the way -- a pair of abandoned boots slung high over a tree limb! An omen of things to come, as it turned out. We reached our destination around 1:30 and had a leisurely lunch before heading back. On the return trip we ran into two pairs of hikers, not DOC-connected as far as we could tell. We had a challenge on the return: this hiker's boots -- a not inexpensive pair of Dolomites with Vibram soles and Goretex -- disintegrated. One sole began separating at the heel -- then the other -- and as we progressed so did the separations, until the soles were joined to the boots only at the toe and flapped comically if a little dangerously along, making this wearer look less like an alumna of Dartmouth than of Clown College. My fellow hikers were frequently incapacitated with laughter, as was I, so clumsily but in good spirits we made it safely back to the parking area around 4:30. I was saved by good thick padded wool socks. I thought of slinging my own boots up over a high limb, but am going to take them back to EMS instead and see if I can score a more reliable pair! As my companions pointed out, I literally walked my boots off! Post-hike, we drove back to Arlington and met up with Mary Cleary Kiely '79, recovering well from recent knee surgery but not yet ready to hike in mud, and then DROVE together up Mt. Equinox for some truly spectacular views and a glorious sunset. We repaired to the Harwood Hill Motel for hot showers and dinner in front of a fireplace at the restaurant next door, then marveled at the stars and spent a few more wonderful hours catching up, reminiscing, and enjoying our friendship before settling in to too little sleep and an early return to Guilford, CT, Syracuse and Manhattan, NY, and Amherst, MA. Sunday morning, we did see many moose -- of the handpainted fiberglass (?) variety, displayed all over the streets of Bennington.
Huge thanks and congratulations to the DOC and everyone involved in AT-in-a-Day for this wonderful occasion!