Welcome to my Blog
This is the first time I have ever blogged so mistakes will likely be the order of the day! This past winter I committed myself to hiking the Vermont Long Trail (LT) in a series of day and overnight hikes over the course of hopefully no more than two summers. I have decided to create a blog to document my adventures and to provide a chance for any photos I take to be viewed by anyone interested in hiking in general or the LT specifically. I am a novice hiker whose prior experience basically consists of earning the hiking merit badge as a 12 year old. My father and I took five 10-mile hikes and one 20-mile hike as a part of earning the badge in 1974. Since that time I have hiked occasionally but never seriously. I was a long distance runner for many years and am in better than typical shape though in recent years my focus has been on weight lifting more than on endurance activity. I expect the trek to be challenging but manageable.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Old Job Trail North - Keywaydin Trail
On Saturday, June 28th I had the chance to take a sorter than usual day hike so I chose to knock off a couple of shorter side trails. I start out on the north branch of Old Job Trail. The trail is generally flat and for the first mile follows beside Lake Brook. Because of the rain the Brook is flowing fast and loud. A warning at the start of the hike indicates that the bridge across the brook is closed due to ice damage last winter.
After one mile, I come to Old Job Shelter (built 1935 by CCC, sleeps eight). Because of the closed bridge I suspect, the shelter is not being used much, has weeds growing up around it and is damp and musty. The guide book states that the village of Griffith once stood here. If so, it will take an archaeologist to find it.
The closed bridge is located just west of the shelter. I climb down to the Brook and see no way across but to wade in frigid water flowing fast. I return to the bridge and re-evaluate it. It is a suspension bridge and the east side (the one I'm on) has had it's supports bent by the pressure of ice on the bridge. The platform itself now rests on the east bank. It looks passable...in fact, it looks fine and will probably not sway as much since one-third of it rests on the bank. I lightly step out and find it is plenty strong. I even pause halfway to take a picture of the brook (see photo at start of this blog entry).
Once across the bridge I encounter waist high weeds I must wade through for about one quarter of a mile. This is due to limited trail use as a result of the bridge warning.
I see a flock of Turkeys as I advance and soon arrive at the northern Old Job intersection with the Long Trail. I have hiked 2.0 miles and now must return as this is an out-and-back trek. On the way back I take one more picture of the brook.
I am making good time so I decide to stop at a sign that announces Big Branch Overlook and hike down to Big Branch Brook. The hike is steep and is about .5 miles round-trip. The Brook is flowing wildly down the gulch and I enjoy sitting along the bank for a few minutes.
I also stop at a bridge near the town of Mt. Tabor on USFS Rt. 10 and hike a trail that I have passed several times before. It is not a side-trail but follows on the south side of the Big Branch Brook. I can't get close enough to the river for a picture, but I come upon a tall rock that looks like a good place for a rock climber to test his/her mettle.
I then decide to hike Keewaydin Trail, a one mile round-trip out-and back trail that links the White Rocks picnic area with the Long Trail. The hike is a 250 foot climb to the LT and, even though it is short, it has its moments. There are a few small streams that I enjoy crossing as they simply trickle down the mountain side and across the trail.
By the time the day is done I have hiked about six miles, most of it flat and easy.