16 June 2007

General Stark Mountain (part 2)

The Long Trail

Camel's Hump State Forest

Part 2, continuing from the first half.
A little more view from further along.

A little reminder of what I am not prepared for and should be when hiking in the east. I hadn't even occurred to me to bring rain gear for the trip, must less for a hike that started with such a clear sky. These never did get to be threatening that particular day.

There's a shelter here. I'm not sure how short the shortcut is compared to the usual way. It's also very very hard to follow and I wouldn't like to go through that cleft if it was slick from rain.

This is the actual trail, marked by blue paint. The Long Trail is marked by white paint.

And for people who actually want to get there, this is the real route to the shelter. And the other direction to the toilet.

And here is the next ladder challenge. First up the roots right in front here and then over to the ladder to get further up the rock. This trail didn't really go up and down too much though steadily one way or the other, but every now and then it really just took off in upward fashion.

This structure would be the perfect size and shape for an emergency shelter for one person. Just get your mummy bag in there and you could be quite happy in a snow storm. Except that someone's left the nails sticking down from the shingling and you'll probably need a tetanus shot before the night is up. So it's probably just for storage. A later one was even storing ski poles.

This is the top of the mountain. Again, one can only see out because it has been cleared for skiing. The lift to here had been dismantled at some point earlier.

Panorama view of the Green Mountain State to the east of General Stark Mountain. Foreground objects are just the pits, as illustrated by the straight railing that appears on the left and right of the picture as though it has a big right angle in the middle. I had to blow up the two on the bottom right, but the rightmost one is just adding some green anyway.

The other side isn't cleared by the ski joint or viewable from a raised platform which also helps in being able to see the landscape beyond the nearby trees.

Moss and fern and pine all fight for the same spaces as they pop out of the littered floor. Cute little mushrooms too.


On the way back, I went ahead and had a look at this shelter. It leans, um, a little to the left. It is maintained by volunteers in the area and they would like it if you paid $5 to stay in it.

It also mentions where to find (seasonal) water and a map showing the shortcut which doesn't really look shorter. I tried following the shortcut, but I only found the water. I also found the rocks were slippery near the water. I lost the trail of blue paint blazes after the one on the long fallen tree.

The observant may have noticed the sign also claimed there was a panorama around here too. This was quite true and I had a nice bit of lunch with a clear view out to the northeast. This time offered by an outcropping of rock over a fairly sheer drop instead of the actions of man and his chain saw.

After failing to follow the shortcut from the other side, I tried from the trail side since these blazes don't move around. It dives right into a cleft in the rock. There's plenty of room to stand, but also plenty of room to drop everything you own and perhaps yourself. The other side of the cleft didn't go anywhere unless you count the almost reachable overhang of rock that was probably the trail. I didn't manage to follow it from this side either. This is a look down.

And this is where I get annoyed at my batteries deciding they didn't actually have much charge in them in the first place. And perhaps I was still a little bit shaking from being startled by this very strange creature. It had front legs and no back legs! It was a legged snake legless lizard... or something. It also wasn't moving very fast because it is actually a snake that's just grabbed itself a very large meal. Sticking out of his mouth are the back legs of a frog. When it moved, it tried to keep the whole of its gorged portion up off the ground and it didn't seem to be working out the best. Anyway, there he is. Legs in front, a bulge just like most lizards, but no legs in back and the longest tail you ever saw on a lizard. A gorged snake.

And then back again. The trail starts up the mountain to the north right there in the center. And the third car along would be my very huge Subaru station wagon because apparently the rental place wanted me to look very much like a Vermont native. But it was a "PZEV", which I guess is sort of the California in it. So hop in that and meander on down to West Lebanon. At least if you're me on that day.

Don't forget to check the sign-in sheet on the way out so they know you're not lost up there somewhere.

© 2007 Valerie Norton
Posted 8 July 2007

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