We were back on Corridor 7 for Hitch 5 around 10am, after a fairly long drive since we were nearing the southern-most reaches of the Green Mountain National Forest. With about ten miles left on the long trail of the season, we hiked back to where we left off. The signs were still pointing in the wrong directions for Corridor 7, so with that noted, we wheeled following the route mapped by the Forest Service, continuing along the forest road.
We resumed the full TrACS survey when the route took us back on the trail that was not along the road and just as we did a light rain began. It looked promising, like the rain would let up, but as we thought the sun was going to come out, the storm burst and we got poured on for about an hour. We continued TrACS, not sure what to expect. We were unable to use the marker for photos in the rain, so we tried our hands at a bit of sign language, not to any avail. Our Rite in the Rain paper was soaked but still barely usable, luckily we always use pencil, because pen would have smudged and that would have been the death of our survey thus far, at least the part we still carried.
Alas, the sun did return and eventually we dried out to near completion; our boots were left soaked until the end of the following day when we could dry them out at Mt. Tabor. The rest of day one included TrACS until 6:30 so we would not have to backtrack the following day and hiking out to camp for about a half mile. The night was uneventful and we all went to bed soon, looking forward to sleeping in the next day.
Heading back onto the trail around 10, we started our TrACS survey at a “Trail Closed” barricade that was up because a bridge had been washed away by the abusive Hurricane Irene last fall. The Rake Branch was a bit bigger than we expected but easily passable with a makeshift puncheon that had been put there already. This last day of TrACS on Corridor 7 consisted of many areas of high vegetation growth above our heads, including tall ferns, weeds, briars, and even raspberries, ouch! There was a steep climb to the crossing at Route 9, where we looked forward to the last couple of miles on the trail. After Dan joined us, we eventually finished the trail for a total of 343,214 feet or 65.003 miles, it was an exciting feat.
After a hike out along Corridor 9 to the truck, we drove into Bennington to do grocery shopping for the rest of the hitch, and then finished the day off in the conference room of Mt. Tabor with paperwork.
Days 3 & 4
These two days were very rainy and kept us out of the woods and in the office. We have been cleaning up TrACS forms, organizing paperwork, and starting out Final Report. Both days have been shortened because of the time spent in the field on Day 1 and last Saturday when Lucas and Kayla participated in a loon survey and an archaeological dig. The loon survey was at Moses Pond and we headed there with Larry Wise, of the Forest Service. We did not see any loons or other wildlife at the pond. The archaeological dig took place at Little Rock Pond, along the Appalachian Trail with Dave Lacey of the Forest Service and a crew with him. The SCA Wilderness team was also there and it was delightful to join in some work with them.
Hitch 5 Totals
Trails TrACS'd: 56343 ft
Additional Trails Hiked: 17223 ft