The Crooked Canes Journal


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White Rocks Hike ~ Aug 11, 2016

Journal entry by Diane Wisell



The first ever Crooked Canes outing at White Rocks in the Green Mountain National Forest near Wallingford, Vermont. Sandwiched between two days of high thunder storm probability, the forecasters thought Thursday would be sunny but sickeningly, frightfully, hideously and dangerouosly oppressive and hot. Thirteen Canes, ignoring the forecasters' Kool Aid, had a remarkable adventure. Hiking 4.7 miles with 1,560 feet of vertical ascent was not uncomfortable, though 30 or more percent less humidity would have been appreciated. The rewards were way more than worthwhile.

We hiked Vermont's famous Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail all in one day. Oh yes, we did! But only a miniscule section of each as in this area they are combined and pass by White Rocks. We encountered quite a few AT through-hikers, all of whom had started in Georgia between late March and early May and were headed for Kathadin. One, from Fairbanks, Alaska, wore a kilt and got us, especially Peter, thinking that kilts and skirts might be a pretty darn good idea on a day such as this. Listen up EMS! Fun talking with all of them.

Starting out on a very user-friendly trail to the high overlooks we found the trial not steep anywhere, wide and quite smooth. At lower elevation it passes through very mature hardwood forest that become open conifers as elevation is gained. Consistently thick canopy kept temperatures quite comfortable. Approaching the overlooks, a flat area is encountered where literally dozens of cairns have been built from rock littering the ground among the trees. Having fully populated the ground, cairn builders have resorted to building them in the trees as well. A really fun surprise before the jaw dropping views shortly ahead.

We arrived at the summit at just about noon and the views are truly jaw dropping. The steep cliff allows views for many miles to the south, west and north, including mountains we're familiar with on the west shore of Lake George. However, "Somebody" (who I won't name but who obviously has all the sense of time of an amoeba and is my husband!) had recommended we leave our lunches in our cars as we would be back in the parking lot "in plenty of time" to pick them up and eat at the "Ice Beds" overlook at noon. As it turned out, he was right about arriving back at the parking lot in plenty of time, ("as always") by virtue of his conjuring up the notion that even though we were in the Eastern time zone, lunch highlighted by cookies Margie brought (for her visit wth family in New Hampshire later in the day) at 11.55 Mountain time was just fine and dandy. He'll never live that down but admittedly lunch at the trail head with a picnic table and one of the cleanest out houses on earth did make for a good lunch spot.

After our "5 minutes early" lunch, we hiked three tenths of a mile to the "Ice Beds" overlook with views of the mountain top (where we should have had lunch, Kurt!) we had climbed in the morning and of the talus slope at the bottom of the cliffs. One hiker we met who had gone farther on the trail and into the "Ice Beds" discribed the cold air flowing out of the rocks - and how delightful that was.

Soon back at the trail head enjoying cold towels and popsicles and with thoughts of coolness dancing in our heads, we decided a side trip to the Clarendon Gorge and a famous swimming hole under a long suspension bridge on the AT was an OK idea. It turned out to be a perfect idea, the icing on the cake ending to an allready great day as we relaxed, cooled off and got clean in the clear - and quite warm - waters of the Mill River as it starts its passage through Clarendon Gorge.

Ready for more cold refreshment, Stewarts in West Rutland soon became inundated with giddy, Crooked Canes, delirious from having so much fun.  Whether they all really wanted ice cream or were afraid of getting getting lost, we'll never know and it sure was fun!

No farther from WCMC than Keene Valley, White Rocks will likely be requested again by those who enjoyed this weeks outing: Not-So-Little-Anymore Jack, Big Jack & Lenore, Linda & Peter, Dan, Mike, Margie, Ray, Scott, Barbara, Diane & (Amoeba) Kurt.

8/12/16 - Diane Wisell added 1 photo.

8/12/16 - Scott Anderson added 5 photos.

8/14/16 - Wanderer . added 17 photos.

31 photos



First things first! Fungi, in this instance Oyster Mushrooms (I think).



Nature's votive candles.



Wasn't this rock most courteous to grow up leaving room for the birch tree to flourish?



Canes In The Cairns



Cairns in the trees.



Jack and the cairnstock.



"Oh-My-Gosh, Kurt, get me that Pop-Tart down there! I'm famished!"



From the "Ice Beds Overlook" a view of the mountain - where we should have had lunch - climbed in the morning. Whatever you do, don't believe ANYONE telling you to leave your lunch in the car!!!!!!!!!!!



A popular saying in the Republic is that "Vermont Ain't Flat." This photo pretty well depicts how steep the cliffs are here. Rutland Airport is visible on the horizon just left of center.



A Google Earth image of White Rocks with the GPS track shown in red. - added by Diane



The group and White Rocks Cliffs in the background. - added by Scott



Jack admiring the rocks in the trees. - added by Scott



rock art park... - added by Scott



Clarendon Gorge dip...the water was nice! - added by Scott



Group photo at the parking lot where both trails started - added by Wanderer



Lunch at the White Rocks overlook - NOT! - added by Wanderer



View W from the overlook with Buck Mt (L) and Black Mt (R) on the horizon (we think) - added by Wanderer



SW view from the overlook with the open pit limestone quarry in S Wallingford, VT (center right) - added by Wanderer



View W from the overlook at a small portion of the talus fields - added by Wanderer



Time to leave - added by Wanderer



Dan, Ray & Linda - added by Wanderer



More "Rock Art" in the trees - added by Wanderer



Please don't touch! - added by Wanderer



A look at the trail - Linda in the lead - added by Wanderer



Everyone had a different way of using those wonderful iced towels to cool off at the parking lot - thanks Diane - added by Wanderer



Descending on the Ice Beds Trail - Linda, Lenore & Mike - added by Wanderer



On one of the many switchbacks - Barbara, Diane & Margie - added by Wanderer



Heading to the swimming hole on the suspension bridge over Mill River - added by Wanderer



Mill River as it travels through Clarendon Gorge providing a choice of swimming holes - added by Wanderer



Members of the Latvian swim team from the 1968 Summer Olympics at Mexico City - they seemed surprised that anyone would have recognized them - added by Wanderer



The Latvian swim team together again after 48 years - who would have thought to see them here - added by Wanderer




If you'd like a copy of the .KMZ file (or the GPS track in another format) used to create the Google Earth image, send me an email and I'll pass it along

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