The Crooked Canes Journal


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Lye Brook Falls Hike ~ Apr 27, 2017

Journal entry by Diane Wisell



The Crooked Canes outing to Lye Brook Falls this week was the first since Tom Gibbs last led a hike there on April 14, 2011 shortly before Hurricane Irene changed the landscape four months later in August. Six years later, nature continues muting Irene's damage though still obvious to the thirteen Crooked Canes making the trip to Manchester. Speaking of obvious, swarming black flies sure were as they greeted our first wave hitting the parking lot with plenty more of them waiting to ambush arriving Canes. Fortunately, some clever Canes were prepared, the scent of repellant soon filling the air and aerosol cans quickly regaining their favored status as communal property. After a picture of us in front of our new equipment trailer, the word YOUTH prominent on its side (it's in writing so it's true, right?), we headed for the falls.

A good thing about black flies is their presence accompanies the emergence of spring flowers and we saw plenty. The forest, filled (ostensibly) with the sound of clicking shutters, disguised the sound of clicking knee joints providing everyone with excellent excuses until, as we ascended into hemlock forest, the flowers petered out but the clicking didn't. As we made our way along the just over 2 mile, generally wide, gently ascending path to the falls there was plenty of time and room for everyone to catch up on the past few weeks, moods made bright by the warm, somewhat humid day.

Just before the falls the trail traverses a landslide that occurred during the hurricane. It's pretty well grown over with brush and at the top of it is a short ledge that generally is dripping a little water. Two of our faster folks arrived there first, packing a story to tell the rest of the group, many of whom had never been here, when they caught up: "Oh darn, the falls is dry! Long walk for nothing." Unfortunately, there was a very nice forest ranger between the main group and our two scouts who was returning from deploying her four or so Youth Conservation Corps staff to perform trail drainage improvements and who inadvertently spilled the beans on our dried up falls story.

We arrived at the falls to find the four YCC folks hard at work, then settled down to have lunch accompanied by the sounds and sight of the falls which in truth a cascade, the longest in Vermont and strikingly beautiful.

Soon, headed to the trail head, we arrived at the slide once more. A band of renegades thought it would be fun to explore Lye Brook, all morning constantly heard and occasionally visible through the trees, far below. The brook was certainly scenic and many nice photos taken. Irene's impact was evident in that very narrow valley with its jumbled rock and windfall. Occasionally, signs of a very old road were visible and one fairly large old building foundation built of dry stacked rock. Possibly a mill of some sort, the only other sign of past inhabitance was the end of an iron pipe some distance below the foundation. Though not too bad a walk, the bugs finally got the best of us and we headed to higher ground and the trail where we could walk fast enough to avoid the swarming bugs. Surprisingly, the renegades soon caught up with the main group and we all headed home, folks taking several routes depending upon where they were going.

Some of us headed for home on VT Route 30 through the Pawlet Valley. Remember that I mentioned it being a somewhat humid day? That fact, nearly no breeze and temperature pushing 80 contributed to a fine ride home, recalling a 1960's Vermont Tourism Board marketing phrase "Vermont, The Beckoning Country," which on this particular afternoon, due to agricultural activity in the valley could have been extended to include "Come Smell Our Dairy Air." It was enjoyable though, in that it speaks to some of the aspects of our area that make it so very special.

Thanks for coming along to Lye Brook Falls, way over there in the Republic of Vermont, to Peter & Linda, Linda, Barbara, Carolyn, Fran, Ray, Jan & Jim, Jim, Joy, Kurt and yours truly.

4/29/17 - Diane Wisell added 7 photos.

4/29/17 - Barbara Zuccaro added 7 photos. 4/29/17 - joy munro added 4 photos.

5/6/17 - Wanderer . added 6 photos.

24 photos



Here we are by our new equipment trailer, Jim pointing out it says "YOUTH" so it must be ours! - added by Diane



Starting our descent, the Canes pass busy Youth Conservation Corps workers. - added by Diane



At the falls, a nice vein of quartz. Scott, might there be gold nearby??? - added by Diane



Pretty ledge with moss and moisture. - added by Diane



A first 'treasure' as the renegades head into the gorge, a bright orange fungus. Ray Bouchard, this one's for you! - added by Diane



Foundation next to the stream in the bottom of Lye Brook Hollow. - added by Diane



A millipede, possibly a Yellow Flat Backed, of the order Polydemida of which there are only 3,500 or so species to choose from so it might be some other species in that order. - added by Diane



Everyone was out enjoying spring! - added by Barbara



Red Trillium aka Birthwort, Wakerobin, Purple Trillium & Stinking Benjamin - added by Barbara



Carolina Spring Beauty - added by Barbara



Trout Flower - added by Barbara



Yellow Violet - added by Barbara



Weeping Wall - added by Barbara



Kurt registering our group! - added by Barbara



Lye Brook Falls - added by joy



The slide - added by joy



Lye Brook - added by joy



Bushwhacking - added by joy



One of the water crossings - added by Wanderer



View from our lunch perch - top portion of the falls - added by Wanderer



"Youth" at work! - added by Wanderer



Kurt and Jim at the start of the bushwhack - added by Wanderer



Barbara with Jim Dolen following - added by Wanderer



Joy having fun! - added by Wanderer



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