Friday, June 27, 2014

slab and slot

slab and slot
for vermont state parks' annual free admission weekend, i decided to visit a couple state parks where i'd never been.

i hiked the pinnacle trail at wilgus and then after a visit with my grandmother i went off to the veritable wonderland of  mt. ascutney state park. i made a video of the drive up and down the road which is spectacular enough, but you're going to have to wait until a later post to see that because i'm currently migrating ALL my data over to a new hard drive, and that's slowing down my machine to the point i'd just rather not edit video right now.

slot trail, as promised
there are picnic tables just off the parking lot at the top of ascutney, so i thought it would be a dandy time to check "have a picnic at a state park" off my venture vermont challenge list, plus it was lunchtime.

you can hike all the way up ascutney from the bottom, but i was looking at a pair of geocaches and after consulting a map i decided that while i wasn't going to save anything on distance, i could lessen my exposure to the steeper portions of the trial by approaching one of them from the summit and approaching the other from the base via the windsor trail.

it's still some challenging hiking, but i like to save wear on my knees when i can.

on the tower
from the upper parking lot the hike is short, but the terrain is still pretty rough, which kind of makes me shake my head at the number of people wandering around up there in flip-flops.

i mean, really?

and speaking of wandering, i was sort of looking for the brownsville trail. i say "sort of", because it's extremely well marked if you happen to be at it, and if i'd just been going there directly i would have found it right away.

summit mark
but oh, no. first i thought i'd go up to the summit via slot trail and then i was watching some guys drive little RC trucks up the mountain and i was talking with some people and hanging out in the firetower and then i went over to look at the hang glider launch and THEN i decided to look for the brownsvillle trail, only by this time i was way the heck on the other side of the summit from it, and  thought maybe that place i'd remembered seeing the sign for it was that junction off of the slot trail, so i went around AGAIN.
hang glider emergency kit

by the time i wandered past the junction the second time, it was already three in the afternoon, but it's a super nice ridgeline trail, at least until it plunges down the mountainside.

so i had a look at the USGS survey markers, and i went to look at brownsville rock and i admired so carved rock graffiti, which i can only assume was left by the kimball union academy class of 1925. i very much enjoyed seeing the foundation of the little stone hut, and then i got kind of more serious about going down the brownsville trail.

west summit windsock
on the way back to the parking lot i took the slab trail, which the guide says is the easier of the slab/slot choice, but i just don't see how slippery rock and steel and wood steps is all that easier than stone steps, and while i managed to make it up the slot trail twice without any sad missteps, i fell on my butt twice going down the slab trail, so feel free to draw your own conclusions.

it is very GREEN up here.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I only did this hike once but really enjoyed it - Ascutney was my "home mountain" always dominating the view when I lived in the Upper Valley.

p.s. I like your nature/wildlife posts a lot.


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