Setting Up Camp on the Lowell Mountains

DAILY JOURNAL AND PICTURES :

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Old Crow goes to the top of the mountain to take pictures. He takes the long route up the face, seeing many partridges.

Monday, September 26, 2011

After discussing the possibility of putting tents on the mountain top property line and the difficulties of resupplying, an advance party consisting of Old Crow, Woodchuck, and two others walked in from the Bailey-Hazen Road and along the crest of the mountain. This route is proven untenable. Discussion at the base camp lead to a decision that a route known by Buzzard and White Eagle is a good route and is not the same one previously taken by Old Crow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Mountain Camp is established by Buzzard, Bald Eagle, Muskrat and one other. This is the first official day of the camp. Fern-Red Tent is put up and declared the supply tent. The trail is marked by Buzzard showing the best way to the top using orange and pink flagging tape on trees. Weather is good. Call comes in to base camp that blasting will take place at 4:15 pm. Blast occurs at 4:25.

Camp Site

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Five more tents are set up at the Mountain Camp. Tents are Fern-Blue, Fern-Green, Eagles Nest, Woodchuck and Muskrat. Old Crow, Muskrat, Peregrine Falcon, Catamount and Woodchuck verify lines, survey pins, and distances. Pictures are taken. Fireplace is built. Blasting is announced and occurs. Weather is wet and rainy!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Catamount heads up to the Mountain Camp early. She is followed a short time later by Grouse and Pippet. Bittern, Purple Aster and Condor follow  later. Bumblebee, Fig Wasp and Stonefly head up late in the afternoon. Catamount put up some no trespassing signs around the tents and began flagging the GMP claimed property line but lost it in some thick softwoods that a rabbit would have a hard time getting through! There is a property line dispute between GMP and our property owners. The flagging tape, remaining signs, tarps, and some rope are stored in  the supply tent. Catamount saw two partridges and a large hawk-like bird.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Old Crow went up to The Mountain Camp to survey the conditions of the tents and campsite. All were in good condition and pictures were taken. Weather conditions were cold, wet and rainy. Perhaps a cheap thermometer at the supply tent would be good?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A party of 9 went up to the Mountain Camp. Theses included Old Crow, Peregrine Falcon, Acer, Willow, Running Deer, Tamarack, Aspen, Silent Bear, and Jigstenpa.  All the tents and equipment were in fine condition. The weather was cold and wet! Much of the hike was during a downpour. Peregrine Falcon carried up some boards for table surfaces. Some canned goods were taken up. Firewood was cut and a trench ditch was made to drain camp area. We did an excellent job of building supports for a table in the kitchen area and strung tarps over the area. It looks so homey!

Due to the heavy rains, the streams flowing off the mountain were running much higher at 4:30 pm . The foot trail is deteriorating badly. Suggestions have been made for trail improvement.

Monday, October 3, 2011  

At 9:00 am Red Squirrel and Rascal headed up to the top of the mountain. Marsh Hawk headed up at 11:30am. Raven & Buzzard headed up to the top at 11:45am.

At 12:20 pm Red Squirrel and Rascal came back down the mountain at 1:00 pm. Marsh Hawk returned at 1:30pm.

Raven & Buzzard walked along the top of the mountain taking time to have a smoke and enjoy the scenery. Raven was shown the erroneous Blais pin as well as the true pin that marked the property line. The observations made were used for an article in the The Barton Chronicle.  Raven & Buzzard returned to Base Camp at 4:50 pm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catamount headed up to the campsite in the morning. She hadn’t been up to the camp since 9/30/11. It was disturbing to hear the machines tearing up the mountain before she was even half way up. On the previous date she had to really listen for them at the top of the ridge. GMP was really moving fast.

Because the work was getting so close she decided to see just how close they were. She hiked about 1/4 of a mile south along the ridge.  There they were with the big machine that cuts the trees off at the base. The whole width of the road for the crane to set up the towers was slashed to the ground. It was so sad.  The workers told her it wasn’t safe for her or her dog to be inside the crane path that was marked off with wide orange tape. Catamount told them she was camping further to the north and she would stay out of their way.

Later on in the afternoon, Toad and Frog came up. They helped Catamount with the fire and they all collected more firewood. They heard a blast at 3:15.

It’s hard to describe the feeling left after a blast.  Disbelief ? Can this really be happening ?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Old Crow and Muskrat headed up the mountain at 7:00 am. They walked down along the access road and observed two-logging contractors working to free a feller/buncher that was hung up on a log or stone. They separated and walked down opposite sides of the road. Muskrat observed a large pool of water where the contractors had dammed a stream with the insulation of the road. A stack of culverts was located nearby. Old crow watched a CAT D 350 truck moving back and forth across the road and then spoke with a team of surveyors. The two hikers then worked their way up to the top.

Aspen and Willow arrived at 9:45am and headed to the top and spoke with Muskrat. They remained for a short time and then returned to base camp. at 12:05.

Alder arrived at 10:45 and headed up to the top. He walked along the ridge on paths that were familiar to him from years of hunting and hiking. He was soon directed to  ” leave the area for his own safety.”

Posted on crane path near tents

At 12:05 pm base camp received a call from the blasters indicating a blast would occur at 12:45. The blast went off at 12:42.

At 1:25 pm two feller/bunchers crossed in front of Fern-Red (red-tent) and moved up to a point in front of Fern-Green (green tent). This area is disputed property. Alder, Old Crow and Muskrat stood on a knoll overlooking the marked off crane path. The feller/buncher approached the three hikers and was within 40 feet of where they stood. As the machine drove straight towards them they were showered with sawdust and chips the size of saltines, mowing down trees as large as 24 inches and casting them aside like they were dandelions!  Old Crow and Muskrat continued to observe the cutting operation as the feller/buncher moved back towards the access road.

Alder returned to base camp at 2:30 pm. Muskrat and Old Crow returned to base camp at 4:30pm.

Trees In The Path

Feller/ Buncher

Taped off Crane Path

Tree On Disputed Property

View From The Top

 

 

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Bear Cub was the first on the mountain.  He left Base camp at 7:30 am. He strayed deep into the construction site and was brought down off the mountain in a pick-up truck.
Alder was the next one up, setting a nearly impossible time to beat all subsequent hikers.
Woodchuck and Old Crow reached the top and parlayed with Alder. They were soon joined by Maidenhair Fern, Bald eagle, Red Fox, Stray Dog and Bobcat. They began the preparation for important public relations materials.
Old Crow, Maidenhair Fern, and Bald Eagle moved north to the boundary pins near the met tower. Woodpecker, Condor and JL arrived on the site.  Woodchuck returned to Base camp. Woodpecker and Condor formed a work crew . They did a great job cutting a path along the east side of the line that had previously been marked out by Catamount.
Maidenhair Fern, Bald Eagle, Stray Dog, Red Fox and Bobcat formed a crew that moved south along the line and continued to work on public relations materials.
Old Crow took numerous pictures of the disputed area. An axe was used to show the scale of the stumps and trees cut.  Around 2:30 Old Crow encountered two employees of JA McDonald in the disputed area. They questioned him about his presence on the mountain and his need for an axe.  Apparently, it is not customary to carry an axe while camping in the region that these two hail from. Oneof the  gentleman remarked that due to the numerous intrusions in the construction area , the site would be posted in a few days. Old Crow replied,   “That will be interesting since it is a disputed line that GMP and another land owner were aware of.”  The McDonald employee asked how much land that involved. Old Crow informed them they would be walking back to camp on the disputed area. That was the end of the interaction.
At 3:07 pm, blasting occurred on the mountain. There was no warning horn or phone calls to the Base Camp. It was verified that the phone lines were open and no reason that a phone call could have been made.  The blast was clearly heard by the South Crew, Condor and Old Crow at the Ridge Camp.
At 3:10 Falcon and Hornbeam left the base camp and shortly arrived at the ridge camp. Once on the mountain they along with Old Crow established a tent at the site on the northern pin set by Norbert Blais using the path established by Condor and  Woodpecker.  They all left the mountain for a good meal at Base Camp.
Friday, October 7, 2011
Hornbeam arrived at 7:45am  and headed up the mountain. Toad and Wild Ginger arrived at 9:00 am to head up to the mountain. The first unwarned blasting of the day occurred. Grouse II arrived at 9:30 am and Marsh Hawk at 10:35. The third unwarned blast occurred at 11:00 am. This one was felt as far away as the Deleno Road in Albany.
Red Squirrel came back for her second hike up at 3:00 pm. She brought Daisy, Rose, and Grass with her. They all hiked to the top.
Marsh Hawk came down off the mountain at about 3:30 pm and was on hand to hear a stop work order had been received by GMP on Wednesday. Toad and Wild Ginger came back down at 5:30 pm. Red Squirrel  and her crew came back down at 6:05pm.  The sounds of the equipment were audible from the Base Camp.
Hop Hornbeam and Skunk headed back up the mountain at 6:45 pm. they spent the night.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
 
Old Crow headed up the mountain at 7:45 am, hunting for real grouse on the way up.  Catamount headed up at 8:20 am, seeing 4 real grouse on the way up. Ha! Skunk and Hornbeam had a nice night on the mountain due to the warm weather. Skunk spent time hunting most of the day. Woodchuck  and Mama Bear came up at 3:45 pm. and came back down around 6:00 pm.  Catamount came back down at 1:45 pm. Skunk and Old Crow came back down at 3:45.  Hornbeam spent another night.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
9 people on the mountain today enjoying the beautiful warm fall weather! They were Bald Eagle, Hop Hornbeam, Monarch, Shits u.  (?), Cygnus, Bear Scarred Beech, Red Fox 2, Whole and Hop Hornbeam.  There was also Golden Retriever and Vermonster gathering information for a documentary.
Monday, October 10, 2011
18 people on the mountain today! They were Calendula, Trillium, Switchback, Falcon, Iron Lion, May Fly, Brook Trout, Maple, Red Squirrel, Woodpecker, Oak, Aspen, Condor, Nettle, Wild Ginger, Cedar, Willow II and Hop hornbeam spent the night.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wood Turtle, Hornbeam, and Marsh Hawk up on the mountain for most of the day.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
3 people on the mountain today! Don’t think we aren’t dedicated!  Willow, Hornbeam, Skidder,
Thursday, October 13, 2011
24 people on the mountain today! In The Rain!  Red Squirrel, Rascal, Raymond, Falcon, Toad, Skidder, Meadow lark, Woodpecker, Muskrat, Mrs. Muskrat, Running Deer, Heron, Falcon, Sandpiper, Lichen, BumbleBee, Aspen, Stonefly, Porcupine, Red Cedar, May Fly, Northern Harrier, Condor, LWCR.   Wish you could see us GMP!  Northern harrier came in between his chores of milking cows!

Fog On The Top

Stay tuned for more pictures and updates!

In the meantime , check these web sites out!

www.change.org/petitions/vermont-blackbears-in-danger-of-losing

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/opinion/the-not-so-green-mountains.html

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/035a9ce3a0ce46e9a521b8e9e31426fc/VT–Lowell-Wind-Stop-Work/

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