It had been awhile since any of the mountain occupiers made the trek up to the ridge. Since the Crane Path is now visible from many areas around Craftsbury, Albany and a few other surrounding towns, three of us decided to go up and see if they had truly cleared the whole length of the Crane Path. And sadly, we found that they had.
We walked in from the Eden side of the Square Road. After about a 1 1/2 mile walk on the snowmobile trail heading toward Albany, we headed up through some really deep powderey snow. One of us decided she had had enough before we even got our snowshoes on. The other two trudged on up. We laughed at who was the smarter one of the three of us as we continually got stuck in the snow. It was really hard going but when we finally made it to the top the snow was wind blown and a lot easier to stay on top.
The snow had to have been 3 feet deep. Sometimes I would just sink right through with no warning and really wondered if I would get out as I wallowed in snow above my waist.The dog didn’t even want to stray from our snow shoe trail. I wondered why I wasn’t home sitting by the wood stove reading a book on a wintry Sunday afternoon. After all, me being up there was not going to change anything. It was only to see the ridge another time before it is completely destroyed and to bring some pictures back down to show others…
We hiked through the open hardwoods. The claw marks from bears on the beech trees were everywhere. I stopped counting after the 13th tree I saw with claw marks. We also saw a lot of moose sign where they had bitten the bark off of young maple trees.
It took us about 2 hours to get to the top after leaving the snowmobile trail. I was surprised at just how close it was to the Albany Road. In the summer the same hike probably wouldn’t take 45 minutes. People who have camps and live on that road are going to be so upset at the noise the turbines will produce.
When we reached the ridge we came out right on the site for the last turbine # 21. And yes they have cleared to the last tower site. The whole Crane Path is cleared. It doesn’t look like they have blasted past what we guessed to be around tower site 17 or 18.I hadn’t been to this area since last fall before it was cleared. The pink wetland tape was still there in spots and the lay of the land indicated the areas where water would naturally flow from the wetlands. That will all change once they start blasting.
We Headed North on the Crane Path. Past the 3rd met tower. There was no machinery around so we surmised that they had stopped working at least this far South. We saw the Crane path stretched out over to the next ridge and now could imagine how much fill was going to have to be in between and what that was going to do to the rolling ridge line. Across the hollow we thought we could see the cones that stick in the rock to pour the dynamite in to blast away the ridge. It is harder now to see all this because we now know first hand what they are capable of doing and how fast it happens.
We didn’t stay on the ridge long. Once again we said our goodbyes to the mountain and left knowing it would never be the same….
Click on the first photo to see more pictures.