Across the Winooski: the Cross Vermont Trail Bridge

Workers from CCS Constructors in Morrisville, VT, bridged the Winooski River Friday with the latest link in the Cross Vermont Trail. The steel bridge was fabricated in Minnesota, trucked in sections to the banks of the Winooski above the Levesque hydro dam in East Montpelier, assembled and then brought across the river, like a giant erector set in action.

A crane on the hydro site side of the river moved the bridge onto a barge floating in the Winooski. That was floated across the river, where another crane latched onto the bridge and moved it the final yards onto its abutments. The bridge and the associated trail, which will connect to the trail in Montpelier, will not be completely finished or open until the fall.

On the Route 2 side of the river, Cross Vermont Trail founder Rose Paul and the trail’s executive director Greg Western celebrated.

Click here for a nuts-and-bolts look at the whole process.

Posted in Cross Vermont Trail, Vermont recreational paths, Winooski River Tagged , , , |

The Return of Amtrak

Amtrak is back. At least in Vermont. The first post-COVID (?) passenger train rolled through Montpelier Junction Monday morning, heading for Washington, DC, and was greeted by hundreds of rail enthusiasts. Passengers with reservations and $1 tickets for short hops in the state boarded and disembarked from earlier stops. And there was music, free creemees, and a dose of railroad history.

Top: Tim Donovan and his granddaughter, Neala, were in the front row, ready to ride. Below, everybody loved the train, but it looked like it needed some help from the infrastructure bill; Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson; Paul Palmer from O & J’s Sweet Treats in Jericho takes an order; and passengers waiting to embark.

Posted in Amtrak, COVID Tagged , , |

Middle Saranac Lake, ADK

The Adirondacks are close to home, but we don’t get there as often as we should. Thanks to Dave Jones’s persistence and planning, I did get to spend a couple nights on Middle Saranac Lake, including a climb up Ampersand Mountain, a couple weeks ago. Big skies there, even if it’s nowhere near Montana. That’s Dave, kicking back in the last photo. Click here for a gallery, including some air force maneuvers.

Posted in Adirondack Park, Adirondacks, Middle Saranac Lake Tagged , , |

At the Brewery


The scene at the Deschutes Brew Pub brewery in Portland, OR: The brewer, left, is my son, Jim. That’s my brother, Joe, at right. Joe and I drove a pickup truck out to Portland for Jim in early June. I’ll be posting photos from the trip eventually.

Posted in Portland OR

Purple at Night

I was relaxing next to a little lake near Cooperstown, NY, at dusk when these colors happened and this guy paddled by. It’s a lake that is relatively high in elevation and you feel as though the sky and water are very close to each other.

Posted in canoeing, lakes, New York, sunsets Tagged , , |

Bristol, RI

I happened to be in Bristol, RI, very briefly a couple weeks ago. Southeast of Providence, southwest of Fall River, Mass., it was a beautiful spot to see spring arrive on the shores of Narragansett Bay. The surrounding area and the peninsula that contain Bristol were a center of Native American settlement in pre-colonial days because it was the best agricultural land and the riches of the bay were there for the taking. All photographed with Fuji mirrorless, which I’m leaning on for travel because the cameras and lenses weigh about half as much as DSLR cameras and lenses.

Posted in Bristol RI, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island Tagged , , |

Middle School Track Meet

Last week, about 200 kids from 10 middle schools showed up for one of the first track and field meets to be held in Montpelier for a long time. From the looks of it, good times were had by all. For a giant gallery of running and jumping kids, click here.

Posted in Montpelier VT, track and field, youth sports Tagged , , |

Ashes to Ash (or Ash to Ashes)


Because of the impending visit of the emerald ash borer, we felt we had to take down a big, straight, beautiful ash that was close to the house. Down it came: cuts easily, splits beautifully, burns well. Still it was a shame to incinerate it when it could have become floors or cabinets. But it’s tough to find someone to haul a lone tree to a sawmill or to set up a portable mill for one tree. These are from last year, which means all this beautiful ash is now … ash.



Posted in ash trees, fire wood, loggin Tagged , , , |

Earth Day, Ski Day.

Not so often that you can ski on new snow on Earth Day, April 22. But it happens. Up to a foot on Mount Mansfield, VT, last week, much of it deposited during howling winds and horizontal precipitation. The lifts are closed for the year, so it’s a matter of climbing up to ski down. Almost everyone on skis used alpine touring equipment and climbing skins. Thanks to Eric Smeltzer and everyone else for modeling in the storm.

Posted in A.T. skiing, alpine touring, Mt. Mansfield Tagged , , |

They Fixed the Road …


And it looks like Mud Season’s over. The big waves and troughs are scraped and buried for another year. And it’s a bit early because of a surprisingly warm April, so far. 

Posted in Mud Season Tagged , , |