Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lake Whitingham Revisited

Drove to Wilmington, VT yesterday with plans to launch into Lake Whitingham (aka Harriman Reservoir) from the Oxbow Boat Launch on Rt. 9.  Asking my GPS to use shortest route resulted in my getting a 3 mile taste of Vermont dirt roads in what sure looked like "mud season" to me (like the slip-slide of driving in snow).
Arrived at Oxbow to find someone had let most of the water out of the lake, at least compared to the way it was when paddled last November.  Decided to try the southern end of the lake in Whitingham and ended up at Sawyer's Boat Launch off of Brickhouse Road.  The parking area is located immediately below this classic New England maple sugar operation.  Next weekend, April 2nd and 3rd, will be the 18th Annual Whitingham Maple Festival.

Despite the water being at very low levels here as well...
...I decided to launch my boat and see what signs of old roads etc. might be revealed.  The Deerfield River valley here was flooded when the Harriman Dam was built back in 1924.

Heading south towards present Rt. 100 brought me past this old stone-laid bridge abutment...

Petrified stumps of trees such as this one were numerous...

Heading a little north and then southwest brought me to the high and dry Harriman Dam's outlet structure known as the "Glory Hole"...
This structure is usually surrounded by water which flows into the outlet and when viewed from overhead the flow pattern is said to resemble a morning glory flower.  Note the usually floating buoys hanging in the air.

Hiking up to the dike I viewed what I believe is the old right of way (right side of photo running parallel to dike) for the relocated Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington Railroad (aka "Hoot, Toot, and Whistle")...


Above view looks south towards Readsboro, whereas this view (below) looks north towards Wilmington...
...this section of the railroad (between Readsboro and Wilmington) was abandoned around 1938.

Back on the water I headed north with views of Haystack and Mt. Snow...
At Wilder Brook I stopped to explore the brook and cove...

Across the cove an old water tank or boiler lay exposed..
...perhaps a remnant of the many logging operations that once existed in the river valley.  Nearby 2 stonewalls emerged from the woods and ran parallel into the lake...
...possibly an old road.

This rock formation resembled cooled-down lava...

About halfway up the lake I reached Ward's Cove (aka Jackonsville Picnic Area)...
...which afforded this view to the west...
This became my turnaround point, and my return trip was into warm afternoon sunshine with views of wind turbines on ridges to the northwest...

Eventually, back at Sawyer's Boat Launch, I paddled into the brook flowing from nearby Lake Sadawga (a lake noted for its floating island)...
...and my small haul of collected trash found land...

Left Whitingham with an additional container filled with sweet Vermont maple syrup enjoyed on some Easter morning pancakes.
 

No comments: