Saturday, October 4, 2014

Adventures at Stratton Pond

We started off our week bright and early Monday morning at the Forestry Sciences Building in South Burlington. After loading up we departed for the Rutland Forest Service Station to discuss our project plans for the week with Jen Wright, our project sponsor. Next, we continued our journey to Stratton Pond, making a pit stop at Mt. Tabor Forest Service Work Station to divvy up food and gear amongst the groups packs.

With our packs ready to go we headed out to Stratton Ski Mountain where we took the super secret Forest Service entrance to the Stratton Pond Shelter.


After the 3-mile hike in we set up camp and cooked dinner: pesto pasta with sunflower seeds and a whole lot of love

Day 2
We oriented ourselves with Stratton Pond and split into three groups to start on the project for the Forest Service. One group assessed the impact of the developed area near the shelter and its effect on erosion near the pond. The second group examined the campsites at the North Shore Tenting Area, while the third group evaluated best management practices for dispersed use recreation.

After a hard day of work we hiked back out of the woods into civilization for an amazing dinner hosted by the parents of one of our crew members, Courtney Crowley: a delicious feast of tomato bisque, vegetarian chili, salad, pumpkin muffins, lemon pasta salad, and grilled chicken. For dessert we had blondies and molasses cookies.

We departed with full and happy stomachs and headed back to camp in the dark of the night through eerie fog and bouncing headlights.

Day 3
At four AM some of us awoke to the pitter patter of rain on our tents. Getting up that morning was a bit slower than our usual chipper selves. Jen Wright and Lee Allen, who was the first caretaker of Stratton Pond nearly 40 years ago, met up with us after breakfast. We split back up into our groups and dug soil pits with Lee at current and potential campsites around the pond.

Day 4
Exhausted and damp from the day of rain we packed up camp and made one last breakfast, trying to use as much food as possible to lighten our return. After getting all our gear together we finished one last project assessing the impact of our camping on the area near the shelter. With all of our work done we hiked back out to the vans for our return home.

Until next time, Rachel and Michelle

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