Here at the CTA office, we decided we needed a break from our computers last Friday. Instead of a more traditional coffee break, though, we packed up our sledgehammers and headed down to Ripton, where Amy, Emily, and I met trail chief Dave Scott.
The four of us spent an hour or so taking apart an old Forest Service Bridge, pulling out nails and stripping the decking and railings. It was very satisfying.
But this trip wasn’t just for our own enjoyment. This bridge is being repurposed to replace a culvert on Section 17 of the Catamount Trail that was washed out by Hurricane Irene. Since then, skiers have had to cross a stream that rarely freezes without the help of a bridge or culvert. Once a contractor moves it to its new home, we’ll work with the Forest Service, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and more volunteers to restore it to working condition.
Before 2011, the bridge lived at the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. Of the countless outdoor enthusiasts who crossed the Middlebury River on this bridge, perhaps the most famous is His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, during his 1984 visit to Middlebury College.
If you’d like to be in the next CTA selfie, come help us out! We’re always grateful for more help from volunteers, and in fact we have two work weekends coming up this summer that we’d love for you to come to!
July 12 & 13
Section 24, Stowe/Morrisville
Camping provided by friends of the CTA with additional sites at Smuggler’s Notch State Park.
August 2 & 3
Sections 6 & 7, Winhall/Peru
Camping & Bunkroom Provided by friends of the CTA
If you’d like to be involved in one of these or learn more about other volunteer opportunities, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 802-864-5794 or email us.