What happens when you liberate thirteen Dealer.com employees from their desks and turn them loose on the Catamount Trail? Trail work gets done! Last week Dealer.com sent out a team of employees to volunteer with the CTA on a trail work project in Lincoln, VT. We had the best weather of the summer, a tangible project to complete, and high spirits.
After a rendezvous in Lincoln Gap, we hiked north on the Catamount Trail towards our project for the day: a short relocation around a steep, wet area. This is a neat forested area above 2,000 feet. It’s dominated by hardwoods with patches of spruce and balsam fir. The trail passes by several wet seeps and crosses a number of cold mountain brooks. Along one such brook, we encountered a very large salamander, which was tentatively identified as a Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus). The Spring Salamander is a lover of cold, clear, well oxygenated mountain streams. It’s one of the larger salamanders in Vermont, growing up to 8 inches. This one was longer than the length of my hand, and weighed about as much as a hot dog.
After our hike in, we arrived at our project site and got to work. CTA staff had already flagged a short re-location earlier in the summer. The former route involved a quick descent to a brook crossing, followed by a steep ascent with tight turns. The new route would follow the contour of the hill along higher ground, improving the “flow” and drainage, while passing through an open, scenic area with large, fern-covered boulders. The enthusiasm was still high as our group began trimming branches, sawing small saplings, and clearing rotten logs off the new route. Before the end of the day, we had a good looking route established. At some point we’ll need to return to hang blazes and remove blazes from the old route, but the toughest part of the work is complete.
Overall, it was great day. The Dealer.com team was glad to have a break from their regular routine, and the CTA made significant headway on a big project. Many of the folks who came out were not familiar with the Catamount Trail, so we were happy to share with them the good work we are doing. Thanks Dealer.com!