This hiked was planned by my friends Kathi and Deb on a spur of the moment. A simple text message of "Hike 2morrow?" is enough for me to respond yes. Kathi suggested that we go check out the new shelter at Little Rock Pond. We were to meet at Dick's sporting goods in Rutland with a few of Debbie's friends. They never showed up. I found out later from Deb that they texted her back and said they didn't know who Dick was or where he lived. Ah, the misunderstanding of text messages.
The weather report before we left said an 80 percent chance of rain but we decided to do it anyway. The temps were in the mid 70's and humid. The skies were overcast. We decided to take Homer Stone Brook trail to the pond.
This trail is a fairly easy trail that slowly ascends up through an evergreen forest. The path is wide and is used in part as a ATV and snowmobile trail. The trail basically follows the Homer Stone Brook along the way.
|Homer Stone Brook trail|
|Homer Stone Brook trail|
The brook itself is a "stone" brook comprising of large boulders. There are a few deep pools that probably could be used to cool of on a hot day. I'm sure there are a few trout in here as well.
|A deep pool in Homer Stone Brook|
|Homer Stone Brook|
At mile 2.3 we were at the northern end of Little Rock Pond. We contemplated taking Green Mountain trail and bagging Green Mountain (2509') but choose to check out the shelter first then loop around the pond. We ran into a few day hikers as well as a couple of AT thru-hikers as we headed for the new shelter.
|Little Rock Pond|
|Little Rock Pond|
When we got to the shelter we took a break. This shelter was built in September of 2010 by GMC Volunteers. It is a post & beam constructed shelter with a sitting area that is roofed. It can sleep 12. There are also tent platforms as well.
|Little Rock Pond shelter|
|Built in September 2010|
|Kathi checking out the shelter.|
After we rested some we decided to continue our loop around the pond. As soon as we started, we ran into one of the day hikers who asked the concerning question "Have you seen my family?" They were together 45 minutes before we ran into this man. He continued on in one direction and we continued in the other. As we were finishing up the pond loop we ran into the guy again. "You didn't pass them?" he asked. Unfortunately the answer was no. Then the skies opened up and it
rained down-poured as we made a plan to help this guy find his wife and two children. I asked certain questions like "Would they bushwhack?" "Do they have rain gear?" Would they have already gone back to the car?" "Do they have a whistle?" "Could they be sitting this rain out in the shelter?" The answers were all no except they did bring rain gear but the guy had it in his pack rendering it useless and the guy, although he circled the pond twice, didn't know there was a shelter even though he passed it. We beat feet in one direction while the guy took the other. Eventually we ran into him again solo. So as we headed towards the shelter in which he passed a third time to have his wife approach us. She was not happy at all. They were soaked but sought shelter under the caretakers tarp. Apparently, the lady had seen her husband pass and yelled to him but he didn't hear her because of the rain beating down on his hood. She couldn't catch up to him because he was focused on speed. Once everything was copacetic we stopped back at the shelter to let the rain let up some. I donned rain gear. We then started our trek back to the parking area. They hike back was fast paced and before too long our wet day was over.
|Kathi, Deb and Joe|
A few lessons were taught to this poor guy. He made the mistake of saying wait here and I'll be back in 20 minutes. (He had hiked north some towards the tenting site north of the pond and left his family so he could find a good spot to roast some hot dogs) Mistake two: The wife decided to head towards the shelter when it started raining but didn't have a piece of paper and a pen to leave a note. Three: He brought his kids into the woods and no one had a whistle or the knowledge of a simple messaging system. Four: Not one of them brought a cell phone; they were left in their car. Five: When searching for someone be sure you can hear and see your surrounds.
We never did get to bag Green Mountain but we hiked a total of 7.4 miles with an elevation gain of 1400 feet. When I got home and uploaded my photos and filled out my mileage log, I discovered that I passed my 200th hiking mile for 2011!