Otter Creek, VT
by Melody Wenger
June 16-18, 2023
Seven HRCKC members travelled to Chittenden, VT to enjoy a week-end of adventure at the HighLife Ski Club Lodge. We arrived Friday with some participants arriving early to enjoy a porch view sunset with libations and snacks.
Rising Saturday morning, we were nourished with a big breakfast spread and then dressed for a potentially wet day. When set, we caravanned to the put in at Cornwall Swamp and organized our shuttle to the take out at Three Bridges Rd, Middlebury. Once on the water (2 canoes, 4 kayaks) the river was surrounded by a fine mist, like an Irish morning as my friend would say. We paddled easily upstream to investigate a major log-jam a local outfitter informed us about. Indeed it was gnarly. Once turned around, we began our 6 mile glide down the river. Otter Creek was wide and gentle with steep banks displaying early spring vegetation including several different species of flowering plants. The trees were alive with music from song birds (some calls were definitely Yellow Warblers) but the grey skies made identifying them difficult. However what we did see was a Barred Owl, Common Merganser female with 3-4 ducklings, Red Wing Blackbirds, an adult Bald Eagle (in above photo) and a Gold-Finch near the take out. The rain continued on and off all day so I must admit that by the end of our trip we looked like a bunch of drowned rats. BUT rats with smiles on our faces! We arrived back to the lodge in the late afternoon looking forward to hot showers, cocktails and chit chat. Soon hunger called and we headed over to the Inn at Long Trail for dinner and as a bonus, an Irish band.
On Sunday morning, another breakfast spread was provided. Then we did our lodge chores, packed up, and headed out for some hiking, shopping and/or museum visits.
Thank you Bob Z., Tom B., Summonat K, Al G, and Bob & Janet Rancan for making this a fun and memorable weekend!!!
A big shout out and many thanks to Bob R. for scouting our route including the ins & out.
Melody, trip coordinator