July 17, 2008 - Hamilton Falls

Yesterday we met fellow Escapees, Marcia and Joe, who have been fulltiming over a year. We had a great time talking and sharing stories around the campfire. Hopefully we will see them again down the road.

Today was another beautiful day so we went to Jamaica State Park and hiked to Hamilton Falls. The trail is part of the West River Trail that we followed a few days ago. The first part followed the rail/trail and the West River (for 2 miles):

The second part (1 mile) followed Cobb River up the mountain to the falls:

There are two pools of water right below the falls that did look very inviting. I think if we would have had a change of clothes we would have jumped in… Notice how clear the water is – beautiful!!!

I would really like to know the geology of this valley. Some of the rocks we have seen are huge and those in the river have been nicely polished.

A little tidbit about the West River Trail: The West River Railroad Company completed the 36 mile route in 1880. The line soon became known as “36 miles of trouble” as the narrow gauge bed caused swaying trains to bang along the rock ledges and frequent spring floods washed away bridges and tracks. A local newspaper reported the trains ran “tri-daily”. They headed down to Brattleboro in the morning and would “try” to get back at night. Stormy winters left trains stranded in snowdrifts for up to eight days, leaving shivering passengers in unheated cars (can you imagine?).

In 1927 a hurricane caused widespread flooding in the West River Valley, washing away old bridges and rail beds so it was shut down. Today, the Friends of the West River are attempting to create a contiguous multi-purpose trail along the 36 miles from South Londonderry to Brattleboro. And they are doing a great job – the sections that we have seen are in great shape. When it is done, this will be one beautiful ride.

And this afternoon was just one of those lazy days – although Andy did get his haircut (by me). We will be moving to site 12 tomorrow for another week so we started to break down camp. I wish we could have stayed in one place but this will give us a chance to get our tanks dumped before we settle in.

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