Vermont Concretions, June 10, 2017
With only three people signed up and my co-leader canceling, this trip was slated to be called off. However, in an eleventh-hour decision, CVMC's fearless leader, Jack Marcy stepped up to fill in as co-leader and the trip was on!
Four members of CVMC were assembled at 9am in the parking lot at the Sharon Trading Post in Sharon, Vt. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms at noon, but even a wash-out was no deal-breaker for collecting concretions. We called our Vt contact, Ted, but there was no answer. Hmmm, he was expecting our call. A fifth member who signed up Friday night was running late and called with an ETA of 930 am, so we were cooling our heels until at least then. Hopefully, we'd hear from Ted.
930 am rolls around and our fifth CVMC member arrives…still no Ted. Was my mere presence as co-leader enough to jinx the trip? Suddenly a big dump truck pulls in with a smiling white-haired gentleman at the wheel. TED!! Introductions and handshakes all around, then a quick itinerary review and we were off, a small caravan of cars behind one gigantic truck.
Location number 1 was quite the spot. The challenge here was not finding concretions you liked, but deciding what you could get back up the approximately 45 degree slope. There were concretions from pea-sized to a few feet in length, each one more awesome than the last. Several very large specimens were propped up against trees or laid out in the culvert. Some of us started out by plotting to get at least one of these badboys out, but after making trips back to the car with smaller items, NOPE! So, there they sit, just waiting for someone to haul them out.
After a few hours at stop 1 we left for the Royalton Highway Pit. True to form I added a little drama to the day. I took some folks on the scenic route to the pit and went right past the spot by about 4 miles. Thankfully, I had given everyone maps of each location and they led me to the correct spot. Good thing somebody was paying attention! This second site was located behind the Royalton Police Station, and we passed a cruiser on the way in. We got to the pit, parked, and began to unload when along comes the local police. “Of course the police are here.” I thought. “Sharon strikes again and another collecting spot bites the dust.” I was only the co-lead this trip… CO ! Fate, have you no shame?! After a short conversation to assure the police we were not there to party or set up a firing range, we were back on track to collect. Our only condition for collecting was to close the access gate on the way out. IN YOUR FACE, FATE!!!
We collected for a couple of hours in the unexpected heat then called it a day. No rain after all and everyone found lots of fabulous concretions to take home. This was my second trip to the Sharon, Vt concretions sites, and I can't wait to go back again. Next time I hope to spend more time at that first location. The concretions at this spot are sandier than at the other locations, and maybe that has something to do with the unique shapes found there. And maybe, just maybe, I can score one of those big concretions!
Story & Photos by:
Trip leader: Sharon McKechnie