Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lots of new folks

This year at The Ledges has featured quite a number of new folks, along with some problems.  Saturday of this weekend (yesterday) was a lovely day, which drew people from all over, despite the poor forecast for Sunday.  A lot of regulars have made their yearly pilgrimages as well.  Not too much rope swing activity lately -- but there have been a number of younger folks in their teens and twenties visit this year, which is all for the good.  A couple of weeks ago the Chelsea Mermaid and five of her friends came by, as they have in prior years, and even stopped over to talk to the older folks.  Nice touch! Last weekend and this weekend had several younger folks too, although their interaction with the community ranged from chatty to non-existent.

Water level has now dropped to the point where major amounts of the main ledge, and some beach, are available. This is a big improvement over the way it has been most of July.

The road closure I mentioned in my last post did not happen yet.  It has been rescheduled for the weekend of August 8th.  Please be aware that Rt. 100 will be closed that weekend, for sure.

As for the problems: one of the newer visitors last week picked a spot very far from the main beach area on Saturday, and wound up having some creepy dude set up right next to her and exhibit sexual behavior.  She was rightfully angry about this, and it hasn't been the only such incident this year.  The Ledges regulars do their best to patrol the area on foot and in kayaks, but we are volunteers and our reach is limited.  We reminded this person that, according to Vermont law, the perpetrator of this act was in fact committing a felony, and that she should immediately have asked him to stop, and/or come and notified any of the regulars of the problem.  (She'd already figured out that setting up nearer to the main beach area was a good idea -- that's what she did on Sunday.)

And, if you happen to be one of those people who think that just because you are in a remote rural setting, you can get away with anything, think again.  We take our beach very seriously and will not hesitate to enforce its rules, even if that means calling in the cops.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Road closure

Conditions at the Ledges have been seasonable and nice, especially Saturday and Sunday of the July 4th weekend.  The only downside has been a very high water level, which if anything has been climbing rather than declining.  It's pretty much at historical highs at the moment, which makes for a very cozy beach experience.  Nevertheless, that hasn't much interfered with festivities.

For the weekend of 8/8, however, Vermont Route 100 is due to close between Jacksonville and Boyd Hill Road (the road to the Ledges) between August 8th and the following Monday for a bridge repair.  For people coming to The Ledges from the south, this will be a problem.  The official detour is quite long - 26 miles, via Route 8 and Searsburg.

There is a much easier way, however.  Here's a google maps link showing the route:,-72.8721489/Jacksonville,+Whitingham,+VT/@42.8249381,-72.8494111,13z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!3m4!1m2!1d-72.8377908!2d42.851509!3s0x89e0e692ec6ebe2d:0xf82a6e6fb8ec481f!1m5!1m1!1s0x89e0e75b0606363b:0x481a3bd1338f555e!2m2!1d-72.8217628!2d42.7970266!3e0?hl=en

In short:

- From Jacksonville, instead of taking Rt. 100 North or following the State's detour, proceed straight up the hill on Gates Pond Road.  Where the blacktop bears to the right, go straight up Parsons Road.  At the top of the long hill, turn a slight left onto Shearer Hill Road.  Descend to intersect Route 9, and turn left.  Turn south on Rt. 100 in the outskirts of Wilmington just before the flea market.  Proceed south to Boyd Hill Road, on the right.

Hope this isn't too confusing, and hope to see you there this weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life is Good

This past weekend saw temperatures in the mid 80's both on Saturday and on Sunday.  Visitors from New York City who normally don't come up unless there's at least two good days together were not disappointed.  Even the water temperature was a cool but tolerable 64F - although I seemed to be the only one doing any significant swimming.

We did have some rope-swing jumpers for the first time this season.  A few others came by to spend the day who were on break between classes.  It has surprised me lately how few college students stop by at the Ledges even during break times.  I am concerned that we're becoming an almost-exclusively indoor culture.  But there were neighbors from my town in the area, and all the regulars as well.

Next weekend looks somewhat cooler but very sunny.  It is usually the sun that really matters for the Ledges experience to be what it should be.  It's easy to tolerate cooler temperatures on a sunny day than on a cloudy day, and the combination of cold and wind makes the experience more like an arctic expedition than a naturism retreat.  But none of those conditions are forecast at the moment, and if the current forecast can be believed, Monday is going to be a good day as well.  I may take a day off to enjoy that.

The only downside is that the lake level has been rising.  This is typical for June, as the power company accumulates water then to run air conditioning in July.  We've lost almost all the lower ledge now, but with luck that's as far as it will go.  Some years, we lose the upper ledge as well, and then it's really crowded.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thank goodness winter is finally over

Winter has finally gone.  And a long, cold Winter it was -- followed then by a cool, rainy Spring.  There was so much cold and rain that many of the trees still aren't leafed out, and climate-wise I'd guess that southern Vermont is running about two weeks or more behind.

On the other hand, the power company that owns the Harriman Dam seems to have taken pity on us.  With the rain we've gotten, in years past the lake would be brimming, and visitors to The Ledges would typically be finding spots mostly in the woods.  But on Memorial Day weekend, which is usually the start of the summer season, to my surprise the lake levels were very good -- a good part of the main rock is out of the water, even.  Weather Saturday was rainy, but Sunday was fabulous -- sunny, moderately warm (70's), and with even a few visitors from Chelmsford Massachusetts who were new to the place.  Water temperatures, though, are a very chilly mid-50's (although one person claimed 64, which was totally unbelievable based on my highly-tuned foot sensors).  Monday was warmer still, but with little sun.  Still, I'm planning to attempt full immersion next weekend, weather permitting.  Stay tuned!  Or better yet, stop by!