Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Causeway Before the Storm

October 2012 - Beefed up surface, marble blocks as border.
It should withstand any upcoming natural disasters.
The Colchester Causeway was officially open last Friday. I bucked a headwind, but managed to get out there on Monday morning. An official announcement and festivities is forthcoming, but with Hurricane Sandy headed in later today, I took advantage of dry weather to check out the new surface.

Initial impressions? It's a huge improvement in trail surface. What used to be rough going, soft pea gravel and narrow, sometimes two lane single track weaving around obstacles, is now rolled stone dust. I can fly on the new path, especially with the wind at my back. It will appeal to those who ride skinny-tire bikes. Families can rest easy knowing their children will be less likely to lose control and crash on the rocks. The trail is now as wide as a single lane highway. Marble boulders edge the, um, "road" like guardrails—hard to call it a trail anymore.

But therein lies misgivings I have about it's reconstruction. Sure, the smooth hard-pack suits the general population. It's now double the width than it's former glory—whether that's good or bad is up to personal preference. The other odd thing: every hundred yards there are bump-outs or pull-offs. I wonder if these are a holdover from construction vehicles needing turn around space or whether they are intentional as a place for picnics or fishing. Possibly it's for road access upkeep, to load docks for the bike ferry, or even off loading the boat itself. Nonetheless, with the whole surface redone, it resembles the dirt road to my workplace; it's no longer the wild causeway of years gone by.

June 2011 - Wild daisies grace the path.
I miss the grasses and wildflowers that swished and bent in the breeze. The buffer zone—now all rock—was once a 2-3 foot border of wild plants. I would often choose the causeway as a destination to see what flowers were bursting in color. It'll take years for the natural plants to regenerate, I know, but still it's a far cry from last year's high-water devastation.

May 2011 - Lake Champlain floods and high winds destroy the surface ballast.
I'm happy that the Causeway repair is finished and we can once again enjoy the ride "onto the lake." Here's to all the volunteers, fundraisers, and contributors who helped make this possible. Thank you!

  • No worries. Hurricane Sandy left this region of Vermont unscathed. It was a minor disturbance, a soaking rain with some wind. We continue to receive periodic showers this week, puddling oak leaves on roads and sidewalks.


  1. Hopefully in time, wild flowers will grow there again! It looks like a great part of your journey, I hope it doesn't get too windy!


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.