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Vermont Swimming Hole Tour (Part 2)
Not an official AVN event, organized by Richard Hamlin. Vermont has a high density of great swimming holes. We will spend a weekend visiting some in Southern Vermont, camping out in the Green Mountain National Forest. Vegan food, $24 for both Saturday & Sunday, meals and snacks included, starting with breakfast Saturday and ending with dinner Sunday. We will meet Saturday morning at the picnic area on the reservoir. I encourage anyone coming from Albany to carpool. I'm camping Friday night in VT---anyone who wants to do the same, let me know so we can arrange to meet up. (If you wish to come for just 1 day, you may do so Saturday.) If the weather is too unfavorable for swimming (in my opinion), the event will be canceled, rescheduled, truncated, and/or the event will be changed to emphasize hiking. There are more wonderful swimming holes in just Southern Vermont than we can possibly visit in 2 days! So we have to pick and choose which ones to visit. This tour is going to favor the more remote and unique swimming holes over those popular with families (which are likely to be crowded and noisy on the weekend). Waterfalls with swimming holes will also be a priority, but there will also be plenty of open water swimming opportunities. While some hiking will be involved, there won't be any very long hikes. Except for meeting Saturday morning, there won't be a strict schedule to follow. The goal will be to enjoy a number of different swimming holes, spending enough time at each to do so, and not rush through to see as many as possible. We will discuss which swimming holes everyone is most interested in seeing over breakfast Saturday, and this can be modified as the day progresses based on everyone's input. If we are enjoying a location so much that we want to spend extra time there at the expense of skipping another that we were planning on visiting, that is what we will do! We will pick up from where we left off last summer, continuing further North and East toward Rutland, focusing on the Green Mountain National Forest, and most likely exiting VT on US-4 Sunday evening. Camping where we will be in the Green Mountain National Forest is free! We will likely stay in a lean-to Saturday night (though that is not guaranteed, since it cannot be reserved). The items you should bring are: * Drinking water for the entire trip (at least 2 gal.) and/or reliable purification method. * Water shoes - to protect your feet & improve traction * Insect repellent & sunscreen * Bathing suits - although I doubt we will visit more than 1 or 2 swimming holes where required, there are many where customary * Towels * Plastic bags - for transporting above wet items in the car & keeping dry things dry * Dry clothes to wear in the car between swimming holes * Rain jacket & warmer clothes to wear in the evening & early morning when it is cooler * Hiking shoes or boots * Eating utensils & bowl & cup/mug * Tent (or share a tent) * Sleeping bag & pad * Toothbrush, toothpaste, & soap * Toilet paper * Backpack (if you have 1, or sturdy, easy-to-carry bags if not) * Flashlight/headlamp * VT map and/or GPS if you are driving (but we'll try to travel together) Do NOT bring: * Any food (except for your own dinner for Friday night, but no more than you can eat!) * Anything else that can attract bears or animals into the tent nor lean-to! Let me know if you have any questions! Richard@albanyvegan.org When we had the Southern Adirondack Waterfall tour, somebody complained that I did not provide sufficient warnings, so here is an extensive set of warnings and disclaimers! * You will likely encounter domestic and wild animals, both native and invasive species! Some of these can harm you. In particular, zebra muscles are an invasive species that have taken over some water bodies where boats are trailered. Their shells are very sharp and can cut your feet if you are not wearing anything on your feet. * There may also be underwater obstacles and objects (natural and man-made) that are a hazard (such as rocks, drift wood, stray fishing hooks, and broken glass) which you may not see. * You might encounter unsavory/obnoxious people (hopefully not in our group)! * You may encounter air pollution, in particular from people smoking at swimming holes. (I have been smoked out of a couple VT swimming holes, and it is very annoying!) * Expect to encounter nudity (certainly among non-human animals, but even humans)! Skinny dipping is common in Vermont at some locations more than others. * Some Vermont waters are unfortunately biologically and/or chemically contaminated and may not be safe for swimming and can make you sick. Some of the waters are monitored periodically for E-coli and the results posted online, but may not be timely. My own knowledge of VT water quality is limited and efforts to steer us away from the dirtier waters may not be sufficient to prevent exposure to unsafe levels. You accept all the risks (known and unknown) of any water you enter. * There will not be any sort of facilities at most of the swimming holes we will visit and there may not be where we camp either. (There are outhouses at some locations and at the lean-to, however.) You will be responsible for disposing your own human waste appropriately (bury at least 200 ft from any creek or other body water---you may borrow my shovel). * Likewise, you generally will not have access to potable water, so you need to either bring enough drinking water for yourself for whole trip or purification tablets or system. * There will not be a lifeguard nor likely anyone who has lifesaving training. You attest that you are a strong swimmer and can save yourself from any situation in the water in which you might find yourself. * Flowing water can be dangerous with undertows that can pull you under, eddies, strong currents, strainers (logs or branches you can be swept into and get caught in), and waterfalls you can be carried over. You must assess for yourself and not enter any water that is beyond your ability to navigate safely. * There may be precarious terrain to hike to reach some swimming holes. You must have proper footwear to avoid slipping and take care to avoid falling. * You are solely responsible for securing/insuring your own items. Do not bring anything you cannot afford to lose nor leave in an unattended vehicle. (Sometimes cars are broken into at trailheads.) * Do not expect to have cellular coverage nor for me to either (even at the Visitor Center!). * This list is not exhaustive. There may be other things I forgot or did not think to include! * You assume all risks and agree the organizers or the event/group and AVN shall not be liable to you if you suffer any injury or loss. If the above is a problem for you, I suggest sticking to indoor swimming pools! Otherwise, I welcome you to sign up! Any questions/commnets/concerns, contact Richard@albanyvegan.org

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Respond by: 7/11/2018
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