Click the Audio Link Below to Listen to our Podcast on GMC Sawyer Training Class and Cross Cut Saws
Did you know that our modern cross cut saws were first created in Pennsylvania?
Around 1800 the concept of each tooth of a saw being the same on a saw was challenged by creating teeth that cut, alternating with teeth that raked out the cut fibers. Antique Crosscut saws have high-quality steel, which makes them durable and coveted. They deliver clean-finished cuts with their smaller teeth even today.
Prior to the steel and tooth design by these innovative companies, a tree was felled by an axe and then cut into pieces using cross cut saws of straight teeth design. Saws with a straight back and generally used by a single person are called Bucking saws. The modern 2 man cross cut saw of 1850 allowed saws to fell and cut the trees into smaller segments. These saws were extensively used from 1850 through early 1900's. Companies such as Disston, E.C. Atkins, Simmons and Harvey Peace were the main suppliers of Cross Cut saws to the world.
Listen to the included podcast to learn more of the sawyer class that one of our Bennington Section members attended.
For more information on Cross Cut Saws by Warren Miller of Mother Earth News
History and Identifying Antique Cross Cut Saws by Suez Halder
United States Forest Service usage, training and safety regarding Cross Cut Saws by Wikipedia
Interesting facts and figures describing the Wilderness Areas in the USA by The Wilderness Connect Website
Sawyer Class Videos and Images
The Sawyer training and certification class was sponsored by GMC HQ. They needed certified persons in felling trees for summer projects.
Class was held near Pico Mountain, east of Rutland, on private land.
Below are various images and videos taken during the 3 day class.
Final Felling of large tree, using wedges to force final movement. Long movie but worth the watching!
Using Buck Saw to cut fallen tree
Using triangulation to determine how tall the tree is and how far it will fall
From the logbook of Melville Nauheim Shelter on Vermont Long Trail - June 2020
The following log entries are from June 2019 to spring 2020. These trail logs are for hikers to post any and all thoughts along their journey.
Listen to a podcast discussing the Trail Log with selected narrations by Hamilton, Lorna, Ann and Billy
Click audio play button below!
My Urban Adventure in Flooded Calgary, Alberta – June 2013
by Lorna Cheriton
Flying to Alberta, Canada in June to visit my parents and sisters, I had a number of people exclaim that they hoped I was not going to Calgary. A state of emergency had been declared in the city following historic flooding due to a record snowfall in the Rocky Mountains combined with an extremely rainy month. I was indeed headed for Calgary, where my sister Mary lives in Lakeview, a district so unaffected by the flooding that TV filming of the disaster in the other Calgary districts of Bowness and Elbow Park looked like images disasters from the opposite side of the world.
The first two days of our time together, Mary and I obeyed the authorities’ injunctions to stay away (so that emergency crews were not hindered by traffic blocking their way to flooded areas). But on Wednesday June 27, we rode our bikes to the deserted downtown area (power was out so most companies were closed). Stopping for a drink from our water bottles, we were alone in the plaza which is normally crowded.
Crossing to the Elbow River bike path, we discovered a river swollen to many times its normal size (even though it had obviously gone down considerably as evidenced by the collapsed banks and by the debris left high in trees and on bridges. A twisted and destroyed bike-and-pedestrian bridge was blocked by plywood and guarded by a policewoman, in case anyone was so foolish as to try to cross it. A few days before, canoeists had launched into the flood-level Bow River and had to be rescued, prompting the mayor to exclaim, with some vehemence, that he had thought it unnecessary but would now declare that “the river is closed and absolutely off-limits!”
On Thursday Mary and I drove across the city to her friend Heidi's home, concerned that Heidi and her daughter would be returning from Africa having learned of the flood only the night before when they regained Internet connections. We found streets muddy ...and parking at a premium, since city vehicles and people coming to help all needed spaces, and homeowners needed to keep access to the mountains of debris being hauled out from their homes if dump trucks were going to be able to haul it away. Residents had been advised to put signs in their windows telling what they needed. The normally quiet residential streets were as active as a festival although people were in “recovery” attire – the “uniform” being rubber boots, work gloves and with breathing masks over their mouths and noses.
At Heidi's we found a crowd – her co-workers, soccer team-mates and friends had hauled everything from her basement, spreading potentially salvageable items across the lawn and heaping non-salvageable trash into a mountain of muddy bulges in the driveway and edge of the street. Someone finished with the hose, so I coiled and carried the lengths to where I could hose down objects in the driveway and on the lawn. Car carrier, mirrors from the bar, liquor bottles, furniture, clothes, bikes and sports equipment ( even a silver tea set) - all were covered with a hard-packed coating of clay from the river. Later, a couple from an unaffected district approached us to offer help and spent several hours with us, peeling photographs out of clay and washing them in buckets where the water quickly turned as brown as the river. We had barely started work when people in the street approached us, offering food. I had brought a water bottle and several granola bars, but throughout our work, both adults and children from unscathed areas of the city brought bottles of cold water, fruit, cookies, sandwiches and muffins. Stations set up on street corners were laden with food, drink, work gloves, and masks, with porta-potties nearby.
On Friday evening, some young women came by inviting us to a neighborhood party where they promised Calgary's famous sausages would be grilled for volunteers. Meandering down to check it out, we crossed a plank over the Moat, a ditch whose depth had increased to 3 feet because of the flooding. An apparently abandoned lot had been set up with free beer, tables of food, and a large banner across the entrance embellished with the image of a cowboy hat and the message “This is how we giddy-up.” People climbed on a ladder to add their thoughts to the banner; others wrote their answers to questions posted on big poster paper tacked to the side of a building -
THE RADIO HIKING NETWORK
An overweight, 61 year old retiree, with zero hiking experience, decided to hike the entire 2,185.3 mile length of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. What could possibly go wrong? Join Steve and his guests as they discuss all aspects of the trail, from gear to Lyme Disease, then back to trail magic and injury.
You will find a scrolling list of previous podcasts at the bottom of this page
Use this link to access Steve's many podcasts.
Scroll down this page to find the list of previous podcasts.
You may recognize this amazing person if you are from the Massachusetts, Vermont area.
Listen to Sylvia discuss her hiking experiences and insights.
SPRING TRAIL WORK Although “overnights” require taking more gear, they have a special quality, partly due to evenings and mornings in the mountains as well as relaxed time with other GMCers. Lorna recalls....
Trail Work is the major focus of the Bennington Section of the GMC in spring, so here's a look back at some of the highlights and memorable experiences of previous trail clearing years:
Terri Armata's Spring Flora and Wildlife Notes
If we have a warm, rainy evening, watch for amphibians (frogs, salamanders) as they journey across roads to pools to breed. If you find a vernal pool, take a look for jelly-like masses of frog and salamander eggs.
Look up! Raptors are making their way north too. The Broad-Winged Hawks should be moving through our area in mid-April to the beginning of May.
Be on the lookout on nice warm days for Mourning Cloak, Eastern Comma, and Compton Tortoiseshell Butterflies on dirt roads or forest trails. In rich hardwood woods, the white butterfly seen weakly flying is either the West Virginia White or the Mustard White.
Check out an exciting new Citizen Science website: eButterfly! Now you can enter your observations just like eBIrd. Vermont Center for Ecostudies is coordinating it in this State.
So... Binocs, field guides and pencils in hand everyone. This is an exciting time of year.
On February 24 Hamilton led a larger group than usual, 13, on the 8-mile cross-country ski to Heartwellville. The trip had to be cancelled in 2006 but in 2007 blue skies, golden sun, and enough snow (Valentine’s Day gift to us!) to ski on the river - made for perfect conditions. Even some comic relief, as our leader was the one to break through and make a moose-sized hole, from which he accepted help in getting out.
(Note: the Heartwellville trip was traditionally one of our more ambitious winter outings, until a hurricane in a later year created a tangle of brush that made the route impassible.)