Green Mountain State
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Florence Quarries, Green Mountain State, Vermont
[Copyright © 2004 El Dorado Hot Springs and NUDISK, all rights reserved. No part of this text may be published in mass media without express permission of Camilla Van Sickle & Bill Pennington. For personal use only.]
From the center of Brandon, Vermont, go south on Rt 7 for 6.8 mi. Turn right on Kendall Hill Rd, the truck route to Florence; it has one small sign marking it as the truck route, but none telling it's name. Go 0.8 mi. Turn left on Florence Rd. Go 0.3 mi, bearing right at the fork. Go 0.1 mi, cross the tracks, and go 1 mile to an old farm. Just after the barn, bear right on a dirt road for 0.1 mi. Follow the trail at the cattle gate on the right for 0.2 mi. through the field. The quarries are on the right. There's also a small turnoff 0.1 mi. farther up the public road on the right and another trail leading in.
From near Northwest Bay Brook Falls, at Silver Bay, Upper Lake George, NY where Camilla's family has held forth (in Summer) for 43 years. We'd known of the Florence Quarries for years; finally as Summer '96 waned, after spending a few days chopping wood for the Maggie & Jim Cunningham family in North Vermont, we double checked the directions with them and decided to go. It's places like this that make it all worth it; as soon as we were out of our clothes, we forgot about all the dead ends, bad directions, cobwebs, and poison ivy we'd voluntered trying to find other places. Except possibly for upper Dorset Quarry which is lost to nude use as of this writing, 9-1-98, Florence Quarries are physically about the best we've yet seen. We love quarries--the water is always just warm enough and it's so clean because quarries are usually deep with sheer stone walls = no chance of algae growth. There's something special and mythical, even nurturing about them. They're pieces of living history, mute testimony to years of Herculean efforts on the part of we mere humans to harvest what's been created by Mother Nature.
Known as "Twin Quarries", some folks say there are three quarries, which is easy to understand because there are several ways in and one of the quarries could easily be missed. There are actually at least four quarries; the smallest one, barely more than 100 x 100 is somewhat hidden. The second one is good-sized and quite swimable with good diving ledges, and the twin quarries are MASSIVE in every sense of the word with good diving ledges, shallow areas for walking in, and a rope swing undoubtedly used mostly by young clothed males (but Bill would use it nude in a heartbeat).
Because the quarries are so large, there's a good sun window. At the end of the left hand quarry, someone, possibly the nearest neighbor, has a rowboat tied up. Perhaps it's used for fishing; we saw what we're quite certain were catfish in the twin quarries which are connected by a narrow but very deep channel; we wonder why it was cut. The only thing that comes to mind is that it was done to let water flow from one quarry into the other. If anyone knows, please tell us. Rich in history, one of the gigantic wooden gin poles still stands; the other has fallen over near the rope swing, but is no less impressive for that. The trees used to make them had to have been MASSIVE! And unlike so many gin poles, there are only four guy wires.
There's plenty of room for everyone here and we're sure nudes and clothes mindeds peacefully co-exist, at least according to a couple of young (clothed) men we talked to who were swimming. Gawkers are probably not in evidence because there are never crowds at the quarries, though the amount of use on trails to various parts of the quarries indicate consistent use. Parking is limited and we suggest parking smart; if the road even appears blocked, it could possibly raise the dander of the two families who live on the dead end road.
This is the kind of quarry we'll try to buy some day, after our hot mineral water emporium in Arizona, El Dorado Hot Spring, is off the ground.
In Hot Water,
Camilla Van Sickle & Bill Pennington
El Dorado Hot Springs, A Million Miles From Monday...
POB 10, Tonopah, Arizona 85354 623-386-5412
El Dorado Hot Springs.
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