Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Brunswick Springs in the 21st Century

Part of the original road to the Brunswick Hotel. Still used by tent-campers and Zoe the wonder dog.
From author's collection

Today Brunswick springs is a little known piece of the world visited mainly by locals and those who visit locals. The property itself has been deeded to the Koasek Tribe by the last owners (as reported to me by the last owner).

After a short hike over and around fallen trees (easy hike) you come to the road which descends gently down to the lake. Seen here through the trees:

The road continues down the gentle hill and around the lake. The lake, I've been told, is called Crystal Lake, though I have doubts about that as there is already a Crystal Lake in Barton, VT. The area is populated by moose, deer, coyote (seen by myself, a friend, and Zoe the wonder dog), and beaver.

Beaver lodge at Brunswick Springs.

At this point you can either continue walking along the road by the lake or, if the water is too high, take the path up the hill to your left. The path is lesser used though maintained by myself and several friends to be relatively easy to access. About half way along the path there is a staircase going down to the lake, it also goes directly into the lowest point of the road where it commonly floods. For this reason the staircase has been mainly ignored by people. This year we cleaned the stairs and trimmed back the trees. It's now a really beautiful spot with a canopy of green! 

There is a total of 3 sets of stairs that our group maintains, the second of which is at the end of the "high road" path. It brings you to the third and final stairs, those that lead to the springs. Down the stairs and onto a concrete pad that's seen better days but not bad for a 90 + year old slab! I, personally, do not feel comfortable taking pictures of the springs, the pools that survive only due to the white man's invasion of concrete. 

There are still 3 defined pools to the right side (Iron, Arsenic, and Sulfur), the three to the left (Calcium, Cobalt, and Bromide) have become one pool with 3 separate springs running into them. All six springs run together so all the elements are combined though they tend to be in higher concentration near their sources. 

Zoe the wonder dog only avoids 1 pool, the smallest, arsenic. When she first first arrives at the springs she jumps into each starting at the furthest left and making sure to lay and drink from each of the 5 other springs.

It is traditional and expected that if you take something from the spring you must leave something. Offerings of tobacco are common, leaving tobacco products (filterless please), having a smoke, or, in my case since I'm a non-smoker, smudging with pipe tobacco. Others are more creative with their offerings, here are a couple: 

These are two exceptional objects, others have left things much more simple: rings, charms, flowers, coins, etc. 

Beyond the springs platform (to the left) along the river is the remaining foundation to the old hotel. I tend to avoid this area as the energy is not that great. Due in part to the hotel itself as well as the 1997 killing of Carl Drega who killed 4 people in one afternoon before being killed at the springs where he fled. 

To the right, following the lake you will eventually come to the camping and swimming spot. You should swim with caution as the lake was used as a dump for several decades. While most of the trash has been removed (car, washers, dryers, refrigerator, etc) there is still glass and other unpleasant things on the bottom.

Please note that there is  not trash collections here. You take out what you take in. 

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