Mother Nature Speaks: August 24, 2011

And Sends Jitters Through Valley

By Sarah Brubeck and John P. Gregg
Valley News Staff Writers

Lebanon — Yesterday’s big earthquake may have been centered nearly 600 miles away in Virginia, but it shook an art gallery, sloshed standing water and rattled residents throughout the Upper Valley.

Norwich resident Nichole Hastings was visiting a friend with a third-floor studio in the AVA Gallery in downtown Lebanon yesterday when glass jewelry cases started rattling and the mirror started swinging back and forth.

“It was amazing,” said Hastings, who said it lasted between 30 and 50 seconds. “I was sitting in a chair and I just felt the building moving, and I started seeing objects around the room reacting and moving as well, like swaying.”

George Loveland was sitting in his Norwich home — the Butternut Lane Bed and Breakfast not far from Interstate 91 on a bluff overlooking the Connecticut River — when things started rocking

“There was a cyclical sound, almost like it was a wheel, but elliptical,” he said. “I looked out the window, and the water was slopping out of the birdbath. I stood up, and thought I was dizzy, but I wasn’t. The house was moving.”

Nicky Corrao felt the quake on her home on Tucker Hill Road in Thetford Center.

“I was sitting at my kitchen table eating lunch, and all of a sudden I felt my house start shaking. All my plants, the leaves were shaking back and forth, and I thought, Oh my gosh, it’s an earthquake,” said Corrao, who went outside as a precaution.

Tim Savage, a sales representative at Young’s Propane in Springfield, Vt., said he and several office mates felt the temblor at Springfield Plaza, and it reminded him of an amusement park ride.

“They told me to sit down. The whole chair was shaking back and forth,” he said. “There was a rumbling — it felt like being on a ride at Six Flags.”

Over in Canaan, Andrew Musz said he watched as the plants in his office, which is in the old post office building, swayed back and forth for several seconds. Once the wooden building stopped moving, he quickly went online to see what happened.

“It felt like we had a really strong gust of wind,” Musz said. “If it would have continued, it would have been nauseating.”

Officials in Hartford, Lebanon and Hanover didn’t receive any calls reporting damage, but it was felt at Centerra office and shopping park, the Dartmouth College campus and in the five-story main building of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

“There was no damage, no evacuations, no disruptions in service, but people did feel and report the shaking,” said DHMC spokesman Rick Adams.

Eric Hartling, owner of Tuckerbox in White River Junction, had just finished serving the lunch hour crowd when he felt the quake in the cafe’s basement. He saw the lights hanging from the ceiling swing back and forth and noticed his coffee cup move.

“It got a little stronger and a little longer,” Hartling said. “It lasted about 30 seconds, which was long enough for me to grab my keys and phone and say ‘I’m out of this basement.’ ”

When Hartling went upstairs, he asked his employees if they felt the building shake, but nobody had. Others accused him of being crazy or drinking too much coffee that morning.

In Claremont, Rae Schmertz was sitting at a table in the library of Stevens High School with a few other teachers when the table began to shake. At first she thought someone was just kicking the table. Pretty soon, she was swaying in her chair.

“It was gentle but significant. It was a gradual build and then it subsided,” said Schmertz, a Lebanon resident.

Down at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt., Entergy spokesman Larry Smith said the plant was “unaffected by the earthquake.”

“The plant’s seismic monitor did not have any indication. The plant continues to operate normally,” Smith said in an email.

John P. Gregg can be reached at Sarah Brubeck can be reached at



Valley News: And Sends Jitters Through Valley


Journal Entry: May 20, 2011


Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few.
~George Berkeley

There are several options here for you to choose from

(you may select one or more of the following):

  1. The true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.

  2. Conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.

  3. A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.

  4. The state or character of being true.

  5. Actuality or actual existence.

  6. An obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.

  7. Honesty; integrity; truthfulness.

  8. (often initial capital letter ) Ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.

  9. Agreement with a standard or original.

  10. Accuracy, as of position or adjustment.

  11. Archaic . fidelity or constancy.

    “It’s all relative to your perspective;
    for perception defines one’s reality.
    The Truth will set you free.
    Live free.”

Quote: ancient Sanskrit hymn

“I salute the supreme teacher, the Truth, whose nature is bliss, who is the giver of the highest happiness, who is pure wisdom, who is beyond all dualities and infinite like the sky, who is beyond words, who is one and eternal, pure and still, who is beyond all change and phenomena, and who is the silent witness to all our thoughts and emotions – I salute Truth, the supreme teacher.”

~ancient Sanskrit hymn

photographed by Nichole Hastings

Journal Entry: June 8, 2010 – 100 Mile Wilderness

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 10

A nice early start this morning.

All up hill.

The Chairback Mountain is no joke.  Especially when you are carrying fifty pounds and managing a dog.  I had taken a picture of it a ways before on the trail.  Not long afterwards realizing that was where I was headed.  The trail took a ninety degree turn straight at it.

A super steep rise of rocky cliff.  A tumble down that and you’d be sure to break bones and puncture soft flesh.  This thought occurred to me half-way up when I looked down behind me.  The rocks were sharply angular and sat at a nearly vertical rise.

photographed by Nichole Hastings

"View from the Summit of Chairback Mountain" photographed by Nichole Hastings

The view.  At 2100-feet.  Simply breath-taking.

Past Chairback, the trail dips back down about 300-ft and then begins climbing  up Columbus Mountain, 2250-ft.  I made it to the Chairback Gap Lean-to just after noon.  I was writing in the register when it began to rain.  The wind had been gusting all day.  The sun was out but it was cold.  The next lean-to, the Cloud Pond Lean-to is about seven miles away.  I knew I wouldn’t make it there today if I continued on.  Columbus Mountain, Third Mountain, Fourth Mountain and the majority of the incline of Barren Mountain lay ahead.

At the start of the day, I was 89-miles South of Katahdin, Baxter State Park and Wayne, the guy at the gate.  It’s good to periodically look back and say, “Hey, I did that.” and feel satisfaction at the pace and what was accomplished.  I’m slightly behind my self-imposed schedule, an average of eleven miles a day, but a mountain is certainly not a molehill.  And I prefer to not tent in the rain.  Or carry all the extra water weight that would come as a result.

This decision puts me in a rather precarious food position.  It would be good if I can reach Monson in two days.  If I push tomorrow and get down Barren Mountain, there’s a lean-to near the Slugandy Gorge and Falls.  I think.  Pete’s maps are from 1988 and it says, ‘Site of Proposed Lean-to’.

And of course, all this will depend upon nice weather.  It’s been off and on rain all day.  I hoped these winds would push this storm past us, and quickly.  Not only is it windy, it’s cold enough where I can see my breath.  I managed a fire.  It survived the rain showers as they come and went.  The fire pit was in a terrible spot in conjunction to the lean-to.  The wind’s gusts kept the smoke blowing in my face.  There was plenty of burnable dry wood available.  Left overs from lean-to’s construction.  I want to sit by the fire and avail myself of its warmth but breathing seems more important.

Another factor, my feet, they need rest.  No blisters still but the bottoms hurt.  Most nights I wake up in the middle, my feet cramping and legs aching.  Maxwell needs rest too.  He’s visibly lost a lot of weight and at times he’s hobbling along.  As soon as I deposited my pack in the lean-to he went and laid down.  Poor guy.  I upped his food rations from a cup to a cup and a half a day.  He needed it and it makes my pack lighter.  A win-win situation for both of us.  Time to make dinner.  And then early to bed.


Distance: about 4.5-miles

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