Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Vermont State of Mind, on the Saturday Evening Blog Post, Edition #15.

I am going to come right out and say it: Vermont is more a state of mind than a state of the Union. And rather than tell you why I believe this, I am going to show you. My day yesterday:

My daughter had been talking about the big cheerleading competition for several weeks, and so--in an effort to get her to stop dropping hints about it--I offered to bring her and her friend up to Vergennes High School to watch her beloved Rutland Raider cheerleaders in the State finals. In turns out that Vergennes is not far from Snake Mountain in Addison, Vermont, a hike I have been wanting to make since we moved to Vermont twenty years ago.

Yesterday morning dawned clear and warm, with a steady wind out of the south that tasted like spring. As Abby put on her cheering bow, I slipped into my Gore-Tex snow pants and Polypro skin layers and we got into the car and went to get her friend, who--to Abby's dismay--opted against the bow. It was a beautiful drive to Vergennes with the sun reflecting off the snow-covered ground, just what the doctor ordered for my light-starved brain. I dropped the girls off at the high school and headed into the quaint town of Vergennes. There is a cafe there I have been wanting to visit--The Three Squares Cafe, right on  Main street--and as I parked it front of it two of my buddies just happened to be walking inside. We enjoyed a great breakfast--five stars, really--and some laughs and I left them and drove to Addison.

The trailhead was located several miles off the main highway, on a graded gravel track that could only achieve 'road' status in Vermont, in which state over 50% of the thoroughfares are still not paved. Despite being out in the middle of nowhere, the lot was chuck full of like-minded people and I struck up several conversations and got sniffed by my a handful of dogs. When there was no one left to talk to, I strapped on the snowshoes and started up the trail. Snake Mountain is more of a foothill than a mountain, and before long I was trekking along the serpentine ridge that led to the summit. I would have loved to linger at the summit, enjoying the expansive views of Lake Champlain and the Eastern Adirondak Mountains, but time was growing short and I had promised to return on time.

The return trip was short as I decided to carry my shoes and glissade down the icy path. I arrived at the car and got in without striking up a conversation with the half-dozen people in the lot--that hurt, let me tell you--and got back to Vergennes at exactly the time I had promised. (There is a first time for everything.) On the drive back home we stopped at Fire and Ice for lunch--five stars, really--and made it home around 3pm. It was still sunny and warm--and my wife was sleeping on the couch--so I grabbed the leash and went for another hike, this time with my faithful companion, Hermione.

It was finally getting dark when Hermaggedon and I got back, and my wife was just opening her eyes from a well-needed nap. I spent the rest of the day with the family in the living room, and went to bed early. Fresh air and exercise make for great sleeping, and sleeping is one of my few real talents--along with appetite, height and regularity. (Not that I'm complaining, mind you.) And that was that--the end of a great #VT day.

Thanks again for tuning in. I appreciate the support, I really do. Don't forget to read Chapter 3 of The Intern, The Chapel of Perpetual Help, if you haven't done so already. And please follow me on Wattpad and vote for the story. ABSOLUTION is in the editing and revising phase, and Liz the ueber-agent plans to shop it late-spring to publishers. Have a great week. peter