Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 15 - Walk Day # 13

        We left the B&B at 8:15 and were walking by 9:20 on River Road, a “road less taken.” Little scraps of Rober Frost’s poems keep coming to mind as we walk through Vermont. The first, and most, of the roads we walked today were not deserted but definitely “less taken.” Familiar wild flowers continue to delight us as we walk. Many, many Flattop Asters seem to enjoy this area as well as the usual varieties of goldenrods and other asters. A gentian, probably Closed Gentian, graced one of the ditches a day or two ago while today a Tall Buttercup, Elecampane, Woodland Sunflowers, Rabbit’s-foot Clover, Touch-me-nots, Bouncing Bet, some campions, and many Chicory flowers were some of the other delights along the side of the road. My collection of creative mailbox photos continues to grow and the many vistas of the Winooski River continue to enchant the eye. Starting at 5 degrees Celsius in the morning, the temperatures rose to the low 20’s as we walked and the sun shone brightly, occasionally dropping behind scattered clouds as the day progressed. By tomorrow we should be half way finished with our 480 km trek and we are all doing well with no blisters or sore muscles. There is the odd pain in ankle or knee joints but they disappear with a bit of a rest or overnight relaxation. The rain, predicted for 16th, has not dampened any spirits.

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 14 - Day 12 - Day Off

Just enjoyed a day off of walking . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 11 - September 13

        For me the high point of the day was the drive to the start of today's route. Our B&B host, Jim, told us a different way to get to our start point by some back country mountain roads that were not on my map.

        We crossed three covered bridges. At the beginning we could see two at the same time. This is apparently one of the only places in North America that one can do that. Then we drove next to a lovely rocky stream as we slowly climbed higher and higher. At the top we had a wonderful view of the next valley. There was almost no traffic on the road. What a treat!

        The walk started well although again there was more traffic than I was comfortable with. Then Fleur-Ange realized, when I met them the first time, that her hat was missing. We finished that first 4 km then took the van back to where she thought it might have been lost. Yes, it was there!

        We moved on through various mountain vistas and views of the Winooski river for the rest of the day. Shortly after noon a mist started to come down that eventually turned into a light rain. Pauline and I got to try out our new pack covers. Mine worked well and my pack stayed dry. Pauline needs to spend more time figuring out how to attach hers to work better than it did today.

        As I was looking for the address that I had chosen from Google maps, as our end point for the day, I discovered that the number did not exist.  Given that we had made a detour earlier to see the the round church in Richmond, I found a new end point at a Long Trail parking lot. As I walked back to meet Fleur-Ange and Pauline, I suddenly wondered if I had locked the van. Just as I was thinking of returning to check, I saw Fleur-Ange and Pauline coming down the road. Fleur-Ange was very concerned because she had left her pack with ID & money in the van at the last stop. I asked her to carry my pack and then I ran about a half km back to the van. It was locked! I probably needed the run as I had not quite done the 20 km today.

        The Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory was only a couple of miles away so we stopped there for the tour and a bit of ice cream.  A very impressive and interesting history and explanation of the process was given.   

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday - Day 10 - September 12, 2014

        I need to put the full date down as time is beginning to slip a bit. Well space too. Where and when am I? Without my regular routines I am not as aware of days and with the constant drive and walk, drive and walk, back and forth, back and forth, I am not as aware of exactly where I am or what ground I am covering. Of course my lack of short term memory helps too.

        Yesterday morning it was cool. OK cold for packing up tents, tarps, sleeping bags etc.  I was trying to pack, get the stove going, grind my usual coffee, and organize the van all at the same time for a while and it made for some confusion for a while in my mind. That being said, or written as it were, I managed and we were ready for the road by 8:35 when the temperature was up to 11° C.

        The walk started at Highways 2 & 7 and again there was lots of traffic. On my first walk to meet Fleur-Ange and Pauline I spotted a huge white barn. To avoid getting wires in my photo I walked down into a ditch to take the photo as I was thinking of a barn series for the day. As I was coming out of the ditch onto the wide bike path I suddenly became aware of a car speeding toward me. My eyes had been down paying attention to the slope of the ditch so looking up to see a car in the bike lane was unexpected.  In the brief time that I had to think and jump back I assumed that the car had been using the bike lane to pass a slower car on the road. All the traffic was moving fairly fast so there was no excuse for that car being in the bike lane. It was the most frightening moment of the day, thank goodness!

        The route passed through two or three small villages today. (Without my map or photos from the camera, both not available as I write, I cannot remember the names.) At one of the villages, Essex Junction I think, Fleur-Ange tried to make a payment on her VISA at a TD bank that we found. She thought she could get the balance and make payment on it since it was an American TD VISA card. However, it appears that an American TD VISA card from Canada is not accessible to TD in the USA. Lesson learned and interest to be paid later I guess.

        Shortly after leaving town we found ourselves on the banks of the Winooski (sp?) river. As I look at the historic map of the route of the Deerfield raiders took, I am sure that they used the river as a path to Lake Champlain so we are as close to the original route as we can get at this time. In the background of the river, we can see the mountains again. I am looking forward to being in the mountains as we walk.

        Our present B&B is in the mountains just south of Vermont's state capital and about 40 miles from the trail. Nice to be inside as the temperature was supposed to drop to 5° C last night. Hope it warms a bit for our other 10 days of camping still to come. (Just checked, it is 3°C right now.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday - Day 9

        OK, having difficulty finding time to do any blogging. Where does the time go? Anyway, as expected, we had rain on the walk today. It did not come down so much as blow by. Winds were very high all day and almost blew me off my feet a couple of times. I could really feel the wind on the van when I crossed the causeway getting off of Grand Isle. Like all the days, except the first one, I was driving ahead, walking back, walking with Fleur-Ange and Pauline, driving ahead, etc. It makes the time go quickly for me and I am often surprised that I actually walk more than they do at times.

        Yesterday was a day of mail boxes. I will put up a few below. Today started off as a day of house paintings, i.e. houses, and barns with objects painted upon them.

        Because we started the walk at the campsite today, we had an early start and an early finish. That being the case, we had time to drive down to Burlington, Vermont for some shopping. I have some new socks, yea, a camelback water container and a rain cover for my backpack. Looking forward to better weather now that I am equipped for rain.

       We had another visit from my friend, Phyllis T., today. It was great to see her again and she is even thinking of possibly coming out for an overnight with her dogs at one of our future camping spots. Meanwhile, I am looking forward to being in a B&B again tomorrow!

        Will try to get some photos up quickly as it is thinking of raining again and there is no cover here at the wi-fi spot at camp.