Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30 - To Massachusetts

        Our day started with fog as we drove off the mountain where Molly Stark State Park is located.

        Soon our day was filled with colours. It is hard to believe, at times, how bright the colours can be.

        Today was also a day of sleeping bees. I counted over a dozen sleeping bees on goldenrod flowers during the morning. There were also a couple on asters too.

        I wonder what colours cows can see.

        Following are two photos from Weatherhead Hollow pond.


        Rapidly approaching Massachusetts.

        It's time to change the sign for the state line! I wonder how many other people have walked the north to south length of Vermont.

        From these men, we found out that the tombstone honouring the first woman to be killed on the walk from Deerfield to the Montreal area was located It was just off the road we were walking upon.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29 - Brattleboro and Onward

        Going back in time to add some photos from September 29. Hoping I don't loose all the work again.

        Here is a cabin in the woods that I saw on my first stop 4 km ahead of Fleur-Ange and Pauline.

       A bit further down the road, Fleur-Ange spotted this blue flower. It is the Asiatic Dayflower that I rarely find in the Hamilton area. As the day progressed we saw more and more to the point where they almost looked like weeds in some of the yards.

        We saw two very old gas pumps at the side of the road. When was the last time you bought gas for 14 cents a gallon (3.7 cents a litre)? I wonder if that was a "real" price. I think the cheapest I ever found gas was 16 cents a gallon and that was in the early 60's in Missouri.

        Animals on the way into Brattleboro

        It was almost all highway walking today except for going through Brattleboro. It was easier to drive but the city had its own problems. I stopped to check out the library hours and wi-fi possibilities and then tried to catch up with Fleur-Ange and Pauline.  I missed them and then did not know if they had passed the car or had stopped to shop. I decided to wait for 15 minutes before going on. I spotted them at 14 minutes and 30 seconds. They had stopped to window shop and been watching for me but did not see me pass by. 

        Results of window shopping were a new weather vane for Dean and Fleur-Ange and x-mas gifts for grand children. Perhaps a few other things too? We stopped at an art store and saw some really interesting art works from local artists. Both two and three dimensional works were there. 

        Fleur-Ange resting on a spring tooth harrow. I've not seen this cultivator in a few years.

        After the walk we stopped again at the Brattleboro Co-op. We had a late lunch and picked up a few groceries. It is a truly amazing store with lots of organic, local foods and a great deli too.

        Back at Molly Stark State Park I have found a new electric outlet at a picnic shelter so I am charging iPhones and the iPad as I write. Time to stop now and get back to the fire.

Modern Camping

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28 - Frustrating Day

The day was not all bad. Look at what we were looking at!


       Today I did more driving than walking. There were 11 roads to walk on and I could not initially find the first turn. I saw what I thought was an entry to highway 91 but it turned out to be the road I was looking for but without a sign post. Since I made an error, I wanted to stop Fleur-Ange and Pauline from making the same error so I went back to tell them. They were nowhere to be found. I chose another road to see if they were there and again did not find them so I went all the way back to where I had dropped them off. Still no sign of them so I went the way we were all supposed to go;  still no sign of them..one more time back toward the start point and I found them. They had stopped to shop. I got them on the right track and went ahead to the next stop. By the time I had packed and got all of my things (pack,  hat, camera) out they were already in sight. 

        I moved on to the next turn but could not find it. I did have cell coverage so checked Google maps and found that I was, in fact, right near the intersection. No signs. I walked back to meet Fleur-Ange and Pauline and then returned to the car. Just as we got there Fleur-Ange realized she had left her walking stick back where she had made a pit stop. We went back for it with the car. The unnamed street went through a new housing area then turned into a farm lane beside a barn. Who would know this was a public road? Well it turned out to not be a public road but a private school road but they allowed us to go through. 

        Having gone through the school and farm we turned onto another unsignposted dirt lane. Google said it was Piggery Road so on we went..again I drove ahead to find the next road using the odometer. The next road did have a sign but we could not tell by the sign which road it was referring to. Google said turn right so we did. All the roads were spectacular with fall tree colours but road signs continued to be missing. The next time I drove, looking for Turner Trail Road, surprise, I could not find it. I had stopped to consult Google Maps again when a passing car stopped and the driver told me where to find the road behind where I was.  I turned the car and went in search for the road again only to find the man sitting at the side of the road to make sure I found it; a huge thanks to the helpful stranger.  Next, however, the new road came to an end. Another helpful land owner told me that the road did not exist but there was a trail that could be walked and I could drive around other roads to find the end of the trail.  I let Fleur-Ange and Pauline know and did the long drive around to find the trail from the other side. Meanwhile, Fleur-Ange and Pauline had misunderstood and taken a wrong turn and had to do some backtracking.

         We did find each other again and then walked the last 2.5 miles to the end. Oops! 3.5 miles. Must have been too tired to read the map correctly.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27 - Day 25 - New Hampshire & Vermont

        Here are a few random photos of the day. 

        We are at Molly Stark State Park for the next four nights. According to their information, there is no internet. I hope to have a bit of cell coverage but that too in not constant. So if there is little or no information for the next few days, now you know why. On the other hand, the last camp site that said no wi-fi did have it so . . . we are hoping.

5:45 a.m. September 27

        It's hard to believe that we will be starting our last five day segment of the long walk this morning. I spent much of yesterday morning on our day off going through Google maps again to sort out the last of the walk. Since we opted to stay in Vermont for most of the walk along the Connecticut River our walk will be shorter than expected, i.e. only about 450 km instead of 480 km. We could finish a day and a half early but we won't. There are some sore feet in the group and an early finish would mess up the prearranged camping and B&B's so we will just walk fewer km per day, 18.5 km instead of 20 km. 

        Our present B&B is a full house that we have to ourselves. It is located only about a 10 minute drive from the road we will walk to today and is on a very large lot. Our closest neighbour is a cornfield so it is quiet.

        The living room has a very soft carpet, nice furniture, and a wi-fi connection. We used it all a lot yesterday on our day of rest. It also has a TV but somehow I don't think anyone took the time to see if it worked. It appears that none of us are addicted to that machine. Computers, yes, TV, no.

        I took the living room photo yesterday before sunrise. Looks the same this morning. Yes, I am still up early but did sleep in until nearly 5:30 this morning. Even on camping days I have been up well before 6:00 a.m. out of habit more than anything else. Of course on camping days not one of us has made it too late to get to bed. Amazing how dark and cold can make one sleepy early. Not sure why I can't stay in the sleeping bag a bit longer. Well, OK, there are some physical reasons for me to get up but I could go back to bed, I just don't.

        Since the sun was shining and we had the space and time, I hung out all the camping gear in the yard yesterday to get it dried out properly. We have 4 more nights of camping coming up so it was good to get everything really dry again. If the weather forecast is correct we are in for a very warm day again today. Sunny skies and +26° C is what is called for. No freezing night here and we are walking further south so we are hoping for warmer camping nights.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 25 - Briefly Off Road

        I find road walking rather less inspiring than off road walking, to say the least. On the road one has to keep very alert for cars and trucks both visually and aurally which detracts from other scenery. That being the case, any time off road is a special bonus and we had such a bonus yesterday on the 25th. I had stepped off the road to make my bladder gladder and what to my wondering eyes did appear but a gift from Saint Nicholas, or someone. It was a path by the Connecticut River. As it appeared to parallel the road, I walked on it for a while until I saw a road and building connecting the path to the road. When I went up I found a woman weeding her flowers. She informed me that the trail went up the river for another quarter mile or more before crossing to go up one on the local mountains. After thanking her, I went quickly up the road to meet Fleur-Ange and Pauline to tell them about my find and on our way back to the car we had nearly a mile of path walking instead of road walking. There is some advantage to walking back and forth from the car.

        In my mind, at least, this was the closest to walking the trail of Fleur-Ange's ancestor and a very enjoyable respite from road walking.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Another Frost Poem

Saw this wall today and it reminded me of another Robert Frost poem:


Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sept 23 - Some Roadside Art

        I have been enjoying looking at the various art pieces in peoples lawns and on their houses and, yes, I am still photographing mailboxes. I will do another mailbox set sometime in the future but for now here are some art finds from the last couple of days.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22 - Observations

       Walking with Fleur-Ange is often twice as slow as walking by myself; however, walking with Fleur-Ange means that I see a lot more as she is much more aware of her environment than I am. (And I will not mention that she missed seeing her car at one point and walked right by.)

        How could one miss seeing a hippo in Vermont? Yet I did. I drove by it and walked by it without seeing it at all. Fleur-Ange spotted it easy and pointed it out as we drove by and yet when I drove the other direction I did not see it and when I walked back toward Fleur-Ange and Pauline I missed it again. Only when Fleur-Ange pointed it out as I walked by the second time did I see and get the photo.

        I also missed seeing this whirligig rooster as I walked. Fleur-Ange pointed it out and I pointed my camera.

        I did see a brown shape on a garage but ignored it. Fleur-Ange said, "Oh look at the fox!" Only when I put the camera on telephoto could I see what it was.

        I am always on the lookout for flowers but, again, it was Fleur-Ange that first spotted the Comfrey.

Quechee Gorge

        We are camped a couple of hundred metres away.