Sunday, September 18, 2011
After Montreal, I was full of woe and wondering if I was mad to have wanted to do such a moronic thing as drive a camper van from Montana through southern Canada to New England. In the morning we bid Montreal and Canada farewell and entered the U.S. without incident. Somehow things looked different after we crossed the border and my mood brightened when we caught a tiny car ferry over Lake Champlain from New York to Vermont, where we watched the water go by and happily chatted about our insanity. As it turns out, I was not alone in my despair, Jason was having similar thoughts and feelings and we laughed over our shared mood as the boys stated over and over again, "it wasn't that bad." When we drove off the ferry I was beaming to be back in Vermont. It all made sense to me now. I had started to question if it was really going to be as good as I remembered it. It is. About ten miles down the road, there was a sign for fresh, organic veggies and meats so we pulled off into a picturesque farm and bounded in. Now we're talking. This is what I had imagined when I thought about driving across the continent, taking time to stop in little places like this to soak up some of the culture, buy local things to eat, talk to the people who live there. We bought some local veggies, a whole chicken raised right there on that farm, local milk, local yogurt and real chocolate ice cream made with all real ingredients. I made lunch in the camper van and we ate it under the trees at the farm and basked in the glory that is Vermont as we shared the pint of decadent chocolate ice cream. A half hour later, we stopped at a winery and picked up a bottle of Vermont wine to cook our Vermont chicken in.
We wound up into the mountains towards Smuggler's Notch State Park (which, I might add, has a zen fountain gurgling in the restroom) in preparation for Aaron's birthday. At the top of the road were spectacular cliffs looming overhead shrouded in low-lying clouds. We parked and headed up a steep trail to Sterling Lake. My body and soul were so glad to be out hiking that I felt I could hardly hold my legs back as they hopped from rock to rock. All of our spirits soared as we hiked into the clouds to the misty hidden lake.
Hopping into Sylvia after the hike, we began the descent down the steepest road we have ever seen. Narrow and winding through huge, gneiss boulders, we concluded that Vermont was insane for building such a road. The history behind it was that smugglers used this route to haul goods from Canada to the U.S. when President Jefferson imposed a trade embargo, slaves used it to escape to Canada and, of course, alcohol was smuggled through here during prohibition. Near the bottom of the road was our campground where we settled in for the night and Aaron waited with anxiously for tomorrow to come so we could begin his birthday festivities.
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