We knew we would love Vermont. It has maple syrup, tons of craft breweries, very few Walmart’s and ZERO billboards. Vermont is one of 4 states that bans their use. No one trying to sell their business with gigantic pictures of greasy meat or confounding slogans and no lawyers to distract you into crashing your car so you can use their services. Instead there are acres upon acres of trees and grass land, farmhouses, and a plethora of local businesses. You immediately recognize it as “normal”, what normal should be anyway.
We arrived just before Memorial Day weekend at the Winhall Brook Campground in Green Mountain National Forest and got the last walk-up site available. It was crowded, with a very disproportionate number of children to adults, but it was festive and the forest was undergoing a spring bloom, dense and fragrant.
We rented a canoe for our stay and managed two trips to regional lakes. First to Lowell Lake State Park where we attempted to turn our dog Brody into a seafarer. We mostly succeeded other than the pure terror we felt throughout that he would hop out and the rebound effect would dump us out.
We walked out our anxiety on a hike around the lake, with an interesting stop at an old overgrown cemetery, where you can observe and pay respect to some of Vermont’s Revolutionary War Veterans. It was Memorial Day weekend, and here I was saying allowed the names of men who fought to make this country free. I wondered what they would think of their country now, if given a chance to get over things like cars, computers and the Kardashians. Anyhow, we’re grateful for their service, our country has known 241 years of freedom thanks in part to them.
For our next trip, we took the canoe sans Brody to Gale Meadows Pond for a clear sky early morning row. This trip made it seem that no matter where you go in Vermont it will be beautiful and the air will smell of pine. We grabbed lunch after at the mercantile, a word I never thought I would use, and quickly converted to food gathering snobs, shunning our previous mass production grocery store addiction.
After a few days in the forest we road tripped north to Burlington, nestled on the eastern edge of Lake Champlain. I had the opportunity to dust off my guitar and vocal chords to play a set at the Radio Bean in town. This was followed by an unlucky day in the rain. Nothing a local brewery can’t cure.