Tuesday, 11 August 2009
in which it all begins to look alpine
Luckily my plan to visit the ice cream place was overturned. The better plan was to walk a trail in the first part of the day although there was fairly conflicting weather advice - rain vs sunshine. I carried a modest backpack and as we set off the indoor impression was of a cold and grey day.
As we got outside we realised the scale of the heat pinning us to the ground. It must have been the decor and the aircon that had lulled us into thinking it would be cool. True, some of the weather channels had been warning of the hottest day of 2009, but we were in the mountains of Northern Vermont, so thought this wouldn't affect us.
It just got hotter and hotter. At one point mid morning I spotted a wall thermometer on the side of a shed. It said 95 degrees. I don't really do Farenheit, but I know that 95 is pretty warm. So did my tee-shirt. Now we are not talking Joshua Tree or Death Valley heat here, but it was enough to catch us out and we changed our route and plans.
Ben and Jerry's would never have been first on the itinerary but now it became the Plan B option to head across to somewhere cooler for at least the peak part of the day. But ohmygoshthecrowdsthere. It was far too busy and an almost improbable jarring compared to the relative ease with which we'd moved about up to this point.
We decided to go for Plan C. That's the 'no plan' plan. And it worked a whole lot better. I'd already commented that Vermont was more like New Switzerland or New Austria rather then being bundled with New England and then, lo and behold, just past the sign for Inky Dinky Oink Ink, was another for the von Trapp residence.
We decided to take a look, and sure enough, these hills were still very much alive with the sound of music. It turns out that Maria and the gang had moved to Vermont and established a miniature version of Austria very close to where we'd been staying. Brilliantly located, well maintained, thriving as a hotel nowadays but also touching because of the little memorial ground where Maria and her siblings are buried.
Then further onward across the mountain peaks before deciding to head for the nearby lake, which also reminded me of the edges of Lake Lausanne in Switzerland.
Across the other side we could see the shoreline of upstate New York and our good fortune was to be able to sit with a Magic Hat #9 and a snack by the water's edge to watch the sun set before heading back to our current base at the Inn.