EPISODE 9 – APPLE PICKING

Though we are now further away from the great majority of our friends, the move to Vermont has moved us closer to a few others.  Amy and Jeff, who moved to the Upper Valley in New Hampshire a couple years ago, fall into that category.  This weekend we took advantage of the fact that only about 60 miles separate us to have a visit.  So we headed off to Williston to pick apples at Adams Apple Orchard.

Adams Apple Orchard is situated on a hillside with a panoramic view of the Green Mountains in the distance.  (But, then again, aren’t they all in this state.)  Unlike farms I’ve seen in most other parts of the state, Adams suffers (and surely benefits) from its proximity to Burlington and all the chain stores in Williston.  Driving to the orchard, one drives through subdivisions sprawling across the converted farm land.  Though the orchard itself is beautiful, the feel here is distinctly suburban. Continue reading

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EPISODE 8: WE BUILT A BRIDGE

I came to Vermont to be the new Director of Operations for the Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.  I am sure it’s not a surprise to the reader to learn that this is an “indoor” job – finance and HR, hours at the computer screen.  But occasionally they let people like me out into the field to experience natural light and weather.  Today was such a day.

Today we had a staff retreat to the Eshqua Bog Natural Area in Hartland, just south of Woodstock.  There is soon to be a big project underway to rebuild the boardwalk for universal access, for which we have hired the Montpelier firm Timber and Stone.  Outside of this project, the site also has a couple of bridges in need of replacement, and so Josh and Alex from Timber & Stone were on hand to guide a group of largely inexperienced but enthusiastic volunteers in replacing the rotting structure in place with a solid, new 25-foot span.

To me this sounded like an ambitious plan for one day, Continue reading

EPISODE 7: SWIMMING THE DOG

In the three weeks that we’ve been in Vermont we’ve experienced a slug of great late-summer weather – warm sunny days and (usually) cool, dry nights for sleeping.  We were pleased to find the Wrightsville Beach swimming area just ten minutes from our house.  However, when I happily reported this to my co-workers, the response has generally been, “oh, yeah, that’s nice.  We’ll have to introduce you to some other local swimming holes that are even nicer.”

Without exception, the manner in which this was delivered suggested that Wrightsville Beach isn’t really considered all that nice. Continue reading

EPISODE 6: WALKING THE WINOOSKI WEST

Back in Montpelier with a day off from work, Doreen and I decided to do a little exploring. I did some research to locate bike paths within the city, because we don’t have a bike rack on the car yet. I did find some interesting information about the Cross Vermont Trail, which runs through Montpelier.  However, we’re looking at off-road trails until we know the roads better, and there’s not much of a loop within the city.

What I did find during my search is the Winooski West Trail, a short (1.3 mile) paved path that winds along the Winooski River.  There is a vision to connect the path the the Winooski East Trail, a half-mile path that runs along Stone Cutter’s Way, but evidently lack of dollars has kept that from happening. Continue reading