In sharing with a co-worker that I planned to head to Vermont for the weekend alone – without my family – she wondered out loud if I would be afraid to be alone in the “Deep Dark Woods.” Well no I answered, in fact, I’ll be at the lake, not really in the woods…
On Saturday after some morning errands near my Vermont cabin, I decided to drive from St. J to Craftsbury along South Wheelock Road and quickly found myself in the “Deep Dark Woods” for about 20 miles. As I traveled along the dirt road, it turned into a rippled washboard. This was all too familiar to me after having lived on a dirt road in Vermont for about 10 years! I noticed the houses were looking weather-beaten. I know that here in the Northeast Kingdom, the winter weather is quite severe and takes a big toll. I couldn’t help but think that I was in the Appalachia of the north.
I passed one modest house which leaned this way and that. At the last second, I noticed an elderly man bent over an aged woman sitting on the porch. Wait, did I really see that!?!
I also passed an area where the trees bent and bowed over the road. As I passed under the canopy, I saw branches woven through the limbs of two old maples, creating a true treehouse made entirely of trees. I stopped myself from screeching on the brakes to snap a photo. It just felt too intrusive.
I spotted a sign indicating a left turn to visit Chandler Pond Farm. I had been following their Facebook page for some time and had always wanted to look them up. I made the turn and was rewarded with an old-fashioned farmstand where products were actually grown on the farm! Being seasonal, they offered asparagus, rhubarb, grass-fed beef, maple syrup, fresh cut flowers, handmade soaps, honey, and a few other odds and ends. It was self-service and pay into a locked box with a slit on top.
I only had a twenty dollar bill plus a few ones, which I had been saving for the fair in Craftsbury. This just seemed that much more important so I spent what I had at the farm.
As I left the farm, I happened upon 4 broken-free, not-yet-fully-grown cows, who had wondered out of the field and into the road. As I slowed to a crawl, they blinked at me and looked guilty as they started to trot back into the field. I spoke to them in a friendly voice and they hurried away.