A Place Like No Other

chandler.pond

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.

 

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Brouhaha

We decided to test drive the Kia Soul with 45 minutes until closing. Luckily the dealership is in our hometown. The salesman inquired – are you familiar with the roads? We assured him without much of a brouhaha and off we went. I turned left off of Route 28 in West Yarmouth. It is a grid after all. Two additional turns and we were lost! We landed on a dirt road with a deep-looking puddle. Now we were just beginning to put the new car through its paces…

Question whether to use the new tool, the back up camera, to reverse down the narrow dirt road the 300 feet we traveled? Or best to inch our way through the outskirts of the puddle, being careful not to splash and hopefully not fall off the edge of the earth…

What would you do?