Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wendy's stories from the campground

I guess the last time I wrote, I was taking a break in E. Montpelier. From there I rode with two wonderful folks – Brenda and Morris Lasell – over to Groton State Park, one of two campgrounds in Vermont that takes horses. The route was along a very flat and shady rail trail which carried us for about 20 miles high on the sides of the hills. The park was great except that the water was laced with uranium in the horse area...which was declared not potable for humans but fine for horses. I didn't want Jolie to glow in the dark, so I managed to get water from another well on the grounds.

I camped for two days there, and the first night I realized that it was obvious to others that I was alone. When you're tucked back in a field somewhere, it's easy to make yourself invisible, but in an organized campground it's not. So that first night I was a little restless and alert because there was a group of men cruising around on Harley's and though I don't want to make any judgments, there were 3 of them and 1 of me. The next night I felt pretty comfortable and settled down for a good sleep when a couple drove in and took the campsite next to mine. They lit a roaring fire and because the crackling sounds and the smell of the smoke were soothing, I began to slip off into a beautiful dreamlike state. Suddenly though, I began to hear some fairly questionable sighs and rumblings and realized that my neighbors were "starting in" (so to speak) and soon they began to make such an expressive racket that I began to worry about the children in the campground. This went on for hours, very loudly. It was hilarious in a way- except that I'm sure I was not the only one in the place who couldn't get to sleep. I figured that when the whole thing ended there'd finally be some quiet, but no – the fellow began to talk in a very deep and booming voice. And so, after covering my ears with as much clothing and baggage as I could find, tossing and turning, and grinding my teeth, I decided I'd had it. The moon was still up, no signs of dawn, no birdsong, I caught Jolie, packed up and rode away...which turned out to be a bad idea, because I missed a crucial turn and ended up riding a good 10 miles out of my way...and as dawn came the first of the day's storms came with it.

There were 4 that day. One came with a particularly violent tornado-like wind that blew the roof off a building in Barnet- the next town over. I hid out in a dairy shed during that one, talking to the drenched farmer and his wife who had been trying to get their hay in before the deluge....As the next one hit I was riding by a tidy farm that had a ranch gate over the entrance-so I made for the barn and fell asleep in the hay while Jolie snoozed and the rain clattered on the tin roof. Later, the owner showed up and we had a nice chat about his dreams of riding from Maine to the Dakotas...sounds like a good idea to me. I ended that day quite late on a beautiful tidy hill farm in Danville with views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

To be continued.....Best, Wendy

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