a second look, adventure, Camping, connections, food, friends, fun, leap of faith, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Hitting the jackpot…

The Jackpot being all the photos ops that could possibly be crammed into one 24 hour period.  Or maybe it’s the jackpot of having your lifelong friend be the one person who would be willing to pull the car off to the side of the road to capture, or try to capture, the scene that has caught your eye.  What a treasure it is to have someone in your life who has been your best friend since childhood.  Somehow our interests, and also our worries, have always been compatible.  We haven’t lived in the same state since we graduated from college together, but that hasn’t mattered a bit.  And we are now finding our way alone in life, but together.  Yes, I certainly hit that jackpot.

But this particular jackpot took place at the Quechee Balloon Festival on Sunday morning.  We actually went on Saturday, almost all of the photos we took were on Saturday, and it was a perfect day from the cardinal we saw as we started our day (a husband or two stopping by to cheer us on?), the glorious lunch we got at Simon Pearce (gazpacho soup and a fabulous quiche, two grown up ladies such as we may have pictured ourselves years ago when we were little girls together), and the lovely day with blue skies sandwiched between days of rain in the weather forecast.  Yes, all was going well, and then the clouds got heavier and the winds came up, and we started fearing the balloons wouldn’t go off at 6PM.  Which is about when I realized I didn’t have my phone.  I lose things often, but not usually my phone, which currently is my lifeline for  this adventure I’m on.  We gave up on looking, left info to reach us, and went back to the campground with a damper now weighing down the entire day.  Only they did call!  They had my phone!  We decided to wait until sunrise to go back to Quechee and got my phone, and also saw the balloons launch!  Every good story needs some drama, and this was no exception.  We made it back to the campground in time for the wonderful Father’s Day breakfast the owners put on for everyone.

Quechee has a covered bridge, we’ve taken pictures of it before, but it was the kids under the bridge that I hadn’t ever seen before.  Jumping off the cliffs (sort of) and into the water.  Do they really know that there are no rocks hidden under the water?  It was nerve wracking to watch, but of course we took pictures.  These aren’t as clear as I wish they have been but they do show the scene.06_15_19bridge06_15_19the whole scene06_15_19upriverview06_15_19quecheejumper106_15_19quecheejumper206_15_19quecheejumper3

But it was the balloons we came for, the third time I had come to a balloon launch and the sixth time for my friend, but we saw the balloons for the first time together.

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Quite an eventful 24 hour visit.  Can’t wait for the next one…

a second look, connections, coping, courage, finding my way, friends, growing old, life goes on, live and learn, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Bridging the gap…

I was looking for bear tracks the other day when I wandered down to the river and saw that the bridge was ‘lit up’, so I took an iPhone photo.  I often forget to check the iPhone even though I take pictures with it frequently.  I have to work a little harder to take pictures with the camera, and here I had the nicest picture right in my pocket the whole time.  Looking at this picture you have VT on the left side of the bridge and NH on the right side.   And at this moment in time I feel as if I’m standing on a bridge and I have my nostalgia for my ‘home’, my roots, for the people I used to know and the person I used to be on one side, and on the other, what exactly?  I have no clue, but I’m working on it…

And yes, there was a bear in the campground the other night.  Which explains why I now drive to the bathroom in the middle of the night…

'scene' along the way, adventure, backyard visitors, birds, family, life goes on, memories, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, travel

Leaving places behind…

When my daughter moved out of New York I remember thinking that I’d be sad not to drive there from MD in August and see the sugar maples beginning to turn color in anticipation of fall.  And I would miss the ride on 81 N through Hazleton, PA where I would see spectacular early morning color in the valley as I drove on the road above, skirting a mountain which meant that the scene just kept revealing itself as I drove.  That was amazing.

And now it’s my son’s house in NY that I won’t be visiting again after this, except for a quick high school graduation trip soon.  Then they’ll be moving back to FL, so it’s good news really.  But I was aware of this and came here wondering if the deer would visit, and if I would I see some pretty farmland to photograph.  So far so good…6_08_10NYbirdie1birdie2I saw a deer out back almost as soon as I got here on Friday night.  I was able to sneak out the sliding glass door onto the screened porch, and then out the screen door and onto the steep back steps for these shots.  The back yard is a steep slope, too steep to mow, so the birds, winter wrens according to Merlin’s best guess, were enjoying the weeds and singing up a storm out there.  The deer stood still, watching me, and then disappeared into the woods.  She was back again this morning and maybe I was sneakier because she went about her business.  As soon as I got a few shots I went back inside and left her to munch away on those white flowers.6_08_10NYdeer26_08_10NYdeer1

On the way to dinner last night I stopped for a quick iPhone shot of this farm.  I can’t wait to get out there today and see what else I see out there…afternoonfarm

'scene' along the way, finding my way, fun, life goes on, live and learn, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, Uncategorized, weather

VT Rt 103 S…

The beauty of my solo travels is that I can leave when I want to and stop for photos if I choose to.  I don’t think that Charley would have had the patience for it, unless it was a coin shop along the way and I suggested that we stop.  My destination this morning was Chester, NY, but it was Chester, VT that stole the show on this beautiful day.  No, the GPS didn’t steer me wrong, it was a coincidence, a happy coincidence.

The grist mill was the first thing to catch my eye as I drove.  And a nice, generous shoulder gave me plenty of room to stop.  I didn’t realize that it was part of the Vermont Country Store which was just up ahead.  My friend and I had just talked about taking a drive there, and there I was by total accident.  My visit was too short, but I can’t accumulate stuff to bring with me even though I was mighty tempted.

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Darn, a kissing bridge and not a candidate in sight…

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I wonder if my friend has ventured a little further south on that road?  I doubt it or I think she would have mentioned Chester, VT as a place to visit also.  With it’s beautiful Victorian houses, charming restaurants and shops, museum, and gazebo on the square,  this will be worth another look.  And for this visit I’d love the company.6_07_19VTinfobooth6_07_19VTeateries6_07_19VTgazebo6_07_19VTcemetery6_07_19VTwhiteflower6_07_19chesterfrontporch

A charming gentleman told me about the 7 apartments in this building.  He said that his is the best one, LOL.  It cost $30,000 to repair the roof structure underneath the slate tiles, and no one can go out onto the upstairs porch because the railing is too low.  Regulations these days.  I wonder how many people fell off that porch since that house was built?

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But this is the shop that gave me a chuckle.  Six Loose Ladies, a knitting shop.  And just as I drove out of town I saw Lover’s Lane Road, and I had to wonder if that’s where the Six Loose Ladies live…

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adventure, Camping, fun, go with the flow, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Day 1 from The Pastures…

Getting the camper set up was not the cinchy part of this adventure. Contrary to what I had imagined. My cousin says that it’s because everything is new. The canvas will relax, she says. I hope she is right. And to level this thing on the lot there are wood blocks under the leveling jacks, plus this thing is the ‘extreme sports model’ so it has extra big tires too. All of this means that in order to put the awning out a ladder will have to be involved. And at least one tall cousin. My do-it-myself motto is out the window already.

But the birds were chirping this morning, and I love breathing cold air while I sleep, under nice warm covers of course. And sleep I did. There was a group out there watching the Bruins game last night and I thought I’d listen, but I have no clue what the score was. The coffee tastes pretty good this morning, my first morning as a camper….sun set from my doorway last night…

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Snowbird diaries, Chapter 2

I feel like a bit of a fraud.  For months now I have been talking about setting out in my comfy trailer with a couch and a Murphy bed, and being a Snowbird.  I planned to ‘decorate’ it.  Maybe not over-the-top ‘glamping’, a la Pinterest, but make it mine.  Until my fellow campers online insisted that I couldn’t pull that trailer with my van, which had shown up on Facebook one day as rated excellent for towing.  Just saying.  So the dealer took responsibility and were going to switch me to a smaller trailer, but when I went to the dealership to see it in person it wasn’t there yet.  But on the showroom floor was this pop up camper that I fell in love with.  On sale.  Sold.

Now this I could handle, I thought.  It’ll be easier, not so much technology to figure out and to go wrong.  But that was theory, the reality came when I went back on the 30th for my walk through, and I drove it away.  Not to the campground, that will be today, but to my friend’s house where I would have to pull up the driveway and then turn myself around.  I put some thought into this ahead of time and had a plan, but, as my uncle had already warned me, the smaller the trailer the harder it is to back up because it responds more quickly.  I found out what he meant as soon as I got there, when every time I turned the wheel the camper looked like a virtual jack knife maneuver.  I eventually gave up and thought I was going to have to get someone to do it for me, which was disappointing.  S I unhitched the camper and parked the van beside it for the night.

By yesterday I had a new plan, so I re-hitched the camper…fullsizeoutput_120efullsizeoutput_1210.jpegYes, I backed up the van and got things hitched up by myself, grateful all the while for no witnesses.  It still took a few tries to get myself positioned to head back down that driveway and drive to the campground and begin this new adventure.  But now I know I can do it, it’s not just theory.  And that couch that I was so happy to find in the original camper?  It’s in this one!  Seriously!  And so it begins…