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Rain and Wind

September 19, 2012

Vermont – Tuesday Sept. 18

Tula and I headed out for a walk in the state park first thing before we left – it’s an overcast day and rain is in the air. We got 1.8 miles in and finished just as it began to rain. So I finished my drive south through the rest of the islands in a light rain – cozy inside the van though. I got a breakfast sandwich at a little general store on one of the islands, and we crossed over into civilization – near Burlington. As long as it was raining, I decided to research different charitable organizations in the area, and thought the local Ronald McDonald House would be a good one for the day. I called them to see if there was anything in particular they needed, and the lady I spoke with told me how to find their “wish list”, but what they were most in need of at the moment was laundry detergent and paper towels. I found their wish list, and added a couple other things to my list. I really enjoy doing this, and it’s more fun after I’ve talked to someone to see what the needs currently are. But then I had to find a store – ended up finding a WalMart a little outside of Burlington. and bought 4 big bottles of laundry detergent, 2 8-packs of paper towels, a couple boxes of garbage bags and some tin foil. Then I drove the few miles back to Burlington, and found the Ronald McDonald House. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one before (thankful once again for healthy kids), and this one is for the families of children who are receiving treatment at the Vermont Children’s Hospital at the Fletcher Allen Health Center. Ronald McDonald Houses provide temporary lodging, emotional support and comfort.

By this time, the rain had let up temporarily, so Tula and I got in another 1.8 miles – it’s a college town and was fun to wander the main streets and they’ve totally closed off one of the streets to cars so it’s only pedestrian traffic. Tula delighted in frightening the pigeons looking for crumbs – even on her leash she was able to make a short dash for them. It was still wet out, and misting a little, so it was a good thing I have towels along.

Then I headed north to St. Albans, and left Tula in the car and got in another 2 miles of walking around that town, around the park in the center and down “church row”. There’s lots of churches in these towns – sometimes 3 or 4 nearly right next to each other. And sometimes the chimes toll the hour, and then follow with a hymn – it’s pretty when that happens. I headed out to the east shore of Lake Champlain and followed it up to Swanton – the last town before the Canadian border (many of the signs around here are in both English and French, since I’m close to the province of Quebec). I wanted to stay there for the night and finish my walking in that town, but their one motel was full, and with the weather being a bit iffy, I didn’t want to start heading across the northern border of Vermont where there’s not a lot of towns. So I turned around, and briefly considered camping at another state park on this side of the lake since the rain had let up a bit, but the winds were picking up and skies were still gray, so I abandoned that idea. But I did stop at KillKare State Park to finish most of the walking – the park seemed mostly to be a boat ramp, but I left the van there, and Tula and I got in a mile and a half of walking by the lake in a very light rain, but winds that were really beginning to pick up. I was relieved I wasn’t camping. The lake was rough – whitecaps and pounding waves, and I was in a bay! So different from yesterday when it was calm and smooth. Tula and I got hit by falling acorns, and leaves and small sticks were being ripped off trees, so I figured it was time to end the walk, even though it was wild and beautiful. I ended up backtracking all the way to Burlington (finished the last mile of walking in the night-lit streets of St Albans in the rain (no available motels there either) and was happy to get into a clean dry room down in Burlington. It poured so hard on the drive from St Albans to Burlington that freeway traffic was reduced to 35-40mph. And it continues to pour, but should let up by morning. But, I got my 8 miles in! So, I’m kind of back to near where I started this morning; mostly because of weather; but maybe there’s a reason for that…but I enjoyed the northwest corner of the state that I spent time in.

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