Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Canadian Border. Norton, Vermont

My brother's cabin in Vermont.

28 degrees. "No photography" at this lonely little border crossing say two officials looking sleepy. Three Miles south is my brothers cabin built 15 years ago for the wilderness and for the snow. This is an arctic-tundra environment appealing to woodsmen, hunters,snowmobile enthusiasts and nature lovers. The few houses mostly hug the road. Snow is measured by the foot here. It's crisp and sunny, woodpeckers tap messages to their lovers. Loons and Canadian geese float over misty bog like ponds where Skeletons of trees stand guard.

A garish nightmare of homemade signs with quirky statements pollutes this natural wonderland. Goose egg 50 cents.

Beyond is Island Pond and Lyndonville Hardscrabble timber towns where the winters road sand is inches deep. Vermonters are out early scratching the thatch from their lawns with leaf rakes and sweeping sand in their shorts-radios set at 9 ....Spring is finally here! The blessing and the curse of cycling is that you see, hear and smell everything that you miss in your car bubble. In some class the evidence is of bad choices. The roadside report is says there is problem with hard drugs in this area.

A large granite marker with a brass plate sets off the road with an appealing bench.Recognizing revolutionary figures is commonplace in New England. This marker said in "1797 nothing happened here."

The town of St. Johnsbury was still ahead. My mantra was now "this will feel better next week." My longest ride in preparation for this trip was 30 miles. Preparing physically my first concern was being able to stay on the seat for five hours a day at the start... speed is not my concern.

The town of St. Johnsbury reminds me of Elkins. It is hilly. It has a noted Academy a few museums and antique shops and cafes. 50 down my brother shuttled me back to the cabin to celebrate his birthday with a dinner a good nights sleep and then a return to St. J. The next morning. I was on my way.

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