Saturday, September 10, 2016

How Would You Like to go Up in the Air?

Along with beautiful days on land and water, yesterday* Paul took me to the skies of Vermont. It is hard, with all the trees, to really understand the landscape of where towns and islands actually are (especially if you live on a tiny island where directions tend to be pretty visible). Seeing it from the sky view? It all makes sense when not immersed in Wow! Oh my!

Oh boy! Pre-check time.

It was the most beautiful day. Apparently the glider folk thought so too.

There are SO many barns in Vermont. All sorts of barns.
You'll see a few more.
If barns bore you, you should just stop right here. I am not sure what is behind my fascination with them...maybe from the one we had when I was a little girl. We didn't have a farm; we had a home in rural New Hope, Pennsylvania with a barn and an area to ride the horses my Dad kept. I was young but the smells of a clean barn stay in the mind's nostrils forever. Hay, horses, horse manure, cats, the leather smell of reins and saddles - it sticks. In the best of ways. 

There is the Valley and there are the mountains.
They mix and match and mix again.

The Valley

Even with a drought, Vermont stays green.
Really green.

When I first moved to the islands the idea of mountains (ok, hills but I grew up in Florida and Turtle Mound was about the biggest elevation I knew) and oceans was a siren song. Around this part of the country, you've got mountains and lakes and islands oh my! When the lake is Lake Champlain, you've got quite the lake indeed. Add farms and estates? It gets pretty heady.

The docks come out in the Spring and get pulled in the fall. Always. Ever.
This is the land of winter and freezing cold.
(pssst, I don't believe it; the weather was perfectly amazing my entire visit)

Can you imagine a farm in this setting?
I saw it and can barely wrap my head around it.

Always looking for a ship

Just part of a very large family compound.
Shelbourne? She...I forget the name. Oops.

Burlington from the sky and waterside

This is a cut only two feet deep at low tide,
maybe high tide too. No red or green buoys.
SERIOUS shoals. Looked scary as hell to me.

This ferry goes year round from one side of Lake Champlain to the other.
It runs so often it keeps a channel clear through the ice.
No, I'm not going to make a comparison...

Paul was in front, a most excellent tour guide

I mean, really?????

Red stands out! 

A little bit of everything

Away from the shoreline the mountains rise up. Ski runs are everywhere, including Stowe, which most of us have heard about, even a non-skier like me. Not being higher than tree line, the mountains are literally covered with trees, making for a very gentle landscape.

Intentionally heart shaped? Who knows? It's there!

It's not just farms out there.
Estates r Us exist side by (many acres away) side.

A very bucolic scene
Now we were headed back to the airport, flying over the Green Mountain Coffee plant, but also Paul showed me where storms and floods had devastated this part of the country over the years. The last time was Irene, five years ago. It's difficult to imagine how much damage was done, seeing it now, as Vermonters basically took over the restoration of their homes and lands themselves, working together to bring life back to normal. Impressive.

This is called the Round Barn for obvious reasons. 
Paul and Barb had told me about the round barn (it was a little impossible to escape my obsession with barns), not only because it is very unique but also because the family that owns it lets it be open to the community for big events or town meetings expecting a large turn out. There's a lot of strong community feeling around here, a good feeling that spills over to a very welcoming vibe, even for very non-Northern types. That whole New England chill thing? I never got a whiff of it.

Coming in for the landing

The prettiest plane fuel pump setting I've ever seen
As we were heading back to the hanger, a few more glider people were getting towed out to enjoy the thermals this incredibly beautiful day was putting out up there. I've seen gliders before but it's always a bit of an interestingly odd sight and I've never seen them towed out in triplet numbers.

And then it was home again home again, my face feeling a bit stiff from smiling. Amazing gazing; thanks Paul!

The following has nothing to do with flying, but I thought maybe your eyes could take a rest from verdant green to sapphire, azure and teal blue. This series of pools is very close to Barb and Paul's house. It's incredible beauty is, naturally, bringing a LOT of visitors, local and tourist alike. Beside how gorgeous it is, I also enjoyed the lack of trash. Anywhere. No cigarette butts, no plastic bottles.  Hoards of people had been through there all day and...nothing was there but the beauty. I'm not sure how they do that but if I find out, I'm bringing that magic home with me to pass around.

Have a soaring Saturday! Do something simply sublime.

*it wasn't yesterday but that's when I started to write this! 


  1. Hey MJ,
    The "Bucolic Scene" is actually Gail and Steves place! Stayed there for a few days last year. Great places, love the pics! Takes us back.....

    1. Smiling here, Chap. Shhhh, I wasn't telling! I heard about your visit, fun we got to share such a beautiful place with excellent people.

  2. Wow is right! Great post. You captured some beautiful countryside. Nothing like viewing the earth from 3000 ft.

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it and yes, sight seeing from a bird's perspective is pretty glorious.