Leaving New York was kind of bittersweet. It was so nice to reconnect with family, especially those I haven’t really been able to see for most of our adult lives.
It was a short drive to Townshend State Park, where I had planned to spend a few days. To be honest, after almost a week of visiting, I was looking forward to a few days on my own. I guess I’m getting used to the solitary life and spending lots of time with people had moments that were challenging. Not in a bad way, just that I guess I’m adjusting to spending days without really talking to anyone.
It’s funny, I used to get really antsy if I went too long without spending time around people. Now I’m finding that if I spend too much time around people, I get antsy to be alone. Weird. It might be because, for the first time in almost a decade, I feel like I have my own space. My trailer is truly my home. I’m not living in someone else’s space. I’m not feeling like I’m in the way. I’m not feeling like I have to accommodate others (other than Indiana Jones). Corner of the Sky is truly my home, which seems weird to say. It is my own space. I can do what I want, spend time in it or out of it. Sitting at a picnic table beside it seems natural now. Maybe I am finding my way home, in such a strange way.
The drive to the state park wasn’t long and, boy, was it beautiful. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful this country is. Miles and miles of just trees and mountains, creeks meandering through, sunlight glinting on the water. Like something out of a fairy tale.
Pulling into Townshend takes you over the Townshend Dam, which has its own beauty.
I knew I would need to come back and take some pictures because the way the dam had been cut out of the rocks was really interesting. There were two recreation areas with plenty of grass, so I mentally made a note to bring Indy with me. I wasn’t sure how he would take to being out in the open like that but thought I’d try it.
Driving to the actual park takes you on a ride through thick trees, past an old wooden bridge.
The campsite itself was pretty secluded, wrapped around by trees.
I had had trouble booking the weekend when I made these plans, since it was Labor Day weekend. All the campgrounds were full, even this one. But I asked when I registered if they had anything open up. The woman said no but that she’d let me know if they had a cancellation. Luckily, later that day, she told me they did indeed have a cancellation and I could stay through Monday. Four glorious days in Vermont. Almost heaven.
Surrounding Townshend are a bunch of little villages, places that have quaint town squares and many churches and cemeteries. I decided to take a trip into Brattleboro, the closest “big” town. I had no cell service in the state park nor anywhere near the state park. Needless to say, there also wasn’t wifi. Since I had to teach on Sunday, I wanted to see what my options were for somewhere to sit and teach that had good wifi.
Brattleboro is a lovely town nestled in all the beauty that is Vermont. I didn’t realize until later that this little town had quite a history in Vermont. I don’t remember the exact details but when I was researching something else, Brattleboro kept coming up. So interesting.
I found a lovely coffee shop that had good COVID protocols in place – everyone in masks, plastic barriers between each booth, staff sterilizing tables as people left. I settled in, catching up on all things social.
Then I took a walk around the town. Some really cool stores with local art. A used record store, where I gave in and purchased some used CDs for those times when I don’t have any radio reception as I drive. Some nice-looking local restaurants. A movie theater.
I walked up to the movie theater to see if it was open. It was and it was playing “Tenet.” Hm. I really miss going to movies. They are my biggest vice. And I’m a huge Christopher Nolan fan. I figured if I found the time, I might wander into the theater, see what their protocols were and maybe see a movie.
On the way back to the state park, I stopped by the local farmer’s market to see what they had. I was not disappointed. Not only did they have fresh veggies and fruit, they had fresh baked breads and pastries. I picked up a few things, figuring I’d have some healthy snacks while in Vermont.
The next day, I took Indy over to the recreation area by the dam. He had a blast!
He didn’t want to stay out where it was sunny and bright, he wanted to go into the underbrush and explore. Of course, I couldn’t let him do that. There were two families there with little kids and they were tickled to see a cat on a leash. He was too pre-occupied with exploring to play with them, sadly.
I’m so delighted that he has become such an outdoor cat. I was so worried that he would freak out, never leaving the trailer. Instead, it’s a battle to keep him in the trailer! He loves the smells and all the little creatures running around. He’ll lay out on the picnic table for the longest time if I’m sitting out there. But then there are other times where he won’t sit still and wants to constantly explore. It’s always a challenge because I’ll get settled in to work on something, thinking he’s comfy and cozy. Suddenly, he’ll jump up and want to see what’s going on elsewhere. When I’m trying to work, I definitely need to put him in the trailer, which frustrates him. I’ve thought about getting him a little cat playpen sort of thing, but he’s so strong, I worry that he would simply tear it apart. Oh, well. Adventure!
I spent some time every day at the coffee shop in Brattleboro, mainly so that I could get emails and catch up on what’s going on in the world. I’d go in, have something to eat, do some things, then wander around for a bit, then head back to the campsite. It was a glorious four days.
I did finally go into the movie theater. I talked with the manager, who assured me that they were following all the recommended protocols – masks required, social distancing in the theater. He said the theater where “Tenet” was playing usually sat 750 and they were only seating at 10% capacity. Since it was a holiday weekend and a matinee, I figured it would be safe to attend. I was right. There were only five of us in this beautiful theater, all of us carefully sitting far away from each other. I think I was the only one who had popcorn and a soda, so I made sure to keep my mask on unless I was eating.
I wish I could report that “Tenet” was brilliant but, sadly, it wasn’t. I had a hard time understanding the dialogue, which apparently has been an issue with the movie. Most dialogue tracks have a nice balance of highs and lows, which makes it easier for you to hear. This seemed to have all the dialogue in the higher range, which was really hard to hear and understand. Also, the plot was unnecessarily complicated, explaining and re-explaining what was going on, yet never quite making it clear. But it was nice to spend an afternoon back in the movie theater again.
I did go down and explore the covered bridge on the property.
It was so beautiful, sitting over a small river/creek and surrounded by lush wilderness. The only thing that sort of distracted from that beauty were the two families sitting on a small piece of ground under the bridge. Their young boys kept taking big rocks from below, carrying them up to the bridge and then throwing them off through the windows in the bridge. What is it with small boys needing to throw big rocks? Same thing happened in Monterey where a couple of young boys were throwing big rocks down into the water below, probably crushing tons of hermit crabs. But in both cases, the parents encouraged it. I don’t get it.
However, this little session of manic destruction did not dampen my enthusiasm for this bridge and the area around it. I ventured out along the rocky edges of the water, praying that I didn’t slip, ending up having to be rescued by said parents of the destructo-kids. I somehow managed to not end up soaking wet and got some awesome photos.
So while I didn’t really do much in Vermont, the inherent beauty was overwhelming and inspiring. Indy had a ball just wandering around our campsite. It was with great regret that I packed up to head out to Boston.
And Boston has lots and lots of stories …