Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Days of Frustration & Play in Northern Vermont

Saturday July 17-22, 2021                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground                                            Jody Takes Me on a Tour
St. Johnsbury, Vermont                                         Keeping Busy Despite the Rain

IMG_20210717_110153124Like the first two Saturdays of my weeks here, I began my day at the farmer’s market where I couldn’t resist another focacia bread.  Does it look like a fish to you?

   After that, I walked over to the Community Church to walk the labyrinth.

From there I headed home to pack a lunch and drove a pleasant 24 miles north to check out Lake Willoughby for kayaking and the nearby hikes.

Willoughby is a  large lake and today was a Saturday so I expected it would be full of noisy  power boats.

But what I saw in the water were all canoes, kayaks, sailboats and people.  I was very surprised as power boats are allowed but it was wonderful to enjoy the quiet. 


The setting is beautiful between the two mountains.  It looked like I imagine a small fjord.


Nice big easy boat launch as well.


The lake is right on Vermont Highway 5A and across from it is White Caps RV Park.   People were walking down in their bathing suits and crossing the road.  You can see Ruby parked on the road just beyond the campground sign.

I hadn’t brought the kayak, thinking as I did that the week-end would not be a good day and I would just check it out as a future possibility. 
So I hiked the lake trail instead.



IMG_7271At the bottom of these stairs,  I ran into this sign.  I’m not sure if there was a way around this nudist beach but if so, I didn’t see it.  So I just followed the trail through and found perhaps a half dozen nude men sitting around on  blankets and towels  talking.  Most people in the area were not nude.  I saw no women sans suits.  Good old liberal Vermont!

I had been above the beach in the woods looking down.  Now I was walking along the beach before climbing back up into the woods.



There was a lone back pack tent along the trail above the water.  Great site.




This was the extent of the wildlife I encountered other than the folks on the beach and they weren’t very wild.  I checked out the trail heads of two other potential hikes and filed the information away for that later date.


Back at Moose River a community buffet was under way.  Bring your own wine.
I’m not a winer, I suppose David and Carrie might have called me a whiner,  but I jumped in line with a glass of orange juice.


Yummy desserts.


Moose River is a relatively small campground and these weekly gatherings and bonfires help people to get acquainted.  Most folks are either seasonals or here for only a few days or a week at most.  I met one couple who were here for 2 weeks and no one who, like me, was here for a month.  But everyone is very welcoming.


I’ve mentioned before that Vermont is having a lot of rain.  Much of it is luckily at night but it’s interesting to watch the very shallow river rise.   It’s hard to tell in this picture unless you compare it with one in a previous post which shows the cairns no where near the water.   Here’s a video of what I hear when I sit on my patio or am in bed at night.   Fantastic!!



On to the frustrating part.  On the drive up here, I discovered two problems.  First my driver’s windshield wiper connection was rusted (thanks Florida)  and the blade would fly around and be useless on any setting other than low.  Not good in a heavy rainstorm.   It worked on the lowest setting and luckily the rain the day I arrived was light and drizzly.  But it’s something I have to look in to.

Secondly my driver’s rear tail light was not working.  No brake light, no turn signal.  This has been going since I got to New York so I hope I haven’t mentioned it before.  Anyway, I assumed it was just a bulb.  When I managed to get the light off, a story in itself, I found a sealed unit which would have to be completely replaced of course.  Still, it was just a plug in.  I’d simply have to find this part.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!   How naïve of me.

I took all the numbers I could find off of it and googled them.  It is a Peterson Part.  I had no idea how impossible it would be to find.

I called truck stops, I tried to call Winnebago.  You can’t do that any more.  I emailed them.  They said it would be 4 to 6 weeks before they could get back to me and all I wanted to do was order a part or just have them tell me where I could get it.  I tried to contact Lichtsinn RV also in Forest City Iowa who had provided parts for David many times in the past.  Nope.   Boy have things changed since David did all the work on the RV. 

Finally, I broke down and called an mobile RV tech who came out and for $80 and less than an hour’s time he jury rigged a fix for the wiper.  Hope it lasts until I get back to my main guys in Virginia.  He also took down all the tail light numbers, made lots of calls and told me he’d get back to me.

IMG_8280Long story short, he didn’t.  In my days of calling and researching, I had called the Napa store in town but they said nothing matched my numbers and I should go to a truck stop.  Today I went to the Napa store in St Johnsbury and took my part in.  Turns out after looking all over, they had the light but not the black ring.  The best they could do was a different looking gray ring.

I couldn’t get the black ring off of the old one so I could continue to have all black rings on the back.  So I bought two tail lights and 2 gray rings, just in case.  I had to have one of the guys at the campground with stronger fingers than I force the gray ring around the light so it would snap on.  Believe me it is not coming off.  I installed it and thankfully it worked.  I called the RV tech and told him to give up the search.  Not sure he was still searching but at least it wouldn’t cost me a ridiculous amount for him to get and install the part.

Perseverance Pays off.


Finally, this week I have a working stop, turn, tail light on the driver’s side of the RV.  I don’t like the way it looks.  I want black to match the other 3 but tough luck for me.  How in the world do people restore really old trailers and RVs??  Where do they get the parts if a simple tail light for a 2004 is this hard to find?

Back to play. Earlier in the week, I wasn’t prepared to kayak Lake Willoughby but later I  slipped over to Shadow Lake with the boat.  It’s miniscule compared to Willoughby and has cabins, known by Vermonters as “camps”,  all along one side and a few on the other shore.   It has a nice launch.


And it has LOONS!   (“You watch that side, I’ll watch this one)


(See anything good down there?)




It was a Thursday and no other boats were out.  It was a glorious day.


On the far shore I caught sight of an RV.  What a campsite.



His closest neighbor was a beaver lodge.



I wondered whether this was one of the oldest cabins on the lake.  It was among the row of cabins on the side nearest the road.



Whose is this and how did they do it?  Looks pretty incongruous to me.  Made me laugh.  Technology is everywhere.


On my way home, I stopped at Moose Look Restaurant.  The people at the campground had said they had good food when I asked for a restaurant recommendation.  I loved the outdoor table overlooking the river, just beyond the fence.

The food was fine but nothing special I didn’t think.  Perhaps I should have asked what their specialty was. 



Don’t think I realized how really big those sunglasses are.


  1. That foccacia bread looked like a rock at first! Nice decorative work. Lovely sounds of the river, would love that sound outside my window. Beautiful view outside the restaurant too!

  2. Your month in Vermont has been pretty darn good, I would say. Getting parts for stuff isn't just a problem with motorhomes. We can no longer find brake parts for our 2001 Tracker. Requires a complete shop job and they jury rigged something as well. Who knows how this will come out in the future. Like you, I wonder how people deal with this! The first lake looked wonderful, but the second one was sweet as well, and at least you got on it. Rain rain rain...so wish we could have some of it.

    1. Yes Sue, I'm enjoying Vermont and am glad I came. I wish I could send you some of the rain. I know you need it.

  3. Beautiful mountain lake. Looks like you're still having a good time. Emma and family are visiting in Charlottesville right now. We swam with them at Alex's yesterday. They are all doing great!

    1. It would be hard not to have a good time in such a lovely state. What fun to see Emma and her kids. did Liz and Howard come too?

  4. That is so cool that you fixed the tail light yourself. You go girl!!!

    1. Yes Cindy I was right proud of myself and of the money I saved if a windshield washer repair cost $80. Thanks for the comment.

  5. It looks like you're having a great summer in Vermont. Glad it's raining mostly at night so that you can get out and have adventures during the day. Love those beautiful trails and lakes. We're getting afternoon rain storms here in Western North Carolina, which I've learned is typical. No wonder there are so many waterfalls!

    I hope you're finding people that you enjoy hanging out with at your RV park. This is our first time staying for a month at an RV park and it's a different experience than just staying somewhere for a few days! So far, we're liking it.

    1. Unfortunately for me Laurel the seasonals aren't hikers or kayakers but they are nice to chat with. The hikers & Kayakers are seldom here for more than a few days and come in pairs or families. But it is nice to have some folks I can get to know even if we don't have a lot in common.

  6. I think that bread does look just like a fish. After you've run over it with Winnona. :cD

    Good on you for getting that tail light fixed. Parts can always be a problem on vehicles, especially older ones. I've run into this before, My first RV was 20 year old when I bought it and it gave me challenges to find repair parts after almost every outing. My new approach to spare parts is to anticipate what could fail and stock that part in advance. Strangely those items I have parts for never seem to fail. RV gremlins always seem to outsmart me. ;c)

    1. I hate to hear that about a 20 year old RV since Winnona is a 2004. I can't fix many things like you can so storing parts probably wouldn't work for me. I'm thrilled I could get this plug in tail light fixed FINALLY.

  7. You are correct that the lake you were admiring does look a bit like a mini fjord. Seems a lovely place especially when not full of power boats.
    Issues like your wiper and the taillights would drive me nuts, so glad you were able to solve it.

    1. Thanks Liz, I'm glad to get that done too. I appreciate your comment.

  8. It's been a long while since I've had that kind of bread.

    1. It's delicious William. Try to find some. Goes with everything.

  9. I thought the focacia bread was fossils in a rock. Lake looks more inviting than that RV Park right on the road and packed tightly together. I am spoiled. The nude beach would have taken me by surprise, but to each their own. I like the idea of falling asleep to flowing water and just hope it doesn't get much higher. Glad you got repairs done even if not up to expectations.

  10. I was very surprised to read the sign but glad it was there to prepare me for all the nude men. Love the idea of fossils in a rock. That's a western perspective. Thanks for giving it. I agree about the RV park. Not for me. I have a bit of trouble with private parks in general but if you want to stay longer than 2 weeks, that's the only choice.

  11. The focaccia really is a work of art and I love focaccia. I love all of the water!!! The sound of the river is wonderful- A bunch of nude men doesn't leave a pretty picture in my mind.... What are those stacks of rocks called? They're cool and I have seen them in all kinds of places. It would bug me that the ring on the light didn't match- my OCD I guess. It seems so difficult to get anything fixed on Winnona. I really like that they have potlucks- very friendly! xxxooo

  12. It is a very friendly campground Pam which I really like.
    It's not difficult to get things fixed on Wnnona if you're willing to pay whatever and you're located in a big city that has RV repair. But if you're cheap like me and would rather do it yourself then it does become complicated. But all's well that ends well. Those Rock stacks are called Cairns. The people in the next site over from me when I first got here built them and everyone has left them alone probably because there are few to no children here to want to knock them down. I really like them.

  13. I've added White Caps to my list for Vermont, looks like a great park! Your time on the water looks so peaceful. Love the mystery satellite dish -maybe the wildlife is getting bored! You amaze me with how you manage to get things fixed in the most frustrating of circumstances! The gray ring looks like it matches the frame (could have been green!). I'm getting excited about time in Vermont next summer!

    1. If you go to White Caps I hope you have a kayak. Let me know if you spend time on the nudist beach. 🤗

  14. LOVE the video of the river running. Great sound to fall asleep to....and wake up to. Please send the rain to Texas....we always need it. Guess that is why Vermont is so lush and green. Sounds like Vermont might be your new favorite place. We always say we are getting out of Texas for the summer.....maybe next summer! Good for you for fixing that tail light. No small feat....especially getting the part for "old" Winnona. We do live in a geographical diverse and beautiful country!

    1. Thanks for the comment Carol. I'm so glad you liked the video. I have had so many favorite places and Vermont is certainly one of them. You are right that this is a beautiful country. I understand I'll see you in September. Looking forward to it.

  15. I am slightly behind as you can see. Thank you for these beautiful pictures. I am enjoying your stay in Vermont so much. I never thought about going there, but you may have changed my mind. How lucky to have had that lake all to yourself. Thank you again!

  16. Clothing optional...not sure I've ever seen that in the country. Lovely hike with more loons. What more could you ask for? Great place to stay for a month. Beautiful river and friendly people.

  17. VT has some of the best farmers markets, sure do miss them. We've canoed at Lake Willoughby a few times, never had a problem with motor boats.


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