Friday, June 30, 2023

Dodging the Rain in the Northeast Kingdom

June 18 – June 29, 2023                                 Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground                          Ten Days, Lots of Rain
Saint Johnsbury, Vermont                            Last Days and Heading North


IMG_8057I’ve had a few breaks in the rain and been able to do some kayaking thank goodness.  I’m definitely rethinking Vermont in June.  Hope July is less constant rain.

On a potentially sketchy weather Monday I headed over to Peacham Pond for a try at kayaking under threatening clouds.  Peacham is a 331 acre pond near Groton State Forest about 26 miles from me.   They have a nice wide easy access boat launch

Things looked good in this direction.

In paddling around its edge, I encounter three sections of the shore line that were blocked off with these nesting loon notices.   I guess that may mean there are 3 pairs of nesting loons here.


I only heard them call twice.   Listen here if you have never heard it.  They actually have 4 calls.  I heard the Wail today and the tremelo when I went to Jobs pond later in the week  Both are amazing sounds.

Here’s a short video of one of the loons I saw. 

By the time I left the clouds were darkening and the reflections were fantastic.



IMG_8110For me, there’s no better way to celebrate the Summer Solstice than to go kayaking.  Luckily the day was right for a trip to Jobs Pond.  It’s smaller than Peacham  with only a few homes along its shores and 27 miles away.

This one of rock house was my favorite.


I was surprised to see this Cedar Wax Wing fly in to the tree above my head and sit still long enough for me to get this picture.  They came in flocks to the farm and sat in a line in our mulberry tree passing berries up the line.  I always thought that was so interesting.

I’ve said many times that Nature is Amazing and this again proves the point.

This sapling has decided this is a great place to grow up.


I guess he may split the rock if he gets big enough.  Notice how clear the water is.


More beauty.


This time it was a pair of loons.

And similar cloud reflections.


I’m guessing this is probably a family camp based on the number of Adirondack chairs.

I LOVE their sign.


A great egret flew over my head and beyond to the far shore line to do some grooming before taking his usual  stoic appearing pose.

Loon grooming.

The clarity of the water was just amazing.  It is sad that this is so unusual.  How I would love to go back and visit with the Native Americans before the arrival of the invaders and see the natural world as it was then. 

Since I can’t do that, I stopped  for lunch, on my way home, at the Mosaic restaurant in Lydonville.   They bill themselves as “naturally fast food”.  Custom bowls, burritos and salads with all waste composted or recycled.  Take a look at their menu.   It was difficult to choose and I will definitely return to try the things I didn’t have this day.



AND their parking lot or at least the town’s is marked off with these wonderful planters with half hoops of sunflower arches connecting them.   A sweet town to be sure.


I finished my day with a labyrinth walk at the  Community Church in St. Johnsbury.


It had been a great day until I got home and noticed for the first time that somewhere, Winnona had lost the cover for her driver’s side turn signal.  This has proved to be a difficult replacement.   But with the help of a wonderful friend, I think it may happen.  More on that next time. Still a wonderful Summer Solstice Celebration.


The next day I drove to Fairlee Vermont where I went to see Glen Falls and hike up to Eagle Bluff.  This was 42 mile trip.  Nothing is within walking distance of Moose River but the town is less than 3 miles away.   Just on the edge of walkable for me if there were sidewalks on Route 2.


I could see when I pulled up to the Lake Morey side boat launch that this was not a place for me to park or to kayak.  Luckily the falls trail was on the other side of the narrow lake side road and had its own parking

The trail was up hill of course as are nearly all trails in Vermont.

Until I came to the “almost missed it” side trail over to the ravine and the falls.

Fellow hiker snacking.

Turns out Glen Falls is a series of cascades.  There is no clear way to get down and hike next to them although there were some young folks down there when I arrived. 

As you can see in the picture above, the dappled sunlight through the trees, the trees themselves and the distance down made photographs hard at least for me.   It was much lovelier in person.  You will have to look very closely to pick out the water flowing down in the bottom.

I watched the kids walk along and in the water and finally climb out. 

Though there is not a clear path, I could have scrambled down with my hiking boots and pole but at that point I didn’t want to expend the energy I would need to climb further up to Eagles Bluff.

Take a look at the footwear on the young woman.  It’s amazing that she never tripped or fell or slipped going down, being in and coming out of the water.  At least not that I saw.  Because of their color, it is hard to recognize that her shoes are flip flops.  Not even sandles on this rooty rugged trail.

I walked a ways back along the edge of the narrow ravine and got a few better pictures of some of the cascades.  If I come back, I’ll be mentally prepared to climb down and spend some time right along the water.

I might not be able to walk down in this section though.  It appears one would have to walk in the water.  Though there might be a slight edge on the this side of the narrow rock walls.


I left the falls, climbed further up and then up some more to reach Eagle’s Bluff, a stone sticking out into space.   Is that a crack??   I’m standing behind the stone ledge contemplating at this point.  No views from here.

With some trepidation I went out a bit and took this shot.


But I doubt I’ll be here again even if I come back to see the falls so…. here’s the View from Eagle’s Bluff of beautiful Lake Morey where I can’t see any power boats from here..  I tell myself the bluff would be roped off if there was any danger.  Just remember what they did to Quechee Gorge.


While on the rock this swallowtail crawled up and down the leg of my hiking pants.  I wonder what he was looking for? 


Stepping back off the rock, I turned around to return to Ruby and saw a great looking sitting rock.  Unfortunately the lake view was obstructed. 





When I decided to walk along the edge and see if there were other views, I found this plastic bag on the far side of the rock.  It was a Valley Quest treasure hunt box. 

This community project has 170 quests that take you to their natural areas and lead you on an exploration to find the quest box and stamp your quest book.  Inside the bag was the plastic quest box with  natural and/or cultural history information about the place it was left.

Also inside the box  is a small notebook to register the date and time you found the quest and anything else you want to put.  What a fun surprise. 

I intend to check out their website and see if there are any other “quests” near enough to me to warrant checking out.  The “upper valley” of Valley Quest is the part of the state directly south of the Northeast Kingdom and as I said, this quest was 42 miles from me.  Still it is a great fun activity for those in this area.

After that I headed back down and looked around the town of Fairlee which appears to be somewhat of a summer resort.

Back at home I found this hairy woodpecker liked my yard tree.  Or at least the insects he must have found there.  Handsome isn’t he.



I caught these goslings mowing the grass.  No sign of parents.  Usually the only water fowl here are a flock of mallards.


They were careful on the rocks on their way back to the river.  They blend in so well.  Great camouflage.


Another trip to the farmer’s market brought delicious tomatoes, swiss chard, a half sized focaccia bread and another cinnamon nut roll with cream cheese icing and raspberries.


Before the market, I walked around the upper town and enjoyed more of the beautiful 19th century homes.

The sign in the yard says this is Idlewood 1874.


and this one the Ephraim Paddock House 1820.


The next three were in my previous post but I’ve included them again for different reasons.   The first one because it is my favorite in design and color.  The ornate design on the top floor above the bay window is wonderful.


This one because the flowers were more in bloom.


And this one because of the flowers and it is the house behind the lovely central park fountain.



This one was not on the main street like the others but it is lovely in itself and had a majestic oak tree the size of which is not apparent in my picture.


Jody, the only high school friend with whom I am still in touch, lives in Vermont south of here in that Upper Valley of the Quest Box near Woodstock.  He and his darling King Charles Spaniel Sparky came to visit for the day.  Of course I forgot all about taking pictures until they were leaving and actually in his van.  But I like this one just the same.  They are best buds for sure.


Tuesday I had reached the end of the line with my hair and decided I wanted to get it cut TODAY – right now!  Patience has never been a virtue of mine.  Once my mind is made up, it has to happen as close to immediately as possible.

Of course calling around, I found that the places the women in the park had recommended couldn’t fit me in until the second week in July.  No walk ins around here. No chain Hair Cuttery/Great Cuts.  But I found Rose who is 80 years old, could take me the next day and has been cutting hair all her life.  I should have considered that she was in beauty school 60 years ago when she did the entire cut with a razor.  $20 is what I paid and is more than it was worth but it’s not falling in my face anymore.  I got it cut RIGHT NOW and the result is what it is.  Picture coming.


From there I decided that since it was now after noon the only thing I had time to do was walk over to the town forest and get a good look at the river rushing through town.  Town Forests are very common in Vermont and most small towns have one.  Perhaps in all of New England I don’t know.  But it’s a fantastic idea.  It’s not a park, it’s a forest with trails and one of them goes down by the Passumpsic River which the Moose flows into in St. Johnsbury. 

The Passumpsic along, with the Sleepers River which comes in from the west to join it, then heads on down to join the Connecticut River.


I walked over to the forest and took the Blue Trail which runs along and high above the river with the expected restricted views.  With all the rain it was M-U-D-D-Y.     Again my pictures were through the trees but the sound even down that far was deafening.  I was surprised to find in writing this that I had taken no videos if only for the river’s sound.


Muddy trail.  Nice trail maintenance with the boards.


Imagine the roar!



River in the background.  New haircut in the foreground.  I’d asked for the top to be shorter than the sides so they wouldn’t be plastered to the side of my head and look like a puffed up hat on top.   SIGH.  The sides aren’t an inch long.  But as Pam says, I never like my haircuts and as I console myself, “it will grow out”.


On the way back I took some pictures of the Passumpsic River running through town.  I guess I should say the Passumpsic, the Sleepers and the Moose Rivers.

I then headed home to start my latest puzzle  and keep an eye on the Moose river behind Winnona.  I’ve become obsessed with puzzles in these rainy days.  



Here’s the puzzle I was working on in my last past.   It’s all finished now and put away.


Here’s the one I’ve just started today.  Out the window, I can see the river is up even more.


Here’s what it looks like behind Winnona.


Last night it rained AGAIN  and in this 23 second video you can see even better how close to the RV the river is getting.  I had intended to go check out some water falls in New Hampshire today but by the time I got them all mapped out, I needed some hot chocolate and then when I sat down with the hot chocolate, I got possessed by the current puzzle and finished it.   So now it is time to get outside.   It isn’t raining – YET.   

Here’s where I started this morning.


About an hour later.


And finished.  I am not putting it away so I won’t be tempted to get another one out.  Until it rains all day again.  Mostly the rain comes and goes and come again a few hours later and pours a few hours later and. . . . .


For the book lovers among you, here are the books I finished between the 18th and 29th of June.   I’ve shown them in order of my preference.

This one was a power packed well written 149 pages.


The three women were Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Joan of Arc. 

Midnight: Three Women at the Hour of Reckoning: 9780393652789: Shorr,  Victoria: Books -

Set in late 19th Century London and based on historical groups of this kind.  A murder mystery of sorts. 

The London Seance Society

Let me know if I can send you some of this rain and I’ll try.