Current Location: Oregon Coast Sunset Bay State Park
It is still dark out, but after slipping into the cozy MoHo bed at 7 pm last night, I can’t sleep another minute. Outside temps are a mild 61 degrees, but I have a feeling it is cloudy and the wind is blowing in gusts and bursts. Here at Sunset Bay we have no internet and no phone, something I expected, but a fact that still takes a bit of adjustment. I can’t check the weather other than sticking my nose outside to get a sense of what the coming day might be like.
I also have no idea when this post will actually get up to the internet, but thought it might be a good idea to at least write it before I have another big backlog of Oregon Coast camping to write about. While I was traipsing about the east coast, Mo was home, and she was definitely ready for a MoHo trip. This time of year, the coast seems to be the place where we are drawn, with no expectations of anything but windy, possibly rainy weather. Rain in Rocky Point is cold and can get snowy in November. Rain on the coast doesn’t often include snow, and has the added benefit of wild surf.
Time to slip back to my week in Vermont before I completely forget the details. Thank goodness for photos.
Wednesday in Vermont was to be simple, with a beautiful morning walk up the hills above Dorset to the orchard and then some explorations around the area. Several guests were scheduled to arrive this evening, and Jeanne and Alan were attending to pre-wedding tasks. In addition, they have another big project that needed a bit of attention, and Jeanne wanted me to see the site where the two of them are building their own home.
When we were up in the airplane on Monday, they pointed the location out to me, high on the hills overlooking the valley below. The house on Alan’s property was first built on in the early 1700’s, when it was a tavern. The two of them wanted so much to keep the building somewhat intact, but it was an impossible task with mold and other issues to contend with.
Instead, Jeanne’s task for the day was to flag the items they wanted to save from demolition. I loved seeing the old house, the old barn, and especially the hand forged square nails and hand hewn beams. The new house will be a timber frame, and they are going to incorporate the beams and some of the existing stones into the design.
Can you imagine living in these Vermont mountains with a view like this? I was told the house will have a walk-out lower level that will be guest quarters, and I do hope I can get back again to visit and see the place when it is completed.
In addition to the gorgeous view, the house has its very own swimming pond. I have never seen a pond quite like this one, absolutely crystal clear. With a diving board.
Jeanne and Alan are excited about having their own home that is truly “theirs”, not one that was “hers” or “his”. Alan laughed with me about the old adage that building a house can break up a marriage, saying that the two of them are having a great time making the decisions and choices together and enjoying every minute of the process.
With two people who love the natural world, I know that the home will be a treasure of local wood and stone, and that it will be filled with art from all over the world from their joint and separate travels. Exciting!
I took some time that afternoon to explore on my own a bit, driving north to Lake St. Catherine to see if I could find the old Kinne Kinnic Camp on the northern shores of the lake. In the early 60’s, when Mo was teaching in China Lake, she decided to apply for a summer coaching job in Vermont.
The camp was one of those tony places where wealthy folks send their kids while they travel in Europe. Mo had quite the summer teaching smartie-pants rich girls how to play tennis. As a born west coast, rather adventurous and outdoorsy young woman, I can only imagine what a culture shock that whole experience might have been. The telling part is that she only did it once.
The original camp is no longer there, but an internet search turned up alumni including Joan Rivers among others. I found an original sign at the entrance to what is now a private housing development, and even with the photos, Mo couldn’t remember for sure which ones were part of her camp.
The major acreage of the original camp is now Lake Catherine State Park. With the season over and the park closed, I parked outside the gates and spent a couple of hours wandering the grounds and taking photos. I had the entire place to myself, without another soul around.
It is a beautiful park, with some very nice RV campsites, (no hookups), an easy place to launch kayaks, and trails for bike riding. I took photos of the best campsites, and of the original buildings, hoping that Mo might recognize some of them. The buildings were obviously much older than the state park, and I could only assume that they were from the original Camp Kinne Kinnic.
Jeanne had warned me repeatedly about the typical fall outbreak of ticks in this part of Vermont, so I was careful to stay out of the brush. Still, I did walk through some tall grass, and sure enough I looked down and saw a creepy crawling on my pants leg. I checked carefully for ticks that night, but not carefully enough.
The next morning, while taking my shower I was surprised to find a mole on my side that hadn’t been there the day before. Ack! I would imagine that little bugger was on my clothes and when I went to bed he found his way to my warm body. Ick. I called Jeanne and she said I needed to get to the emergency immediately to get it removed and that there was a high incidence of lyme disease in the area. Ack again.
Walking up to the house to see what I could do and where I could go, I was greeted by comments, “Russell can probably help you”. Are you kidding me? was my first response. Russell had arrived the previous evening, a very attractive worldly guy with a great sense of humor, a new house in Greece, and a big box of baklava that he carried for 18 hours on the plane to share with all of us. I had completely forgotten that Russell was also an ER doctor. It didn’t take him long to get the tick out from a rather sensitive area, and he assured me that lyme disease was probably not a problem since the tick hadn’t been embedded for even 12 hours. whew. No antibiotics were needed, and the dreaded rash and bullseye ring never appeared.
The next few days before the wedding were filled with people arriving, including Eve, from my very own town of Klamath Falls. Eve is an attorney in town and was one of Jeanne’s great running friends. My other housemates, Tei an Cecil, who live in the previously mentioned village of Waitsfield, also arrived.
I had heard of Tei for years, knowing that she and Jeanne had been friends even before birth, as their mothers were friends when they were pregnant with each of them. Tei was even more delightful than I imagined, a tiny, athletic woman with huge talent and kindness.
As the wedding drew closer, we especially enjoyed the special meet and greet evening at Alan’s house, where once again his master chef style came into play, and we had a Mexican feast worthy of royalty. Drinking, fun and laughter ensued as we all listened and told stories about Jeanne and Alan and their adventures.
The next day, Jeanne wanted to show Eve and I more of the beautiful countryside. Even in the rain and clouds the colors were gorgeous, and seeing two more historic covered bridges not far from Dorset was wonderful.
I also took some time to visit the nearby town of Manchester with another guest. Ellen had arrived from Key West and was staying at the Dorset Inn. We spent a beautiful rainy morning exploring the lovely New England town with great shops, a gorgeous gallery, and a fabulous yarn shop, Yarns for Your Soul. The only thing that kept me from buying skeins and skeins of hand dyed wool yarn was the thought that I would have to pay all those sales taxes and then try to fit it in my luggage. I did buy enough to make a couple of cute ski hats however, yummy stuff.
Ellen and I had lunch at the local independent bookstore, Northshire Bookstore, a wonderful place with real books, real food, and great cappuccino. Ellen is another treasure. She and Jeanne met by chance on some world trip where they were assigned as roommates, and have traveled together since that time to many exotic world locations. I have heard Ellen stories for years as well, and was so happy that I finally got to meet her in person.
It is from this point, however, that the photos of my visit deteriorate completely. I fell asleep the previous night with my camera on the bed. I had been looking at the photos I had taken, and somehow didn’t put the camera away properly. Sure enough, in the middle of the night, I heard a thump.
UhOh. It wasn’t a long drop, and the hardwood floors weren’t that hard, but it was enough that the camera no longer worked. I had no time to find a repair place, so the rest of the week my photos came from the iPhone. I know that everyone seems to think iPhone photos are fine, but they don’t do that great in low light situations indoors at night, or in a church, or at a wedding.
Lucky for me, once I returned home and took the camera to the shop, the only problem was that the mirror was stuck. I had tried dropping and lifting the mirror, but evidently hadn’t tried enough. The camera person had the camera working in minutes. Whew!
Next: I know I keep saying it, but this time really: Wedding Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding, and Reception!
Vermont Part 3
Current Location: Oregon Coast Sunset Bay State Park