Needed a little vacation at the end of an entire summer of 100F to 110F temperatures, every day perfectly sunny, like a furnice. Decided to visit some very old, very dear friends who live in the perfect climate. I wanted cool and rain. K & W have plenty of that, plus mountains and forest and a brook at the foot of their hill. Plus a perfect huge dog.
|I Love Lucy the Irish Wolfhound|
I was of course in Vermont...in Killington, on a mountain, on Roaring Brook Road, as in Roaring Brook is at the bottom of my friends' front yard. As in Roaring Brook that flooded all over the place. As in Roaring Brook which washed away the bridge on the road below the house.
|Organic round stone house dug into the mountain|
For the first few days, we had a lovely time driving around the area. We even went to Webs in Northhampton MA, that mecca for knitters. We returned home by way of Battleboro, Ludlow, Woodstock and Mendon. Lots to see. We also made an excursion to nearby Rutland with its Green Mountain Yarns. The mountain ash in front was in full bloom, or is it berries.
|Green Mountain Fibers in Rutland|
|The delightful Mr. Twitter's in Rutland|
|Six Loose Ladies in Proctorsville|
|Historic covered bridge in Woodstock|
|Gillingham's Store Cat and Supervisor...Adelaide|
Neighbors woke us early morning bringing news, none of it good. First off...Killington was now an island. Killington had lost all connection with the rest of the world. Route 4 that ran through town was washed out on either side of the village. Rutland was hard hit and that road was impassable. We couldn't get out to anywhere and no help could get in. The same neighbors had a generator and kindly invited us up for hot coffee and news. Various people kept dropping in, bringing a little more information each time. They were projecting a couple of weeks before power could be restored. And no one could get out of town.
|Flowers in Manchester VT|
The driver arrived before dawn. We were about the twentieth car in a line of perhaps fifty or sixty. At the appointed hour, they began waving us over. Policemen warned each car that we were using the roads at our own risk and made us acknowledge that. They warned us of crumbling roadways and unstable bridges. We were to cross sections one car at a time at 5mph, trying to stay in the center thread of the road, which was sometimes barely a car's width. Everyone was reasonably nervous. We saw houses and bridges and cars simply washed down the streams. Fields were flattened. Of the stores we had visited so recently in Woodstock, two were flooded and one was simply gone, not there. The covered bridge across from The Green was still there, but damaged. The highway in front of the Farmer's Market was barricaded and we had to go over the mountain to reach the town. Several of the old covered bridges were washed away on swollen streams.
It took time, but we eventually made it to Lebanon NH where we found buses and airplanes. Eventually I arrived in Boston and then home, exhausted and needing a shower badly, but none the worse for wear.
For my part, I have no complaints. It was an adventure vacation. But I do have concern for the people who couldn't escape, particularly the ones who lost so much. I found Vermonters simply amazing. They didn't wait for the government's help or even permission. They held meetings at the school. One local man took care of building the temporary bridge. Others organized a 24 hour phone bank at the school, to answer questions and make things happen. First they checked on everyone in town to make sure no one was isolated and that there was food which didn't need cooking for any children. Today they arranged for supplies to be trucked to one side of the break in the road, then people carry them across the rubble and load things onto the fire truck which takes them up to the market. Walgreen's in Rutland came up with a similar plan for prescriptions, delivered across the Mendon chasm and available for pick-up at the fire station. At the school, they even have cat food and litter available.
Here is a video of someone else in our caravan crossing that temporary bridge out of Killington and the road to Woodstock. Please excuse their language, but the video is interesting. Here are videos of Route 4, again near Mendon, and repairs being made by that local contractor.
Who would have thought all this could happen in Vermont? My friends moved up there after Katrina because they never wanted to worry about hurricanes again. So much for that idea.
Would love to give a knitting update. Lots going on. Although not much was accomplished in Vermont since we had no light and went to bed with the chickens. Next time.