Our First Month in Vermont

I’ve been working on this blog post for several weeks now. Sorry it took so long to get it finished!

Getaway Mountain Campground

We arrived in Vermont on May 2, 2019 to spend the summer here. We are staying at Getaway Mountain Campground in Ascutney, VT. The campground, along with many of the local businesses, operate on a seasonal basis from May to October. We got here just the day after they opened for the season.

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Our campsite is gorgeous, with large evergreen trees lining either side.
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Many of the seasonal residents had not arrived yet, but most came by Memorial Day. We’ve found that there are quite a few who live 7 months in Florida and 5 months here.
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It’s a pretty drive just to get through the campground. These are some tent sites they have available (water, but no electricity).
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Scooter’s not sure what to think of the campfire
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This pretty waterfall is just down the road from the campground

Weathersfield and Springfield

I read an article not long ago that referenced rural Americans such as those who live in Wyoming and Vermont. Having spent 35 years in Colorado, I became well acquainted with our northern border state and I have to say that in the rural sense, Vermont definitely reminds me of Wyoming. Obviously the scenery and culture are a bit different, but this is truly a very rural area. There are lots of small farms and communities and very few places which would seem anything like an urbanized area. Temperatures have been cool so far, with lots of frequent clouds and showers, and daytime temperatures in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. We did reach 80 this week, but it was short-lived! It’s been so cool and wet that I’ve sometimes wondered if we’re actually in the Pacific Northwest rather than New England! Weathersfield is a collection of a couple of smaller “villages” including Ascutney and Perkinsville. Springfield lies to the south and is somewhat larger. The closest primary business district (groceries, etc.) for us, though, lie across the Connecticut River in Claremont, NH.

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There are deer in this field
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The same field zoomed in
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There are also a number of farms which have forested land such as this on which they’ve strung tubing to tap into the maple trees for sap collection.
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All the tubes feed into a main line which runs down the hill to a collection site. Here is a YouTube video that does a good job explaining the syrup making process.

North Springfield Lake

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that the primary reason that we are in Vermont for the summer is that I was able to obtain a job working as a Seasonal Park Ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers at North Springfield Lake. It has been a very rewarding experience so far and is giving me the opportunity to see how this may work for supplementing our income as we travel.

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The lake is small and normally at fairly low levels, but serves as a significant flood control reservoir during spring runoff and during severe summer storm systems.
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The bridge to the gatehouse which controls the dam’s outlet.
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The Black River exits the spillway to continue on its journey through Springfield to the Connecticut River.
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Another small dam across Branch Brook created Stoughton Pond, which has a swim beach.
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There’s also a picnic area and picnic shelter available.
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North Springfield Lake and Stoughton Pond are popular fishing and kayaking locations. Neither is able to accept large boats though.
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The Black River passes over several dams and falls in its journey through the park area. This is the former site of a power facility from the early 20th century.
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The supports in this picture accompanied a covered bridge which used to cross the Black River in the early 20th century as well.
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This spot makes a nice swimming hole! One fellow told me there used to be a rope swing here when he was a kid.
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Just up the river is another waterfall.
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This area is a popular fishing spot.
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There’s even a small beach.
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We have a number of scenic trails in the area.

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A uniquely shaped tree.
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Of course, sometimes the trees fall and have to be cleared out!
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There is a variety of wildlife available for viewing to those who are patient.

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If you look closely, you’ll see a snake in the center just below the brighter green leaves.
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These geese would be prettier if they would stop pooping all over the beach everyday (which has to be cleaned up)! They now have four goslings which were added this week.
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This snapping turtle was looking for a place to lay its eggs.

I will finish this job in early September and have already begun applying for winter seasonal ranger positions in southern regions. Please pray that God will provide the next place for us to go!

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

There is a National Park Service site just up the road from us. It is across the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. To get there, we travel about 8 miles north to the small town of Windsor, VT, which, interestingly, is referred to as the birthplace of Vermont since it was site of the signing of the Vermont constitution in 1777.

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The route across the river goes through the longest wooden bridge in the U.S. and also the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.
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This Windsor train station is one of the stops on the Amtrak Vermonter line.
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Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is the location of the home and studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. He was a sculptor who worked largely in bronze, creating sculptures displayed around the world and designing several well-known American coins.
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“Abraham Lincoln: The Man” was cast in bronze by Saint-Gaudens for display in Lincoln Park in Chicago. This one is a smaller-scale replica.
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This statue is a monument to Civil War Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. The original is in Madison Square Park in New York City.
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An interesting display about CT scanning sealed plaster that Gaudens created but left sealed. The scans were then used to 3D print the cavity to see what it would like like.
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The Adam’s memorial was commissioned for a grave and the original is displayed in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
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The Shaw Memorial commemorates Civil War Colonel Robert Shaw and the first African American regiment. The original is displayed in Boston.
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Saint-Gaudens is famous as well for some of his coin designs. This is the back of the double eagle $20 coin.
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His workshop had an interesting display on the start-to-finish process of sculpting in bronze.

We also had the pleasure of having my sister and brother-in-law visit us for a couple of days. They made a very quick roadtrip across the country from Colorado. In a week’s time they drove to Niagara Falls, then on to Vermont to spend a couple of days with us, then to Kentucky to visit our brother, Tennessee to visit another relative, and Oklahoma to visit another relative. That’s a fast trip! We also received a week-long visit from Darlene’s sister and brother-in-law, who are traveling around the country in their RV as well!

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