Thursday, September 9, 2010
44. Bike to Hero's Welcome
So, this one took a bit longer than I expected to post because last week I got very sick, and spent most of this week digging out from that. But I am pleased to report that I am on the mend, and that my to-do lists are getting whittled down. So here's a post from my last New Thing before the new school year started.
Just as students around the country were trying to wring the last moments of glorious opportunity to be outside in the sunshine at the end of August, so were their teachers. And nowhere is that more imperative than Vermont, where winter, once begun seems to go on without end. So it is fitting that my most recent New Thing -- the second of two during my last summer weekend -- should occur with my friend and fellow professor from nearby Champlain College, Gary. We did some biking together last summer, but never got beyond the town line between the towns of South Hero and Grand Isle on the Hero Islands north of Burlington. This time our goal was a deli/ice cream shop/boat rental called Hero's Welcome in the town of North Hero, and we got there, though we had a few wrinkles in the getting-home stretch.
For those of us who live in and around Burlington, one of the fleeting high points of the summer happens during the weekends of August, when the organization Local Motion operates a bike ferry to shuttle bikers across the 200 foot "cut" of water in the Colchester-South Hero Causeway (3 miles of glorious narrow land jutting into Lake Champlain). That's what we took advantage of that weekend, in order to go beyond the point we reached last summer (the town line that you see in the sign just beyond Gary's head). We pushed onward and hit our goal of Hero's Welcome in the town of North Hero.
Once there, unfortunately, disaster struck and Gary's front tire got a flat that refused to be patched, despite the kind efforts of Chris, who is pictured here and works in the equipment rental shop that is also part of Hero's Welcome. So, the real hero of the day turned out to be Mike, one of Gary's colleagues, who dropped everything and came up with the family minivan to cart Gary and I and our hapless bikes back to Burlington. (Here I made him pose with Gary in front of the minivan that was our rescue vehicle.) It was doubly a mission of mercy because Mike and his family are new to Vermont and so we were asking him to drive up to a place he'd never even heard of, but he was a great sport, and the day was saved. Despite the return complications, it was a great bike ride, and a glorious way to celebrate the last day before the work of the fall began.
52 Ways to Say I Love You
I love you Inħobbok
May I have two beers, please? Mejju I għandhom żewġ birer, jekk jogħġbok?
Saturday night, September 11 Derby Dames! I have never been to a real, live roller derby, but that is about to change. My friend, former student and summer housesitter, Lauren, who works with injection drug users through the Howard Center here in Burlington, told me that the last match of the season, will be a fundraiser for her program. And my friend Paul, who is always up for something new, is going with me, and maybe our friend Sue. Anyone else want to see them mix it up?
Saturday, September 11. Not really a new thing, just a continuation of one of my favorite new things from this year -- rock climbing. Going out with the Saint Mike's Wilderness Program for a day climbing outside at Bolton on Saturday.
Saturday, October 16 (or maybe October 17). Last of the four seasons of Camel's Hump hikes. Katrinka, Brian and Tigist are coming all the way from Tacoma, Washington for Katrinka and Brian to do the hike with me, and during the weekend I'll take Tigist (who's turning three and celebrating that birthday here in Vermont) on her first hike (Mount Philo) and/or ice skating adventure.