Kayaking the Black River

Saturday, September 25: A friend and I met at the Hoyt’s Landing boat launch, Springfield, Vermont on this glorious fall day. As soon as I got in the boat, I peeled off the long sleeves – it was warm in the sun! We chose to go up the Black River; the launch is where it joins the Connecticut River. It is the season when leaves are beginning to turn, and the asters are blooming.

We saw several ducks:

and went up as far as the rapids below the waterfalls, where I grounded out and decided that was far enough! I might have gone a little further, but with the skeg on, I was concerned about getting hung up in the shallows.

Back under the old bridge:

and home again. As we returned, it was clear that Old Fort #4 was having some kind of reenactment – the cannons and guns were sounding like fireworks! We could see the smoke from their fields as we approached the landing. This is not a quiet place to paddle; with the interstate and two state highways, there is constant traffic. The munitions just added to it – and made the dog, left in the car in the shade, extremely nervous!

Currently Blooming

This is what is blooming in my yard as August becomes September. They are mostly wildflowers, as most of my yard is meadow. There are at least three different goldenrods, three different asters – I didn’t take photos of everything, but this is representative.

ORFS at North Hartland Dam

Tuesday, August 25: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors went to the flood control area in North Hartland, Vermont. It was a gorgeous day, although it did get steamy – good excuse for a swim! There was lots of wildlife:

There was a family of eagles – two adults, two immatures.

The wildflowers are looking more like autumn.

It’s well over three miles up to Quechee Gorge, where the water becomes rapids and there’s a good lunch spot and swimming hole. About half our group of 14 or 15 turned around, not being up for that distance, or having to be somewhere else, or having missed the eagles and wanting to back to see them. There was a good bit of current further up river.

One of our group traditionally brings watermelon – very welcome in the heat! And all of us got wet, to varying degrees.

It was much faster going downstream – and although it rained for a few minutes, it had a welcomed cooling affect.

A few of us stopped to admire a small waterfall – it’s the first time I’ve been able to make it far enough in with a boat over the sandbars!

Great Northern Yarn Haul, Completed

This was my haul, on the Great Northern Yarn Haul. I started out really, really disciplined, looking and willing to buy only the yarn for two cowls for the nurses who cared for Mom during her last months. But once I had those, there were other forces pulling at my wallet! From right to left,

*Pale pink: The Fibre Company, Cirro (alpaca/cotton/wool) for one of the aforementioned cowls. So SOFT!!

*Hunter orange: Plymouth Encore (acrylic/wool) because the hat I made for my sister and brother-in-law to wear       walking/hiking in Vermont, especially during hunting season, is looking very bedraggled – and it’s hard to find that   color!

*Yellow: Dirty Water Dyeworks (merino/nylon) for the second cowl. With a color name of “No. 2 Pencil”, how could I   resist?

*Gold: Sun Valley Fibers (merino/cashmere/nylon) This is the one I bought for me – probably for socks. I didn’t           really need more sock yarn – but it felt so nice!

*Indigo: A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm (Romney/Border Leicester/Finn flock, 10% nylon, dyed at the farm) They were          generous enough to let me park in their parking area for the night with my camper. I had to buy something! So         when I mentioned to one of the Quaker Knitting Goddesses in Portland that I wasn’t sure how I’d justify an                unplanned yarn purchase, she suggested that she could use a pair of socks, and it had been a while since I’d           knitted her anything. OK!

*And Poems Sock: (wool/nylon) Probably socks for my sister; these are her colors. And it was half price. I’m such a   sucker…

One of my last stops was Mapleview Farm Alpacas, in Brandon, Vermont, which mills their own yarn; here are some of the fiber producers:

And my last stop was in Rutland, where Green Mountain Yarn and Fiber has their mascot on the porch:

In all, over the course of a couple of weeks, I visited 27 of the 28 shops and farms on the list. The one I missed wasn’t open the day I was in that part of Vermont. I enjoyed some gorgeous scenery along the way, explored areas I’d not otherwise have visited, knitted with others, drooled a lot over some amazing fiber products, and got to meet some new people. I now know where to source some special fibers, and feel inspired!