Published: January 21st 2009January 21st 2009
Another day of Snow
The Vermont Countryside all looks much the same in winter; white.
After working 120 hours a week for far too long, Grace finally finished her work stint at Irasburg and came home to the farm to rest, if packing and sorting things for a new country could actually be called rest...
And Paua laid down her brush and paint-pot after completing as much of her latest portrait as could be achieved. It will have a few weeks to dry while she is gone, before the next paint is applied to it, and it will lie undisturbed in the house with only the sound of ticking clocks - if the frequently-visiting cat-feeding friends remember to wind them.
Then between cleaning the nest and finding places for four-legged dog friends to go, we managed a few forays out in what were often clear crisp days of breathtaking stillness in the winter sunshine.
We also planned the places we would stay, realising that we didn't want a fixed itinerary. Anthony has his favorite places to show off, and a list of many more he still wants to see. For Grace and Paua, its all new... different side of the road, different season, and is that really ENGLISH they speak?
Paua want to see and taste the country New Zealanders love and live in, not simply the same scenes seen by thousands at all the usual traveller's stops. So we will WWOOF our way around New Zealand.
As chance would have it, local teachers Gary and Deb Johnson, who have had their holidays the nomadic way for many years, advertised an evening locally to introduce the international WWOOF program and concept to those in the North East Kingdom.
Anthony is familiar with Wwoofers, adventurers who live in the homes of locals in the countries they visit, working a few hours each day for their board. A community he previously lived in was a host for many such travellers.
Since hearing Gary and Deb's humorous tales of their Wwoofing years, Grace has been nose-down in the WWOOF book of hosts ever since, seeking suitable places to live and work, and if there are children to mind as well, even better.
On Inauguration Day many places were closed, but the AAA were open. We drove down-state to the capital, Montpelier. Everywhere was white and still with piles of jumbled snow pushed away on all sides so that roads
One of Vermont's ancient covered timber bridges, just one buggy wide.
At the AAA, the New Zealand adventure comes another step closer as Paua and Grace have their mug-shots taken for their international driving licences.
Then as sunset comes with pink and yellow light across the glittering white landscape, we enjoyed a lovely snow-bordered meandering trip back up to Newport, snowflakes glittering in the headlights.
Paua thought the day's drive a poignant goodbye to winter in her adopted Vermont, albeit a temporary goodbye.
She loves this place's graceful beauty, but is looking forward to a trip through New Zealand with Grace and Anthony - adventure awaits.
There are more photos below