Edit Blog Post
Published: January 20th 2013
Lauren Deeley (aka Mer) is quite possibly the most badass woman I know. She climbs up cliffs, jumps out of planes, and rockets down Experts Only trails the first time she straps on a snowboard. On top of all that, she’s also an amazing human being. She’s supportive, encouraging, and generous with her time, her smiles, and her delicious home-cooked meals. She’s been living in Vermont for the past year and a half, but no matter where she is in the world, I’d go out of my way to see her. That’s why I flew to NYC, and that’s why – with barely any time to stretch in between – I boarded a six-hour bus to Vermont afterwards. I had to see this girl.
Mer made a good life choice moving to Vermont. It’s an ideal location for anyone who values community, or a breath of fresh air. It has fun people that like to play outside, and plenty of outside to play in. It has locally produced maple syrup, apple cider, beer, cheese and ice cream. It has towns that have hardly changed since their establishment before
American Independence. It has small, simple, white churches with a single spire
pointing Heavenwards and small, simple cemeteries with slate headstones marking the passing of loved ones. It has shaggy-haired horses that stand next to idyllic red barns. In other words, it’s Quaint Town, USA.
Arriving in the quaintest of all American towns after almost a year in India dealt me quite the culture shock. More than the speed limit posted in miles per hour and followed to the exact number, and more than the icicle-covered, double-paned windows, the most shocking was a stroll down the cereal aisle at the local grocery store. Gluten Free Rice Krispies, Double Chocolate Cookie Crunch,
and several new flavors of Shredded Wheaties all begged to be tasted from their place on the shelves. And I won’t even start on the countless choices of cheese, crackers, and chocolates. I knew I wouldn’t have the time (or money) to try them all, but just touching their packaging provided me an oddly satisfying thrill. The grocery store was an adventure in itself, but Mer had many more adventures in store for us.
Our first adventure was snowshoeing. When Mer first mentioned it to me, I envisioned strapping tennis racquets to my feet and traipsing through the snow.
It wasn’t until we arrived at the trailhead and unpacked the car that I found out that they’ve made great advances in snowshoeing technology, and that tennis racquets wouldn’t actually be required. It wasn’t until later that I found out that no amount of lightweight aluminum tubing or nylon can keep you off your ass if you don’t have the proper technique for sliding down a powdery hill.
The next adventure brought us to the slopes the Sugarbush Resort for skiing (me) and snowboarding (the rest of the world). There couldn’t have been a more ideal day for it – sunny, windless and covered by the light, fluffy snowfall of the previous night and early morning. The trees seemed too perfectly snow-covered to be real. Their boughs burdened by the snow, they bowed under the weight of their winter coats. Gliding above them on the ski lift was the closest I’ll ever get to being inside of a snow globe. It actually started to snow glitter!
Too soon, the ride was over and I had to face the fact that I haven’t even seen a pair of skis in five years. Easing down at an angle almost perpendicular
Is this for real?
Photo credit: Nick Welch
to the horizon, adrenaline shot through my veins when I realized that I didn’t remember how to turn. Then muscle memory kicked in. I shifted my weight to my outside leg and zigged across the slope. I shifted my weight again and zagged to its opposite end. From there on, I was a zig-zagging machine. In fact, I’ve never felt better on skies. I had only one little spill that didn’t even knock my skis off when I went down a trail that had a few too many moguls for my skill set.
Having thoroughly taxed our muscles, we decided to give them a break the following day. Instead, we gave our pancreas a workout and went on Vermont’s finest Type II Diabetes tour. The first stop was the Cabot Creamery to taste-test all 26 varieties of their cheese, plus dips, spreads and maple syrups. The next stop was Champlain Chocolates for fudge; followed by the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for farm-fresh apple cider and donuts. Last, we visited the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory for a flavor tasting. It’s worth noting that all of these establishments are within a five-minute drive time of each other, which doesn’t
The foot gear needs of one adventure-loving household...
allow one to fully process the sugar intake from one place before arriving at the next. By the end of the day, our heads ached and our hands shook from the sucrose overload.
The next day was my last day in Vermont, and I spent it in Canada. But that’s another story for another day. Short and sweet, my Vermont vacation has me convinced that I need to live in a small community of outdoor enthusiasts in a place that has four seasons sometime before I get too achy to enjoy it to its full potential. Vermont, maybe? No plans will be made yet, but the file has been made and stored away.
Tot: 1.006s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 27; qc: 80; dbt: 0.0454s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb