The end of Vermont Mud Season can only mean one thing… it’s time to get ready for the next trip!
We’ve been a bit distracted because the late-season skiing has been spectacular, and we’re still mulling over and refining our ideas for the next adventure. So let’s begin this blog season with a quick recap of the 2017 trip.
The power outage only lasted 36 hours. We savored our last night in our RV in our own driveway (which would get a 5-star review by our criteria – quiet, dark, level, nice view, close to hiking and other activities, free). It’ll take a couple of days to transition back to stationary mode – then the focus will shift to skiing, music and planning the next adventure.
The frequency of our posting will slow a bit now that we’re home, although we do plan a few updates. Otherwise, we’ll catch you when the next adventure begins. Thanks for joining us!
Having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this year’s adventure and already thinking about what’s next, we pulled into our driveway in Vermont to… a power outage. Estimated to last 3-4 days. No electric, no water, no heat, although we do have a wood stove. We walked into the house, started a fire, assessed the situation over a cup of tea, and moved back into the RV. Let the adventure continue…
St Louis has the Arch, Gateway to the West. That’s nothing compared to Al’s place, Gateway to Our Adventures. Al, who we’ve known for more than 30 years, holds the record for number of visits on our travels at 4. Whether we’re heading to or returning from the west or south, Al is nearby. Visits with Al are always comfortable. They always include conversation late into the night, Al’s super home cooking and some fun outdoor adventure.
Our friend John is the second person we met when we started skiing at Sugarbush in 1999. We’ve been friends ever since, sharing passions for skiing, biking and fine (ok, very good) dining, and Doug and I have occasionally served as marginally competent crew on John’s sailboat. Over the years, we’ve also become friends with John’s brother Phil and Phil’s wife Barb, who visit Vermont regularly. Since we found ourselves near where they live, we arranged to visit.
Within a mile of the Ohio River, West Virginia made a definite transition from valley to Appalachia. Rolling hills gave way to steep mountains and narrow, twisty, up-and-down roads – as well as gorgeous foliage. And it stayed that way until the Hudson River, with the exception of the rolling hills along the Susquehanna River Valley in south central Pennsylvania.
If you’re looking for my usual warped, humorous and light-hearted travelog posts, don’t read this one. Stop at part 1. I’m going to take a short break from that…
We expected to see barges, bridges, river towns and manufacturing plants in the historic Ohio River Valley, and that we did. However, there were also a few surprises… Travel (especially nomadic style) has a way of shaking up the usual everyday stuff to create learning opportunities, provide different perspectives, and stimulate deeper thinking to all who heed the call.
Just because we’re heading back to VT doesn’t mean we can’t explore new places. However, with ski season (read: snow) on the horizon, we’re aware our schedule is no longer timeless. We opted to explore the Ohio River Valley. We’ve been to the source in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and to Paducah, Illinois near where it joins the Mississippi. From prior travels, we’ve learned that river valleys tend to have unique stories and a sense of inter-connectivity. And we’d get to see a slice of the other 4 states along the river: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Our route through the Nebraska Sandhills left us perfectly aligned to explore southern Iowa and central Illinois, areas of the heartland we’d not yet seen. As we pored over Google maps looking for green splotches, we also noticed we were heading toward the Ohio River Valley, another gap in our travels.