At the old airport campground, we’re up early to clear out. Barking dogs, loud generators, flies and mosquito attacks have us making record short time packing up.
It will be a long drive, up most of the length of Vermont, today. State Route #7 goes slow through little towns filled with charm. It will be great to take refuge at Coventry Naturist Resort, later this afternoon.
We’re going to try our hand at the resort’s nude 5k run tomorrow.
I’ve heard that Coventry dates way back. It is one of my goals during this trip to visit a classic New England naturist resort. I’m curious to get a better idea of what the environment was like, that the early nudists were attracted to.
We find our way through the green two lane parkway. The gingerbread accoutrements are dripping from the old houses. The countryside is emerald, the tombstones monuments seem extra tall and are probably quite old. It all gives the impression that most people were successful back in the day.
I strain my imagination picturing these lovely old structures among denuded hillsides of clear-cut forestry, the hard winters and the underlying exploitation. That world has been replaced greatly by friendly tourism.
Along the way, we are getting tired and hungry. We begin to look for a picnic table, or a park. Off to the right, is a sign for a Maple Museum. We are intrigued by something alluding to a maple syrup Mecca.
It is filled with maple paraphernalia and products. There is a historical display section in the museum. What captures our attention is a serving tray with several white paper cups on it. We are offered a maple tasting, like wine vineyards might do.
The color gets darker in each cup in each row. They are explained as acquiring different properties with the timing of the extracting of the maple syrup. We sample each as the story goes on, until the last, the medicinal quality. It is used in cancer treatment. It is rich and robust. I like it.
This is all fun and tasty, but like walking into a trap. Arriving when we’re hungry, was maybe not the best thinking. What da ya know, we buy a bunch of small pitchers of maple syrup ”gifts” that we may never give away. Up on a shelf, we see some of the syrup from bourbon casks. “Oh, better get some of that, too!” There is a picnic table outside for we tourists. It is next to a small wooden covered bridge over a duck pond.
Wooden decoys are floating about.
DF prompts me for a photo opt, nude in an unlikely place. I walk under the small expanse and whip off my kilt. I hide the kilt behind my back. I think that the picture makes me look as if I am embarrassed to be caught with clothing. That seems no less goofy than to be embarrassed to be caught without clothing.
Arriving at the Resort:
We are lost as we wander through the Vermont countryside. DF gives a call to the front desk. Directions are more difficult than just meeting us down at the corner store. The owner arrives with a smile and leads us through several turns to the gate.
When I ask, we are told that we can have no photos without an escort. She says that people get edgy about it, no matter what. We understand.
We are given our golf cart tour of the grounds and pick out a wonderful campsite next to the forest.
After the priority of a jaccuzzi, we hang our towels on a line between two trees at camp and take off for a walk in the woods.
There is an extensive trail system, which has been marked with red paint to be ready for the 5K race tomorrow. We walk it, getting a feel for what we’re going to put ourselves into.
We roam, following the big orange painted arrows on the grass and detour into an extensive garden. The weather doesn’t necessitate a timed drip system around here.
This leads us into the forest. There is road and there is walking trail. It meanders and switchbacks up a ridge. There are roots and rocks along this forested area. One must watch their step.
The trail leads us down to the lake. There is a gentle acting nude man sitting on his wooden deck. He is having a steak and potato dinner from the barbecue. He greets us, stands up and warmly invites us into his space. He tells us that he and his wife had been here for decades. There is an extensive multilevel deck system with stairs leading down to the lake’s waters.
As we admire the view, he tells us that his wife has passed away. This has become a healing retreat for him. We are encouraged to explore his handiwork, as he goes back to his meal. The stairs lead to some wonderful views of this peaceful lake. This is a remarkable place.
I ask about the history of Coventry. He points across the lake at the shore. There is a hill over there. He tells us that the original retreat property was 290 ft. along that shore. After a few years this area was acquired and developed. I’d like to get a kayak and trip over there, to get an idea. I picture naked people blazing a campsite something like 80 years ago out of the forest.
We have our own dinner to make and enjoy back at camp as the day draws down. Tomorrow there is that race. A couple more Jacuzzis sits are in order, a calm before a busy day.
We’re up at 8am after a nice warm naked night, eating a good breakfast and changing plans. The rain is chasing us once again, even up here in the north woods. It is supposed to be coming through around 2pm. We’ll have to break camp before the race, or chance getting soaked. The good news is that a cabin has become available and we’ll just move in after the race.
I decide to go to the race start a bit early to scout the competition, sort of. DF and I are just planning to walk most of it.
A splatter of rain comes through on my way, the sprinkles are early.
When I look around, there are serious runners, people who do triathlons, and morning joggers, too. They mostly look younger than us. I haven’t run since Covid struck my lungs. It reoccurs. I’m not feeling confident amongst the 28 men and women.
The Canadian border is closed for Covid. I’m told that things are slower than usual. This is very close to the border. There are usually plenty of Canadian visitors.
I watch as they take off running a full clip. The rain starts nearly at that same time as the gun goes off. I can’t seem to help myself; I take off jogging, rather than walking, leaving DF and a fellow female walker behind. I don’t yet know what I’m doing, but we’ll see.
I make the first turn across the little foot bridge that leads into the forest. It is a part of an old road here, wide and easy, so I keep running. I very soon notice that the thick tree canopy keeps the rain from pouring on us.
The course breaks out onto the resort’s roads where that canopy disappears. It is colder out here. It is futile to think that I can out run the raindrops and certainly at this pace. I can however, run faster and get to sheltering forest to stay out of the rain.
On the straight uncovered stretches, I begin to relearn my toe heel pace, these will also apply well when I get back into the forest with those trails filled with roots and rocks.
Those roots and rocks are an alien environment to Arizona me. All of these objects are wet and I resolve to be more careful, until I learn it better. I see that I’m not the only runner here not used to a course through a thick forest. The triathlete guy complains how it is slowing him up, as he laps me, even before my first forest lap is finished.
I get speed in my next straight away run. I begin to pass a few of the others. Still a couple passes me.
Being a hiker, I do better on the rough forest paths.
“Don’t let the old guy beat ya!” I feel that I’m doing alright and I’m staying more comfortably dry. The cold on my body from the rain is being generated out by warmth from the inside. This running naked in the rain is comfortable.
My lungs are being pushed, but I’m thrilled to see myself continuing after not running for so long. I get my move going. It feels great to be back. I feel like I’m in even better form! Running naked in the rain is better than running in the heat and I’m not getting as tired.
Drops of water are dripping off of the brim of my hat onto the shirt that is now just wrapped around my neck. It is a good pour coming down on us. I dodge those uncovered spots running faster. The shirt gets tossed as I run, passing our camp. I’ve got a second wind, as I come out of the forest for the last time. I decide to do what I can. I sprint on the last section and across the line.
I know that I could have done more. At 45.54 and close to the bottom of the list, I can’t be bragging, but I feel great about it. I feel back, happy and charged from the exertion. I didn’t know that I had it in me and I’m inspired.
The rain stops after the race ends…go figure. I’m lucky for the rain.
I walk over to the outdoor public shower. It is very open and warm. The contrast is wonderful in the open air. I’m right outside of the room with the big Jaccuzzi. I spend an hour in there.
We as participants get a free veggie burger, or burger and a coke. We’re told that our room is ready. I lay down on the bed, flat out and kinda go out. There is going to be some pain.
I wake up in a cute room, with a fun wooden balcony. It is in a good proximity to about everything; the kitchen along a wall is almost the size of DF’s back home. We agree, proclaiming good digs.
I find myself outside at the little table with that wandering creative urge, as I attempt to further tame that cheap little half guitar, or it will tame me. DF brings out a good dinner. I’ m tired, but ready to dance.
We hobble up to the club room with our sit towels for the Saturday night dance. I wouldn’t miss this. We have been locked down from Covid forever. We love dance, and have been stifled for over a year. This will be a new opportunity AND even better, barefoot all over.
The club house is a rustic cabin-like decor, with lots of fine finished wood. We admire the buttery look of the floors.
Our host, owner and D.J. starts in the 1950’s. It is good. We get acquainted with a few tight muscles. It’s great to be out here.
There is much participation. At a naturist resort, people are just never standoffish. The joint is jumping. The music turns to some new Maddona thing that is apparently popular around here.
The D.J. announces that he’ll go on until midnight, but we all begin to tire at that pace around 11pm, all smiles.
We’re staying an extra day. The rain is predicted to be elsewhere and this is a pleasant retreat. There is something idyllic at this nude enclave. The ambiance is calming here. So, old school is cozy and warm. The surroundings are outstanding.
It’s Sunday. We wander into the forest for some meditation.
The intention is a lazy recovery mode. We’ll explore around and have a good time. I take the computer up to the Wi-Fi, under a shade umbrella, at a table out on the lawn of the clubhouse. My writing has been neglected during this busy trip.
We wander down to the beach. There is a small sandy spot that dips into the lake there.
We spread towels onto the thick grass amongst flowers and pleasant people. We stretch, do yoga, and look to the pontoon island. The sun is out and feels wonderful, not too hot, not too cold, just right. The cold Vermont water however, has been an issue during this trip. This is colder to us.
It’s going to take some determination, patience and time to conquer the lake, by getting in up to our necks. We’re determined to get out on that pontoon. I haven’t been on one of those in forever.
We step with trepidation into the water at the sand. A pair of little girls run in and out exuberantly. I turn to DF, “We can do this.” She laughs, but I can see that she is working at this plunge.
I splash some water and rub it in to my legs, adding a few more inches to my depth. Then, a few more, as I take on my challenge. Slowly, the delicate parts, the arms and the chest get splashed and dunked. DF is staying the course with me. Then I finally kick off and swim. “Whew!”
The dock is not so far, it gives me time to get used the water. I enjoy the trip, climb the ladder and feel accomplished for my meager goal. Again, the sun feels great.
DF arrives very soon, after. “This is great!”
We sit and bask for a good while. It’s getting time to head back, when we realize that we will have to acclimate to the water again. We’ve been in the air and sun too long. The ladder only goes a short distance into the cold water. This time will have to be a real plunge.
Getting as far as I can down the ladder, I hitch ‘em up and slide into the refrigerator. The beach seems further away that before. My goal is to bake the chill off in the sun. I make it to shore like a shipwrecked sailor.
I turn, and there stands DF on that ladder one leg in the water, looking perplexed. The brave lass makes her desperate move and survives the crossing.
Yup, silly Arizonans.
After time in this easy northern sun, we see those two little girls conked dead out on their parents shoulders. Too much fun, cute. We listen for the reported call of the loon. It is purported to have two chicks. No odd sounds, yet.
This evening, we plan to join the friendly games of plantanque or boulle. I have loved the game since I lived in France as a kid and my parents invested in the pastime, or serious sport, depending. We are near Quebec, but I see none of the serious Sunday gamesters that I watched back in the day. There are only good natured, generous, naked people having a good time.
I have never played with so many people, so the rules confuse me. No worries, they make sure that I’m on my mark on time.
At dusk, the field in front of our cabin is filled with bright fireflies. Not having seen these in decades, I’m fascinated to sit and just watch.
We rest, we walk, and we catch up with correspondence and laundry. We’re now ready to explore some more of Vermont…nude.
Happy New Year and we hope that your holidays have been wonderful.
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