Leaving Coventry Resort:
Morning: We’re packing out, filling the little civic. Before people get up and around, we manage to grab a few pics to document our stay. It is peaceful in the morning light. No ripples and no voices, but for the call of that loon.
We walk the running track for a section and pass a nude man up on his roof. I have to stop and ask about the attachment of the built up roofing that most of the trailers have here. From up above he explains detail. He’s most friendly, for a guy with a busy chore.
We bid an affectionate goodbye to our hostess at check out. She runs this place with heart and a constant smile.
There had been a change of plans. We had heard about a place called Black Island out in Lake Champlain. There, supposedly, we can camp and wander nude with no repercussions from anybody. A couple of days like Robinson Caruso got dashed. When I looked into a visit, it would take extra travelers to justify splitting the exorbitant expense of the boat rides out and back. Topping that, the weather is getting iffy.
Alternatives abound in Vermont? There is a hike recommended not far down the country road.
Signs keep telling us that we have it correct.
Out in the middle of a farm field, there is a kiosk at the parking lot and a large grey pickup truck, with all of the typical signs of a trailhead. Still we’re feeling just a bit disorientated. We’re looking around, surrounded by a farmer’s field. Perhaps he rents the land, perhaps he grants an easement for access. All that we know is a strip of grass that is more worn and discolored than the rest, leads out and across the productive wheat field.
We survey the map in the kiosk. Somewhere out there, there are several loop trails to choose from. There is a choice and extra exploration, if we feel that way. With a plan memorized in our minds, we begin with hopes.
With a truck in the parking lot and a sense of trespassing on a farmer’s private land, staying undressed has DF uncomfortable. I’m feeling that way, but the trail was recommended and, well, this is Vermont with not a whole lot of risk of objections. DF cautions with a blue sundress and I just sling my sarong under my water bottle strap.
The day has been getting on. The heat of the late morning and cloudless sky, the humidity of the field and fresh cut hay, are not good in cloth coverings. In a lack of breeze, I feel the intensity of the high sun on my shoulders. It will supposedly be a humid 90F’s today.
This path soon leads to a bank of foliage, where the trail appears to end. As we near, a cool, very cool gush of air is escaping from out of a dark entrance. As our eyes adjust, it is another world. Comfortably cool, shaded, with trails of sunlight, which manage penetrate the thick covering. It is calm and very quiet. It is a nice wide path, with few rocks or roots to trip over. We can hold hands and look about our surroundings with little concern.
Thick emerald moss covers anything that it can.
In this case there are several large rock outcroppings along each trail in this forest park. The verdant ledges, with their levels, determine the trails.
A rock wall lies in the middle of this forest, a curiosity. Back in the day, this was probably a field where Vermonters famously grew rocks, possibly a pasture. The forest is taking back what belongs to it.
This is a short walk, just about 2 miles. We continue uphill to a break in the trees.
The view is an expanse for many miles. Below us from an eagles eye’s senses, there are boats on Lake Champlain. This is a huge lake, a waterway of commerce. Islands stretch out, with tiny roads and homes upon them. New York State and Canada are out there.
It is an impressive place from the cool shadows, but this isn’t the peak.
We follow a short knoll and find a bare summit, surrounded by trees in a circular area. There are no long views here. Maybe back in a day before the forest came back. There is a kind of ring feel about it. Like an oak grove. I think of European Druids and their sacred spaces, where worship took place centuries ago. We rest, snack and quietly feel a sense sacredness. This is one of those places that people walk to, to contemplate, to organize, to heal alone, maybe in times of troubles. You just know it to be so, by being here.
The walk back is a on a loop, mostly. It feels like another trail, but there are a few familiar landmarks.
We are reluctant to come out of our cool sanctuary and into the heat of the sun, but again, this is Vermont. We’re Arizonans, thinking of ourselves impervious to this heat. Well it is hot and the last thing we want to do is add to that with clothing.
We stop to take some photos of the surreal fields as clouds pass.
As we stand, a man comes out of the refreshing hole in the green wall. It is too late to cover, we have been seen, so we just stay as is.
I greet him, and he responds, in a most positive nature, “Why not. It’s a great day.”
We inspect unfamiliar berries as he passes. Yep, it’s Vermont and there seems to be no worries.
Groton State Park:
By the time we leave, make a wrong turn and drive several miles lost, we are at the general store where we first met our hostess. I throw on a kilt and snack on some of their homemade brownies. It is getting late to make Lake Willoughby, across state. We’ll just find a nice place to camp.
Cruising nude once more, we pass through the completely scenic State to “New Discovery Campground” in Groton State Park.
It is midweek and slow. There are 11 sites to choose from. We find one that is secure for our naked preferences. It is down away from others and surrounded with thick foliage under tall pines. All to ourselves, there is a lean-to and fire pit. This one has free firewood, something left by a previous camper.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. It is a challenge to get the fire started. Each stick of the wet wood has to be set upon the grill above the fire to pre-dry it. DF sets the stove on a stump.
Dinner, sunset and stars with guitar, until 11Pm.
The tent is set cozy inside of the lean-to platform. We leave the top off and just use the net for cover. Early, just before dawn, we pull a sheet over air blanketed bodies, so we continue to feel perfect.
We lay in bed massaging, mostly claves to feet and stretching. DF gets out and is soon startled by a pine needle that falls onto her shoulder. A squirrel, the responsible culprit, drops its nut and scurries over to the fire pit.
She is then feeling the cool air all over, when a chipmunk crosses her feet. Our discussion compares a hotel room to this life. Guess how our choices turned out.
In the morning, we can wander the thin road through this part of the camping area nude. There is only a larger party with horses, which are down near the public toilets and showers.
We admire the cairns stacked up with wide stones on top, like mushrooms. This is a place like that. Like a day at the beach sometimes demands a sand castle.
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