Soon after we arrived in Vermont by ferry, we visited the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, but that is a story for Frankie, and I won’t tell it for him.
But after a day in Burlington and a night in a small town nearby, we found ourselves driving all the way across the state (OK, so that’s only 75 miles) to the Moose River Campground. They were the only campground in Vermont that advertised wireless internet.
Of course technology doesn’t always work as it should, and it wasn’t working when we showed up. We spent the morning at the most amazing library we’d ever seen (the St. Johnsbury Athanaeum), and when we returned, laptop in hand, the Wi-Fi was working again.
We decided to stay for a week. For the first time since early June, we didn’t do much, which was a very nice change. We hadn’t really had downtime since before we bought the Squid Wagon and started travelling–we had mostly been visiting great people or hurrying off to the next great people to visit.
So we enjoyed being able to check email and surf the web again … and we added fun stuff for the website, including photos (yes, we will get a bit more in that section sooner or later) and recipes. Plus finishing our migration out of www.brigup.com and catching up on my favorite internet comic strip, Sluggy Freelance.
Since the campground had lots of seasonal folks, their pace was relaxed, and we had time to get to know some of them. There was a Hawiian Luau, with a roast pig and pina coladas, Karaoke and limbo. There was laundry, of course, and reading and van projects (now we have screens for our windows!). We met motorcycle campers from Minnesota, a bicycle camper from New York City, Newfies who gave us tips on our upcoming trip to the Maritimes, and a number of “fulltimers” in RVs.
Mac and Linda, from Kansas City, have been traveling around for three years, and they’ve seen the whole country. From Alaska to Baja, they’ve seen it all, though, as Linda admits, “My husband used to be a truck driver. So we’ve driven through it all, but we don’t always stop and see things.” They’re planning another winter in Yuma, Arizona, before returning and buying a house where she can do her stained glass art.
The couple who own Moose River, Mary and Gary, are “people people.” Their whimsical presence was felt across the whole property, from moose signs to moose sculptures to moose silhouettes, a moose flag, moose license plate, moose bumper stickers, even moose wallpaper in the bathroom. When she wasn’t mowing or registering campers, Mary spent a lot of time on the big porch between their tiny house and the office. Folks would drift over from their RVs, sit in one of the Adirondack chairs, and enjoy a “bull session” with her, full of laughter.
We didn’t want to leave Moose River or St. Johnsbury, but we finally had to move on. We headed east, having added a bumper sticker, a yellow one that says, “Got Moose?” And just the next morning, on a lonely Maine road, the answer was yes. A cow and calf stopped in the road, then walked to the side and disappeared into the brush. Finally, after trying so hard to see them in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, we could honestly say, “Got Moose!”
Sorry it took so long for me to read this. I’m still stuck in ordinary life, and it’s not getting easier.
St. Johnsbury is the birthplace of Bill W., a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore a very important person to me. I hope to visit there one of these days. Thanks for the place to stay.
How did you rig the window screens? That’s one thing we couldn’t figure out.
I’m curious. What did the full-timers think of your trip? We’re working up to doing more camping, but haven’t been on an overnight trip since we saw you (see “ordinary life” comment above).
I found a van to buy today. Despite everything, I’m buying a conversion van. It’s a 1983 GMC 2500. Mechanically sound, otherwise in need of TLC. I suspect we’ll at least get an overnight trip in before winter sets in.
Anyhow, I’m gonna go read the rest of the updates now. Happy travels!
Calvin of Calvin and Loretta