Two young 50-something females. One big adventure exploring the Americas. Have liquidated everything they own and packed a Saturn Vue with bare necessities to set out on this journey. Planting seeds at each juncture symbolizing their new growth. With an open mind and heart, ready to get a true view of this world.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Our camp retreat has come to a blissful end and our wonderful group all gathers to wish us a fond farewell, each taking a sunflower to plant. Some will plant today on their various hikes, a few gather for a group plant outside New Life's base, some will carry and plant at their own special spot. It is a grand finale to our time.
We take with us a renewed well being, and contacts for future interactions. It is a wealth of goodness we carry forward and we are feeling pretty lucky that we've been able to experience such a wonderful time!
Thanks to all of our New Life friends for giving us so much love and support - we are incredibly grateful! And, here's to grand times ahead for all!!!
The staff at New Life is just as delightful as the guests and the morning hikes offer a variety of options, which include beautiful scenery and a range of difficulty.
It is interesting to continue to watch these new bonds flourish as each day presents new challenges. It is just what we are needing as these past few months of travel have taken a toll on our well being. A routine of exercise, balanced diet, and interaction with new friends brings a true sense of well being.
The personalities here are wonderful and the support we receive as our adventure unfolds is amazing.
We love Vermont! After a little research, we decide to extend our time in Vermont a bit longer. Combining a bit of fitness and healthy eating with the beautiful hikes available in Vermont, we discover a spa in Killington, Vermont, which just happens to begin their season the day we're planning to move on. Additionally, we are only an hour and half away, so it seems this is a must do.
We meander the scenic drive south on 100, encompassing more covered bridges and waterfalls, they are in abundance in this beautiful state. The road brings us into the very deserted town of Killington, season is winter only here and, as we are one of the first to check in to the New Life facilities, we marvel at the isolation!
Slowly other guests arrive and an interesting bond develops among the diverse group of fellow health seekers. Our first group dinner provides the perfect scenario for introductions and we all learn a bit about each other, where we've come from, and why we're here. It's a comfortable, warm environment, and although our accommodations are quite basic, more of a summer camp feel, we are feeling we've made the right choice for getting back on track in this safe place.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Morning brings a great swim and breakfast before heading into the pretty little village of Stowe. Shoulder season leaves this quaint ski area mostly vacant and several activities are not yet available. It also means we have the place to ourselves and this we thoroughly enjoy.
One option for this time of year is to hike the cross country trails up at the Von Trapp Lodge, yes, that delightful family who gave us the Sound of Music. As we ascend to their mountain oasis, a sign welcomes us to a "bit of Austria and a lot of Vermont" and we love every part! A delightful employee at the Outdoor Center provides us with a map of the miles of trails, the $10 per person charge seems more than reasonable. The first destination is the little chapel built by the Von Trapp sons after their return from WWII, a pleasant, lovely, stroll with a fair incline to reach. It is very peaceful and we enjoy a moment or two at this stop.
We venture a bit further into the wooded area but not as far as we'd care as the black flies are a bit thick here. The trail back to the lodge is quite beautiful and we savor the views from the outer rim.
A trek into the meadow finds an abundance of Scotch Highland cattle making it truly feel like we're in the Alpine mountains. We rest and are entertained for quite a bit, gazing at the gorgeous 360 vistas. This is truly one special place.
Lower paths wind around the gardens just starting to be harvested and the many villas that dot the property, as well. We make our way to the on site brewery where we indulge in a homemade brew and delicious soup and sandwich combo. Dining al fresco completes the magic and a glimpse of a fellow diner we're sure is actor James Woods adds to the fun!
Retracing our steps back to the lodge, we take a peek inside and find the same care has been given. This appears to be quite the perfect little vacation getaway and if ever in the area again, we'd certainly give it a try!
Heading to Vermont through the White Mountains is the route today and the drive through this region is spectacular. One last stop in New Hampshire at the Franconia Notch State Park is the plan, a hike that promises waterfalls, bridges and of course, a gorge.
The trek delivers on all accounts with the addition of some delightful fellow hikers, as well. One old-time New Yorker provides particular entertainment for me. We take our time climbing and exploring as the day is just beautiful and the scenery unbelievable.
The perfect picnic spot is found with an unobstructed view of one of the peaks and we revel in the beauty that abounds. We linger for just a bit longer before heading into Vermont, where new vistas present even more awe.
The Green State owns its title fully as we make our way into Waterbury/Stowe. We both are mesmerized by the surrounding pristine views. A perfect rest stop is found at the Best Western, which includes, yes, another covered bridge!
The very comfortable hotel provides us, in addition to our mountain view room, an indoor pool, restaurant, and laundry facilities - all that two weary travelers could need.
As we settle in, we're excited about what our time in Vermont will bring. So far, we love what we've seen!!!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
After our tractor rides, it is time for a little tour of the area. Keeping in the spirit, we travel in complete style in Jim's Ford antique red truck, pristine condition and the only way to see the countryside of New Hampshire!
Our first stop is in the quaint college town of Keene, where we take a brief stroll through the little downtown area. Little shops and restaurants intersperse with old churches and the town hall, a giant chess match plays for our entertainment, and friendly folk mingle amongst us. We drink in the ambiance completely satiated by all the warmth of New England charm.
A detour from here takes us by a very old stone bridge, reminiscent of those we just shared in Acadia. The path here winds along a wonderful country road and brings us to a little gorge hike, nothing too strenuous, but a lovely waterfall is the prize at the end. Further along the road, we encounter a breathtaking view of Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire's infamous peak. Jim guides us to the "most popular spot for painting and photographs" and we understand why, capturing some of our own treasures.
As if our visit is not special enough, Deb graciously indulges Celeste and me in reflexology treatments, a talent for which she completely excels, and we float from these to yet more New Hampshire treats.
Ice cream at Kimball Farm is another must do and after partaking in the delicious cold dessert, we find a wonderful covered bridge, an intriguing old cemetery, beautiful stone church and a charming little farm complete with animals and covered wagons, all in the delightful town of Jaffrey. Yes, all New England has to offer is here!!
Jim and Deb complete our magnificent time here with aiding in the sunflower planting. It is done properly, of course. The shovel and hoe are gathered, the perfect spot found on their property, and a successful harvest is expected.
Thanks to both of you for providing the ultimate New Hampshire experience, we are beyond words with our gratitude!!!
Posted by Susan and Celeste at 2:22 PM