12 of 12 for July 2009

13 Jul

My Mom and I spent the weekend camping near Lake Willoughby in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. On the 12th, we woke up early after a mere few hours of sleep — thunderstorms, downpours, noisy neighbors, and uncomfortable sleeping conditions kept us up most of the night. We also discovered that our new tent isn’t exactly waterproof.

The good thing about the overnight storms is that they cleared away the clouds and brought some gorgeous weather. This was the view of Lake Willoughby’s crystal clear water and Mt. Hor in the morning, just across the street from the campground. Lake Willoughby is a beautiful glacial lake framed by mountains — there’s also a nude beach that we accidentally stumbled upon the day before.

Following an itinerary suggested in “Backroads of New England,” we ascended a dirt road east of the lake. The views of farmland and distant hills around the lake were stunning. Here you can see Wheeler Mountain and the northern end of Lake Willoughby.

No Vermont photo album would be complete without a shot of a dairy cow. My Mom liked the eyes on this one.

We continued along our route towards the village of Island Pond in Brighton. This was the site of the first international railroad junction in the United States (it’s less than 15 miles south of the Canadian border). Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the town’s in much nicer shape than a lot of the villages in the Northeast Kingdom — probably a testament to its former economic heydays. The public beach along the pond was closed (we got there too early), but I snapped this shot of the village across the water.

Only a few minutes after spotting a deer near Island Pond, we saw this young moose in the middle of the road. He retreated into the woods, but not before I could get a nice picture.

Our morning drive then brought us to the Burke Mountain toll road. Talk about quintessential Vermont — the office is in a sugar house, and to pay the toll you just drop your cash into the wooden box at the right.

We drove to the top of the mountain and then climbed the fire tower for an amazing panoramic view of the area. The cool breeze and sunshine made for a particularly tranquil experience. This was the view to the northeast, looking across the Great North Woods, with New Hampshire in the distance.

We hadn’t eaten breakfast in the morning, so on our way south we stopped at a diner in St. Johnsbury for brunch. Very tasty and reasonably priced food. I got “The Heritage,” which came with a small ham-and-broccoli omelette, home fries, and two blueberry pancakes. Needless to say, my mom helped me out with it. In the booth behind her were two local old ladies speaking French.

After crossing the border back into New Hampshire, I snapped this shot of Mt. Lafayette on the approach to Franconia Notch.

I spent the afternoon unpacking and unwinding. We ate supper on the deck for the first time this summer. That’s our rain-soaked tent draped over the railing.

I wanted to get to bed early after such a long day, but first I had to try out my brother’s latest gaming purchase, Red Alert 3. The original games were among my favorite PC strategy games back in the day. My video gaming experiences are sadly few and far between these days, so it was nice to finally play again. I’m a little rusty, but it was still a blast.


2 Responses to “12 of 12 for July 2009”

  1. Megan 14 July 2009 at 22:19 #

    You and your mother are too cute!! I just got back from camping myself… it’s fun! I haven’t done it in too long. (In case you’re interested: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/573533099iTOVqC)

  2. Megan 14 July 2009 at 22:29 #


    Somehow the parenthesis got linked as well, my bad!

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