This past weekend we spent a splendid respite in the pleasing town of Wilmington, Vermont. Once again we were ensconced in a mountain retreat, not far from the slopes of Mount Snow.
While others headed to the slopes, Julie and I opted to cross-country ski, something I have never done before.
We wended our way along Route 100, through Wilmington Center, and took a left onto Boyd Hill Road. Our destination was the Harriman Reservoir, which is also called Lake Whitingham. It is the largest body of water contained within the state of Vermont.
Carrying our skis and poles down the hill, we noticed the water level was incredibly low. During the winter months the town drains the entire reservoir. Here and there, huge slabs of ice buckled and collapsed, and we wondered if it was safe to go out on to the ice.
But then we noticed this tree stump, a vestige from the old lumber town of Mountain Mills, which was flooded in the 1920’s for a hydro-electric dam. After witnessing this stunning scene, we deemed the ice safe enough to ski.
Donning our skis, we ventured across thin layers of snow, punctuated by swaths of ice. Not ideal conditions for skiing, but then we had the entire place to ourselves. Not another soul was about. We stood and marveled at the surrounding and silent beauty. There was not a sound; no birds, no planes, no people. Just me and my Beloved. It was…ethereal.
I found a discarded piece of 2×8 board, and mounted my camera on it to get this shot of us against the backdrop of distant hills. I had to hustle to get into the picture, slip-sliding my way into the frame.
Overall it proved to be a successful outing. I learned (sort of) how to cross-country ski, and we both got in an excellent workout. The temperature hovered in the mid-thirties, so after the slightest exertion we realized we had dressed to excess.
Sunday, St. Pattie’s Day, turned out slightly different. The weather wasn’t agreeable at all, and strong arctic winds scattered snow like a savage winter haboob. It was cold.
This time we decided to stay closer to home. Just down the road is the Sitzmark Bar and Grill, on East Dover Road. We parked there and valiantly attempted to ski the golf course.
These pictures capture the surrounding beauty of the area.