We pulled off the Ridge Road between Randolph Center and Pond Village (home of the World Famous Floating Bridge) into the modest parking lot, fresh from the ice cream social at the historic Marvin Newton House, circa 1835. (Is this the most Vermont-y beginning to a story ever?).
We started up the grassy trail.
It was immediately apparent that this was not your av-er-age nature trail. There were sailfish mounted on trees. And a lot of stumps festooned with coats.
It was a little eerie, maybe disorienting, but kinda funny at the same time. Here’s a stump with a rain slicker. A little later on it was a John Deere sweatshirt.
We are walking the trails of the Climate Change Yacht Club, and if that seems, at once whimsical and non-sensical … well, that’s the point, dontchuno? This is the property of Vance Smith and Al Wilker. She’s an architect, designer, and genius, and he’s an engineer, tinkerer, and genius, and they’ve created trails on their property that they’ve opened to the public. The only thing they ask in return for their generosity is that you keep your sense of humor.
The non-sequiturs and oddities continue, provoking smiles on the sylvan amble (I’m inspired to poetry!) My goodness, the path ambles onward in verdant splendor! We continue uphill until we come to an open area that is more golf course than Beyonder (in joke). SB Sandy spots what she thinks is a bear! The existential question becomes: “Why the #@$%%!! does Al do all this mowing?”
Why does Al do all this mowing? “Because it’s there,” I think he would say. What a man!
We continue following the path, past the duck on the column, until we come to the grassy vista that in the world of Vance and Al constitutes the open seas. Their white, circa 18-something Vermont farmhouse, classically New England lies opposite, with a dock and several moored vessels of the nautical type.
“I think I get it,” you say to yourself. “If global warming continues, then the lakes will run dry, and what good will boats be then?”
Across the street, in front of the house, we run into Silverback Al, who makes everything crystal clear: