September 26, 2010
Under the bridge
On our way home from the mountains, my husband and I traveled a road that meandered from lake to lake, hamlet to hamlet. Since we had all day, we went slowly, stopping at anything that looked interesting. We took a short hike through a gorge to see a waterfall, drove into a boat launch for a view of a mountain lake, climbed the lifeguard’s chair at a little beach, bought some snacks at a general store, and visited Little Green’s mountain campus, where our students learn how to be forest rangers. The wind was chilly, the leaves were brilliantly colored, and every time I scuffed through piles of dead leaves, I could smell fall.
Our route led us gradually out of the mountains and into a high plateau covered mostly with forests and farmland. We stopped at a little town built, like so many of the towns in the north country, over a small river. The sun had just come out from behind the clouds, and it was almost warm enough for me to take off my fleece. “Let’s climb down to the river,” I said to my husband. I went to college in the north country, and I spent many lazy afternoons sitting on the bank of just such a river.
I know well how isolated these small towns can be during the harsh north country winters. I taught seventh grade in a north country school, and I know something about the poverty and social problems that exists in the small towns. But on a day in early fall, sitting by the river and listening to the water rushing over rock, it was an idyllic place to be.
Posted by jo(e)