Sunday, July 18, 2010


July 4 and 5, 2010
On the road

So where does an ardent admirer of Henry David Thoreau go for vacation?

Where many other Thoreauvians go -- to the Annual Gathering in Concord, Massachusetts!

Always held near the time of Thoreau’s birthday (July 12), the Thoreau Society’s yearly gathering attracts people from all over the country-- ay, the world -- who have an interest in some aspect of Thoreau’s life & works. There are scholarly speakers, presentations of all sorts, and walks with naturalists and historians.This is my fourth year attending. Over the years I’ve drifted from attending the talks to going on the walks. (You can do both of course.)

And in the process, I've met some mighty interesting people, and made some new friends from faraway places, whom I cherish throughout the year. I look forward to seeing some of them in Concord this week.

Meanwhile, the week before vacation was downright brutal at work – a crazy and hectic schedule, day after day. By the end of the week, I was tired. I was cranky, and feeling pressured from all sides. I entertained thoughts of just staying home, at my OWN little pond.

“Why travel so far, when it’s all here right at home?”
the little Thoreau on my left shoulder would whisper in my ear.
The one on the right shoulder simply said, “Come walk in my woods in the cool morning.”

So I packed my clothes, put the kayak into the car, and headed South.


It’s only a four-hour trip (according to Google Maps) but I break it up with a stop at my old digs in Vermont, to visit with Rick, who is quite possibly, the best friend I will ever have in this world. It will be good to shoot the breeze with him for a while.
 On the way I pass miles of corn, growing in the green valleys of Vermont.

And almost get sucked up in the Tractor Division of a little Fourth of July parade in Manchester. Whew, that was a close one!

From Vermont, it is a short scenic drive through part of New Hampshire, as my route angles down toward Massachusetts. If I went on the major highways, the whole trip would take about an hour less.

But I like this kind of traffic:

And instead of McDonald’s, I stopped for a picnic lunch in a state park pulloff, along shady Willard Brook.

The water was clear and offered cool comfort to my feet.

The day was growing warm -- but that turned out to be only a hint of what was yet to come.

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