Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We Interrupt This Travel Adventure .................

Island Line Rail Trail - Burlington, Vermont
May 20, 2012

Despite the problems with which we've had to deal while here in Burlington, it has been a delightful four days in yet another place we've grown to love.  I simply cannot find enough words to describe this incredible cabin that has been our home, nor do pictures even remotely do justice to the beauty of being surrounded by this lake.  It has been difficult to tear ourselves away, but another benefit of this particular place has been the ability to just get on our bikes and ride the bike paths directly from the house.  But before I go any further, Bill says I should share the bad news first. 

When you travel as we do, things are going to go wrong.  Things go wrong at home.  Why should we expect it to be any different just because "home" is somewhere else right now.  Preventative measures might help in some circumstances, but actually played a negative factor in this one. Had the unexpected not happened, we might've missed what had been overlooked in the pre-trip maintenance check and a situation that had become extremely dangerous.  So all in all, today has been extremely costly and inconvenient, but we are also ending it by being thankful.

It was warm in Burlington yesterday and as best we can remember, we turned the car's A/C on for the first time this trip.  It blew nothing but hot air.  This can be an indication of a minor problem or a major problem.  I refuse to take up journal space with gory details, but just know that in our case, it was a MAJOR problem.  With a rapidly overheating engine, there was no doubt about it.  And in the process,  another problem was found that supposedly had been checked by our mechanic at home just prior to our leaving.  What's the point of a pre-trip maintenance check if you're told it's "good to go" when it isn't?

To bring this story to a close, major repairs were needed, but the garage we found (Burlington's only AAA Approved facility) has been amazing to work with, made sure we understood each and every thing they were doing, visibly SHOWED us exactly where and what the issues were so there was no doubt the problems were real, and even went so far as to go over a list with us of measures we could "probably" take to get back home safely.  But with five weeks and LOTS of driving left, plus the fact that I'll be driving the last 470 miles alone (remember Bill will fly home from DC), it was a no brainer.  The garage even went so far as to obtain a rental car for us at a ridiculously low rate so that our day could go on as we'd planned. 

We enjoy travel days and don't view them as stressful, but tomorrow will have added "stress" as we'll have to be up and out early to pick up our car, return the rental car, get back to our cabin to load the car and still be out by check out time.  Thankfully, our drive tomorrow is only 125 miles.  So that's the saga and as Forrest Gump would say, "that's all I have to say about that."  I'm going to enjoy our last night in this amazing place.  I've watched a rainstorm move all the way across the lake from New York and am now listening to the pounding rain on the tin roof.  I can already see the sun on the other side of the storm.  Exactly the way I'm choosing to view my day today.  Wow!!

This has been our dinner table for the past four evenings.  Can you say calm and peaceful?
Cedar Ledge Cabin - Colchester Point, Vermont

Our four days in the Burlington, Vermont area were meant to be all about biking and they have been.  There are two well known bike paths which meet in downtown Burlington.  One is the Island Line Bike Path (an official rail trail) and the other is the Burlington Bikeway.   Unfortunately, part of the Island Line over the causeway is closed because of last spring's record flooding that devastated much of the area.  The entire trail was closed for awhile and we are glad we were able to enjoy as much of it as we did.  Bill almost immediately declared it the most beautiful rail trail we've ridden.  I'm somewhat partial to the Virginia Creeper Trail, but one should never have to chose between water and mountains!  

Island Line Bike Path - Colchester, Vermont
May 20, 2012

Burlington Bikeway - Burlington, Vermont
May 21, 2012

In addition to biking, we've enjoyed some time in the very vibrant downtown Burlington area.  Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves (accidentally) in the midst of The University of Vermont's graduation reception.  This was the village green (as they are known in New England) as we walked towards the Church Street Marketplace........................

Burlington, Vermont Village Green

And this was the same area as we walked back a couple of hours later.................

Village Green immediately after University of Vermont graduation ceremony!
May 20, 2012

Today we took our sporty little Dodge Avenger on a scenic driving trip back to some places we enjoyed during our 2001 visit to New England.  We spent some time in Waterbury, home of Green Mountain Coffee Company and Stowe, the perfect example of a New England Village. Stowe boasts a 5.5 mile paved recreation path that was one of the first in the nation to be built and is still frequently used as a model for other communities.  We took a good long walk on this trail today and it helped clear our minds and work through some of our frustration.

And lastly, since this update began on such a down note, let's end it with some fun.  Enjoy some of our favorite pics with Burlington's most famous citizens.............

Thanks for reading! 

Feel free to send contributions to the Kia replacement fund!


  1. Great post. Sorry for your car problems, but glad you found good people and were in such a beautiful place. I find I keep adding places we need to go. The bike paths look gorgeous! Let's definitely do the creeper trail together this fall, okay?

  2. I recently finished reading a book set in Burlington called "Year of the Dog". It was really good, but didn't mention those great bike paths! Hope you got to enjoy some Lake Champlain chocolate while you were there!

  3. Wait - is this the new car!? Looks like another great location. My son's housemate, who also graduated this past weekend, is going to grad school at UVM.

  4. Sorry to hear about the car trouble! That's awful! Hopefully this is your only bump in the road!

  5. Oh dear...sorry about the car problems. I do hope all is well now. But, holy moly, what a beautiful place that is! And it looks like you have those gorgeous bike paths all to yourself.

  6. I think I agree with Bill...that is a beautiful rails to trail path! So sorry about the car issues. I owned a KIA once...and Lord willing never will again. When it was only 3 years old it gave me soooo much trouble. But I'm glad you got it all fixed and can head on to your next destination safely!! I've finally gotten caught up with your travels and you guys look like you are having an amazing time!

  7. Oh no! I'm sorry y'all had problems, but if you had to be stuck somewhere, what a beautiful place to be!

  8. Sorry about the car troubles but I love your attitude! Glad you didn't let it spoil your plans.

  9. So sorry about your car. I hate it when that happens!! Love the pictures!!! Especially the dinner table one. So peaceful!!! Have fun and be safe!