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Skirting the Border

The quiet setting of Lake Carmi, Vermont was a nice place to relax and unwind after a busy week of wedding activities and sightseeing. On our last full day, we finally got on our E-bikes and rode through the park exploring the different camping loops, did some recreational reading and some serious napping (ZZZZ...). Thankfully, our three days here passed by slowly because we didn't have wifi or cellular service. It felt weird but it was good to be disconnected from the world and all of it's "stuff".

We packed up early Thursday morning to head to Coleman State Park in New Hampshire with a plan to stop midway for lunch. I had been in contact with a friend from my old Rotary Club in Santa Rosa, CA. During the summer months, Nancy Hill lives in her lovely home in Newport, Vermont next to her adult son and his wife on Lake Memphremagog. Newport was a logical place to stop for a break and a short visit as the halfway point to our next destination so we made arrangements to have lunch together.

I was concerned about getting stuck on an unknown route with the trailer so I Googled a satellite view of her home on the lake and found a turnout site to park within walking distance. The parking location was closer than two football fields in length to the Canadian border. I discovered that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department owns many miles and hundreds of acres of land along rivers and streams throughout Vermont and the neighboring border with Canada.

The access to this wildlife land tends to be relatively small and often long narrow parcels along the banks of the many waterbodies. While some locations have small, gravel parking areas, others provide no formal parking or rely on parking just off the road shoulder.

These areas provide public access to streambanks for fishing, hunting, trapping, fish and wildlife viewing, photography and other fish and wildlife-based activities. Collectively, these lands are known as Streambank Management Areas (SMAs) and worked for a temporary location to stop, park and visit Nancy.

We walked 4/10th of a mile right up to Nancy's front door, enjoyed reconnecting with her and had a lovely lunch together. Nancy's is an amazing lady! She reminds me of the "energizer bunny" because she just keeps on going. Karen and I hope we have that kind of endurance in our future. Lord knows we will need it to continue this RV life.Nancy's home is right on the lake and has a stunning view from her covered porch and deck. She spends time with her extended family visiting throughout the summers and also running her "older" neighbors to doctors and shopping appointments. We visited for a couple of hours and finished with a walk back to our trailer to give Nancy a tour. Before leaving we offered to give her a ride back to her home but she declined the offer so she could walk back. Nancy "thank you" for lunch and your encouragement. You are the very inspiration we need to keep up this lifestyle with energy, grace and generosity.


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