Fog stopped the sun, but not the light, from hitting the pier. The moisture filled my nostrels and dampness coated my forehead. Near the water, two people sat and looked for the lighthouse. I came late to the show. It had crept in and was leaving.
Sara and Zaira.
The Moran Building looks better when it cannot be seen so clearly. Who knows what it will become.
I left and came back. The sun returned, too, playing tricks with the water and the mountains. Always about the light. No wind. No birds. No boats. No fishermen. I always feel a little guilty when I stand alone at the end of the pier. The city built this whole pier just for me, so I can look at the world, I tell myself. Ever changing. Ever amazing. But I really want my neighbors to see it too. Lake Champlain belongs to all of us. In the summer, it will all be different.
No complicated rules. To solve the problem successessfully, climb to the top. Judges keep track of the ascent, recording each step. They don’t have fancy chairs or sit on ornate benches. Some know the climbers; they could even be related to or a close friend of one. Very fair and honorable crew, they are.
So, the other event participants and vendors have started arriving, as the route setters from Vertical Solutions clean up and make sure the Boulders pose enough of a problems for the competitors. The rains came and went. Weather be what it is here in VT. ne2c productions seems t have it under control. Lake Champlain shows pretty for the first week of Autumn, an un predictable time, where for the first time in many, no one speaks about the colors of the leaves or the Sox.
So, they have a group of route setters who look at the plywood boulders and design a challenging wall. Each has their own assignment and vision, taking into account the skills of the competitors and the overall level of achievement required by the sport to enable a viable rating of all who participate. Then, they test their ideas, challenging their talent which may or may not be up to the abilities of those who compete, to create the event.
Lake Champlain has the capacity to take a beating and come back with a roar. Its magic and beauty have captivated, motivated and fascinated people for centuries. And that is a lot of effort over a long time. But this summer, mountains, errrr, climbing walls have come to the Lake, giving it a chance to show a new dynamic. Almost biblical, think about it, the mountains have come to the Lake.
Check out the Nor’Easter festival this weekend, September 23 through September 25. Rock climbing, running, boating, and cyclecross. A music festival featuring an eclectic mix of bands and sounds. A chance to aid flood victims through a costumed fun-run. Like, dude, what else could you want for the last weekend of summer?
So, what did you do today, this first real day of Spring with the water levels on Lake Champlain below flood level? I played visitor to Burlington. No. That’s not right. I enjoyed the city by taking a boat ride on the Ethan Allen II. Had two beers, local drafts, served on deck in a sweating glass. Could have been the QE II. Bathed in the sun. Listened to the dippy rap on the history of the Lake. And smiled, happy to be with Sharon, alive and well in Vermont, but don’t tell anyone.
I know how much I appreciate what I have and whom I share it with. I only want to remain relevant.
Lake Champlain has the highest levels ever. Debris marks the landscape, keeping the beaches and bike path off limits. Parks and Rec organized a cleanup. Not well publicized, so it was not well attended. Bright beautiful sun. Some might say that the weather and Lake Champlain make Burlington what it is. Maybe. It could also be that the people care about their environment, maybe to a fault. And when they give up four hours on a Saturday morning to pick up garbage, you have to feel better about your community.
Mayor didn’t say anything publicly, you know, like, “thanks.” And lots of people just rode by, walked by, or jogged by without comment. I mean, like, “don’t you care?” Marathoners showed up, but not many. They’re too busy training, hoping someone will clear a path so they can run. A person approached me. “What’s this?” “It’s a cleanup.” “I didn’t hear about it.” Then she walked away.
Lots of wood to pick up. Some had nails. Some can be used to make furniture or heat homes. Zack had a list telling us what to pickup and what to leave.
Bigger pieces on the bike path. Smaller ones in plastic bags.
No real plan. Just take a stretch of affected shore and pickup the debris.
Good exercise, lifting and bending. Picked up the stuff.
The twigs and garbage didn’t fit nicely together. Lots of trips back and forth.
Kid out for a bike ride stopped by to help. No better lesson about the value of community. I didn’t know anyone, except to know they care about where they live in the same way I do. Tell that to the kid!
The Lake overflows, ebbs, and overflows, again. We may be prevented from doing what we do due to the high water level. But we cannot blame the Lake. Hey, most of the world doesn’t have water to drink up, wash in, or play on. Lake Champlain does what it does without asking our permission and without regard to our needs. It demands our respect and our stewardship. While we cannot tell it what to do, we can make it sick and unhealthy. Too often, we take the Lake’s power and beauty for granted. Very sad.
As Sharon says, “it will burn off.”
Not able to clean it all by himself.