About ROV


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From July 1992 till March 1993, we lived in a small house on Grand Isle.  Grand Isle is in Lake Champlain, between Vermont and New York.
I was there to support IBM Burlington.  Each day, I would drive 20 miles from the island to the IBM plant.

Our House
Our House on Grand Isle

The best thing about Vermont is the closeness to nature. 
There are a lot of opportunities to interact with wildlife.  Most Vermonters 'interact' with a gun. I choose to do my shooting with a camera, though I certainly wasn't against eating a choice venison steak.

One memorable trip I took in Vermont was to the Northeast Kingdom.
Angie was in Ohio, visiting her parents, so Indy and I took off in the car to explore some lakes in the northeast corner of the state.  We drove around Lake Memphramagog, but it was too crowded.  Late in the afternoon, we continued to Lake Willoughby.

Fall Foliage
Fall Foliage

As soon as Lake Willoughby came into view, I knew it was special.   Twin 1000 foot granite mountains, Pisgah and Hor, sit on each side.  The foliage around the lake was starting to turn color. The area was almost deserted.
I drove up an old logging road, looking for a hiking path up Mt. Pisgah.  On the way up the road, I startled a black bear. He deftly jumped up a 10 foot stone wall and disappeared over the other side.
I drove to the end of the road, and Indy and I made our way up to the top of the mountain.
From there, we sat and watched the light fade, as the full moon rose behind us. I howled. Indy stared at me, then licked my hand. Howl, you dummy, I said to her. She just smiled back, and panted.

Finally, we headed down the hill. Just before we reached the car, we were jolted by a gunshot. It was close. I picked up Indy and ducked behind a tree. I peeked around the corner. Nothing but a beaver pond. In the dim light, I could make out shadows. 
Beavers. I carried Indy over and sat on a rock. The beavers were oblivious. For half an hour, we sat there, watching in amazement, as they went about their business. Finally, my legs cramped, and I stood up to leave. A surprised beaver slapped his tail against the water and disappeared. Another did the same, giving me my first two beaver salute.

During our time in Vermont, I also saw otters, skunks, coyote, deer, bald eagles, and moose. 
Not bad.

Vermont in a nutshell:

Fresh maple syrup. Fresh apple cider. Venison steak. If you haven't had these fresh, you haven't had them.
Rollerblading in downtown Burlington or in Stowe. Great bookstores in Burlington.
Sunrise over the Green Mountains. Sunset over the Adirondack Mountains.
Yardsales.  Vermont is Americas' attic. Anyone with a used toothbrush is holding a garage sale.

For us, though, Vermont mostly meant nature and weather.

Our house was located on Keeler Bay, with two acres of land, and 200 feet of lake shore. In the summer, we swam and rowed in the lake.  In the winter, we skated and snowmobiled on it.

Fall Foliage

We sat on our patio a lot, watching rainstorms, snowstorms, lightning, whitecaps, fireflies, and lots of birds. Ducks and herons were regular visitors to our yard.

We met a lot of people in Vermont.  Good people.  Not-so-good people.  Strange people.  The usual mix.

The person who stands out the most in my mind, though, is our postman.  

Keeler Bay Moonlight
Keeler Bay by Moonlight

My first meeting with him was one week after we moved into the house.   I opened my front door, to find him standing there with about 20 letters.
"Are you Glenn Hughes?"
I am.
"Why didn't you tell me you live here?"   
Excuse me?
"How do I know you're here, if you don't tell me?"
Well, the 20 pieces of mail with my name should be a clue.
"That doesn't mean anything. Next time, tell me when you move in!" With that, he handed me the mail and left.

Keeler Bay Sunrise
Keeler Bay Sunrise

The next time was when Angie tried to mail a letter from our box.  He came to the door again that day with more questions.
"Do you know what the bumps in the bottom of a mailbox are for?"
Well, I'd never thought about it, but I am an engineer. They probably lift the mail off of the bottom of the mailbox, so that moisture won't bother the mail.
"No.  The bumps are so that you can set mail standing up.  When I drive up, I can stick my hand in and take away the mail without picking it off the bottom.  If everyone does that, my route will go much faster."
Okay.  Not a bad idea, I admit.  Can I ask a question?
"Sure." He actually smiled, having won a round.
Why don't you do the same for all of us, if it's such a great idea?
He glared at me for about 10 seconds. "It would take too long."  He stormed off.

I'm convinced that the only thing wilder than Mother Nature is Human Nature. Even in Vermont.