For the first time in what felt like an eternity, we did not spend our weekend building anything together. This was a big deal. Instead, Tyler took off on Friday, and he and I drove up to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for a three-day vacation. I'd been planning our trip with giddy anticipation for weeks: we'd camp near Lake Willoughby, go for a hike, see a Bread and Puppet show, and buy a couple of fruit trees from Elmore Roots Nursery. Besides that, we'd do a whole lot of nothing.
This trip I'd planned felt momentous, as if it marked the end of a very difficult era in our lives, one shackled to a the demands of a homestead of our own making. This trip meant more fun and freedom, less work and worry. This trip would ring in an era of free, empty weekends to fill with simple serendipitous activities or soul-nourishing travel. At the very least, it would be a stride in the right direction, tipping the scales towards a more balanced mix of work and play.
It was only about a two and a half hour trip to our destination of Westmore, but we took it slowly, stopping along the way to skip stones and poke around country stores. As I drove our big truck (our vehicle of choice for tree-buying), Tyler read aloud to me from Flow, and we chatted about life and work and how we operate in the world. How wonderful it felt to hang out together, not working, not building, just being.
Nearing Lake Willoughby, a fjord-like lake that reminded us of Lago di Como in Italy, I was a bit stunned. I had imagined that the Northeast Kingdom was this secluded, out-of-the-way place devoid of tourists. But lo and behold, the lakeside campsite I was hoping to stay at was completely booked. We weren't too bothered, though: it was jam-packed with RVs like sardine cans, and it was situated right along the main road, which was fairly busy and loud with cars zipping by. Time for plan B.