Tuesday, July 5, 2022: First full day in Burlington. John and I ran four miles on the Island Line Trail starting at Waterfront Park, then combined our runners’ high with caffeine at #KruCoffeeCollective; John got a (so-so) nitro cold brew and I got a (meh) latte made with soy milk (only because they didn’t have almond milk – what cafe doesn’t have almond milk?). For lunch I got a Hummdinger (amazing!) at #TopoftheBlockSandwichShop, and John got the Moroccan Maple Power Bowl (delicious!) at #Thorn+Roots.
In the afternoon we rented e-bikes at #LocalMotionBikeRentals so we could ride on the Island Line Trail, all the way to the bike ferry on the Lake Champlain Causeway. There was plenty that we could have stopped to see along the way, but we’ll have to save that for the next time we visit. Thank goodness for the electric assistance on the return trip because the wind was whipping over the water, and we were riding against it. We completed the entire 22-mile trip in 1.5 hours and worked up an appetite. For dinner John and I shared the Cobb Job Power Bowl (delicious!) at #Thorn+Roots and fries (delicious!) at #Leunig’sPetitBijou.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022: John and I had to checkout of the house by 10AM, but we still wanted to get our run in. We ran the same four miles but instead got our coffee from #BlackCapCoffeeandBeer and had a much better experience. John got a danish that was the best he’d ever had, and I got a toffee cookie that I saved for the next day’s hike. Once we were through doing what we needed to do to check out of the house, we packed up the car and found a spot to park in the Old North End so we could explore a bit on foot. We got some prepared salads for lunch from #Jake’sOneMarket and hit the road again. It didn’t take long before I got sleepy, so we took a siesta at the Sand Bar State Park. The park was really nice; what I liked most about it was how empty it was, being the middle of the day in the middle of the week. The trees weren’t ideally spaced, so we both lay awkwardly in the hammock, but we made it work. Continuing on, we took the route through the islands (South Hero, Grand Isle and North Hero), but I wouldn’t bother going that way again.
We finally arrived at Lake Carmi State Park, and the park employee reminded John not to leave food items out unattended, as there are raccoons and other opportunistic animals. We were horrified to discover that our site was adjacent to an unoccupied site that was trashed. There were three tents, one of which had been unzipped at the bottom and clothing was strewed about. There were trash bags hung in the trees, which was laughable, really. The picnic table was covered with red Solo cups, and there was about three feet of sticks with green foliage stacked on the fire pit. Surely, I thought, no one would light it like that; I was wrong. Our site was absolutely beautiful, though; a prime site right on the water. We were strategic about where to set up the tent. We wanted to create as much space as possible between us and this disaster. John really wanted to change sites, but we decided to stay put and see what would happen. In the meantime, while John and I were playing a game of Scrabble, the neighbors across from us came back from a swim. For about five hours we overheard a woman either yelling or swearing at her eight kids. I couldn’t help but think of how she treated these kids in the privacy of their home; we’re in a public place, for crying out loud. It made me feel sad and discouraged about humanity…
At some point during the early evening, our sloppy neighbors returned in two cars, one running over a can; they came back to something likely a lot messier than they had left it. It was an adult male, adult female and what looked to be a teenage girl and a preteen girl. It didn’t take long for the guy to light that fire exactly how I was hoping that he wouldn’t. The flame lasted for a few minutes before resorting to thick smoke. He messed around with it until it was burning brightly, then used a machete to cut more green foliage. Has this guy ever camped before?? We did our best to block out all the insanity and focus on the water and beautiful sunset.
Luckily our sloppy neighbors were quiet neighbors at bedtime, but John and I could still hear the woman across from us chastising her children as we put plugs into our ears for bed. We were determined to get packed up and out of there before everyone woke up the next day.
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