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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A Day to Feast, Fatten and Relax

9/9/08, Castledon, VT - The morning started with the promise of thunderstorms. The horse looked like they needed a day off to rest, get some extra feed and put on a few pounds of weight.  They had pulled for the past four days in a row and while their condition is good, I thought a little extra hay and grain today would do them some good.

Around 8:30 am, we had a pretty good thunderstorm roll through.  About two inches or rain fell in a half hour and the winds were driving it horizontal.  As the winds picked up before the storm, I took in the awning to prevent it from being damaged.

After the storm, my host Ed Woodbury, drove me into to town so I could pick up a few groceries. Lunch was a pot of my killer chili.  After lunch, with the clouds still hanging low over the mountain tops, Ed and I drove up the road on the side of Bird Mt. (known hereabouts as Birds eye Mt.). Ed grew up in the area and in the past 80 years witnessed the transition of the area from a horse drawn agricultural economy to what it is today. It was nice hearing all the old stories of working the farms, fishing the creeks, family gatherings and day to day living during the depression.  Most of the slopes of Birds eye Mt. (shown in the previous two pictures) was cleared and used for pasture or making hay.  It was amazing that families could eke out a living on the steep slopes and thin soil of the mountainside.

Edís neighbor, Brian Traverse still hays many of the high meadows on the mountainside.  The Traverse family maintains a large park with a pavilion and an area for outdoor activities in one of the mountain meadows, adjacent to the family cemetery plot.

Brian has a certified organic dairy operation at the base of the mountain and milks about 20 cows.  Organic milk is difficult to produce, but pays nearly twice the price of milk produced at most commercial farms. Brian was kind enough to allow us to fetch water for the horses from his milking parlor (Ed has a limited supply of water at the house).  Of course, the best way to haul the water was in 40 quart milk jugs, once the standard for shipping milk to the public.

Before I hit the road tomorrow, I have to tighten up Dollyís shoes and replace one of Deedeeís. Iím about a dayís travel east of the Vermont/New York border, so I may be camping tomorrow night in either New York or Vermont (it really doesnít matter to me, as Iím sure it will be with some nice people!)

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