Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Fossil Reef, A Cemetery and Other Adventures in Vermont

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Petrifaction on Isle LaMotte Lake Champlain Vermont

We drove up to Vermont to take the little one to camp.  The six hour drive up was quiet, with the exception of a wrong turn trying to find lunch in Albany, uneventful.  But traveling through the USA one gets the feeling that something is amiss in the USA.  Our moral compass feels off, this backlash to the Obama era a little larger than feels sustainable.
But the little one had some camp to attend to.

So, we made our way, stopping at a hotel along the water the night before.  There we drank beer and enjoyed the evening away. Some musicians played music.
I’m just here enjoying myself, noted a woman standing at the bar.
Everyone sat along the beach, taking in the evening.
After breakfast the next day, we swam along Lake Champaign.  People were  playin along the water, throughout the islands up here, just south of Canada.
We wondered if we’d ever have to move up here.
For a long time, the French controlled this area of the world.
And you can still feel their old presence up here.
Vermont feels a little less junked up than other locals you see along the road.

“Where is the best hike you know of?” I asked checking out the hotel.
“Ty out the Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve in Isle La Motte,” she smiled, pulling out a map, pointing to the islands around Hero, including the Grand Isle and Isle La Motte, with access to 480 million year old fossils from the Chazy Fossil Reef.”
She showed me the preserve on the map, giving us directions north up the Goodsell Ridge Preserve.
And we made our way up there, enjoying the one mile white trail, where the sedimentary from the limestone looks like marble.  It was used for Radio City Music Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge back in the day.
“Its funny how we allow the fear of death to shape our lives?” noted one sign along the tour, of the 480 million year old reef.
Once a quarry, lately, geologists have studied its history, proclaiming it some of the oldest stone on the world, with fossil formations from ages and ages past.
An amiable tour guide eventually arrived and told us about the history of the quarry, turned land trust, preserving the history of the limestone here.
He walked and showed us Petrifactions in the fossil reefs, pointing out that they have drifted from Africa 180 million years ago.
Its hard to see them in the rocks.
You just have to readjust your eyes.
We talked about Teddy Roosevelt, who visited this site, and his environmental legacy.
As he stated:
"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land;” proclaimed the former president. “…but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."

• "Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us."
Finishing the tour we dropped the little one off at camp and made our way back to New York, driving off road through Vermont, taking in the rustic beautiful landscape, taking in the coffee shops, cemeteries, dairy fields, and lush landscape. We could have stopped at any number of cemeteries, but finally stopping at the Moss Street Cemetery in Hudson Falls, Washington County New York.
And made our way back to Garrison, the magic light pouring in through the trees along the Hudson.
InIreland, I used to feel in awe of the connection people the myths and mysteriesof the place, the mounds whose origins no one can quite comprehend, and the Celtic crosses. Driving home, thinking about the fossil reef and stones from Moss Hill, I had the same feeling of connection with the mystery and history of this place.

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