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Subj: Marshfield, Vermont
Date: 7/30/02 2:17:43 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From:    kbwalk@mailstation.com


Howdy Everyone!
  I've been pretty busy these last few days.  Last
week when I walked to Jefferson NH I got to spend 2
nights at a camp ground.  It was a really nice place,
and the people were all friendly.  Right across the
street from the campground is "Santa's Village," an
amusement park with all sorts of rides and stuff.  I
went to see how much it cost to get in -- $18 -- and
after I told them my story, they let me in for free.
  It's been awhile since I've been to an amusement
park, and the roller coaster and water rides had me
hanging on tight!  The ferris wheel was more my speed.
The park was Santa-and-Christmas-everything, complete
with christmas carols belting out over the PA system
getting you into the holiday spirit.  It was really
pretty neat, but I was glad to get back to my speed of
slowly plodding along.
  Another thing that was kindof funny while I was
staying at that campground, was when I stopped at the
convenient store there and asked the lady how far it
was to get something to eat.  "Just 2 minutes down the
road!" she said.  I told her it might take me longer
than 2 minutes because I was walking, and she instantly
handed me the keys to her Cadillac and told me to take
her car!  Well I didn't quite have enough nerve to tell
her I hadn't driven a car for the last year and a half,
so I just jumped in and left.  The store was only a
mile away, but I had a white-knuckle grip on the wheel
and parked at the farrrrr end of the parking lot where
no other vehicles were before I got out!  This is
embarassing to say, but I was pretty tense and nervous
driving a whole 2 miles!  I'm sure when I do get back
to driving, that I'll be the one who putt-putts down
the road at 25 mph and think that's too fast!!   
  The next day I headed to Lancaster, right on the
NH/VT line.  I stopped at the town hall there and got a
neat t-shirt, and about a mile out of town, right along
the river that seperates the 2 states, I stayed at a
campground there for free.  There were a LOT of
misquitos out that night, and it took me awhile to swat
all the ones in my tent before I could sleep.
  After that I headed into St Johnsbury, a VERY HILLY
town.  As I was heading for the fire dept, I had to go
up one killer of a hill.  It was 5 blocks long and went
straight up, and it took me awhile to push me and my
cart up it.  I visited with Chief Troy Ruggles and he
was more than willing to let me stay there.  I spent
the first night at the fire station, and the next night
at Holiday Motel for free.
  St J, as it's called here, is a town of about 8,000
and is full of very kind people.  The first framed
dwelling in this town was built in 1787, and 3 yrs
later St Johnsbury was officially organized and given
its name at the first town meeting.  They first
discussed naming it St John as a tribute to Hector St.
Jean de Crevecoeur, but he rather suggested naming it
St. Johnsbury, thus making this town unique as the only
St Johnsbury in the world.  And so it was.
  This town is widely known for its invention of the
platform scale by Thaddeus Fairbanks, who established a
business in 1830 that made the name "Fairbanks"
synonymous with scales.  It is also known for George
C.Cary, who founded the Cary Maple Sugar Co in 1904.
Cary was a prominent salesman who successfully promoted
the use of maple sugar to flavor plug tobacco, and
later cigarettes, as a moisturizing and nonfermenting
flavor agent.
  St. J also is home to St Johnsbury Academy, a
private school founded by the Fairbanks family in 1842.
The high school provides fine education in college
preparation and vocational training.  There are a large
number of boarding students from many parts of the
world.
  While I was there, Sandy, owner of Surf & Sirloin
Restaurant, gave me a ticket good for one free
breakfast and one free dinner.  Then the motel let me
stay there for free, and on Saturday I got a tour of
Maple Grove Farms of Vermont.  There Phil Ann showed me
how maple syrup and candy was made and took me through
the whole process.  It was really fascinating and I
enjoyed seeing how they make the candy.  She also gave
me a free shirt, and some free syrup that they make.
Also, Chief Troy gave me a shirt and patch. I really
enjoyed spending the weekend there in St J.  Everyone
was so nice.
  On monday I headed on down the road to West
Danville, where I stayed in a cabin on the lake.  It's
a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.  I stayed at
Point Comfort on Joe's Pond.  History has it that Joe
was an indian that lived in that neck of the woods. The
lady at the motel in St. J called them up and asked
them to let me stay there, and they said yes.  The
quaint cabin was small but cozy, and had a big back
porch that hung out over the lake.  That evening, the
owners took me out on a boat and we saw and heard
several loons.  I'd really like to see a moose while
I'm out here.  I haven't yet, but I'm in prime
moose-country, so maybe it will still happen.  I hope
so.
  Today I walked on into Marshfield and am staying at
the fire chiefs home.  Tomorrow I'll be doing around
18-20 miles and get on into Montpelier, the state's
capitol, where I plan to take a day off.
  Take care and have a great day!

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