The road to Walden

Posted on Oct 09, 2012 by admin  | Comments (0)

Anyone who has explored the back roads of Vermont probably knows that one can end up in some very interesting situations. For this journey I am equipped with a nimble small SUV and a navigation system. But even with those aids, I failed to make it to Walden today.

As I am a little more than a week into my journey, I decide that on my first day out I probably missed some important shots in the first couple of towns I photographed. Driving up Route 14 several times I've seen the Woodbury town hall; since I cut back to side roads that first day, I must never have driven that section of the road. I also realized that I had only seen East Calais. I wanted to go back and find Calais, and I very much wanted to shoot some more images of Cabot. I felt like I rushed through the first time; there was too much traffic and wasn't able to get the clutter out of my frame.

Under the pressure of my 365 day constraint however, I don't have the luxury of only going out for a re-shoot, so I decide to visit Walden and Stannard; both towns I've never heard of. I retrace my route from that first day and find the Calais town hall, and also the beautiful Old West Church. I then photograph the Woodbury Town Hall. I decide to use my navigation system to head back to Cabot thinking it will be the most efficient way in spite of the fact that it's telling me to follow Route 14 through Hardwick; twenty-five miles or so, ugh. A couple of miles up the road it occurs to me that Cabot Road which runs right out from the center of Woodbury has to be a shorter route. I pull off the road and my handy Gazetteer confirms this, so I turn the car around for a twelve mile, albeit bumpy ride instead. Glad to have the SUV.

Even though I arrive back in the town of Cabot, my nav system is telling me that I'm not there. Again not having any luck shooting, I decide to heed the GPS instructions, but find myself in Marshfield instead. I pass on photographing Marshfield; just not in the mood to go off course today.

I go back to Cabot to pick up South Walden Road which takes me to Route 15 into the town of Walden. I continue to drive, thinking that I'll find the town center on the main road. Not so; before I know it I'm in West Danville, so I turn around. As I approach Walden again, I see nothing that hints of a town center. Passing by a third time, I decide to follow signs for the Walden school and library which usually lead to a settlement of some sort; not so in Walden. I find the school, but not the library. I continue to follow the winding dirt roads until I finally decide to rely on my nav system and program in the Walden "downtown" though this usually lands me at the town garage, I figure it's worth a try.

It seems to have a destination in mind, though twenty-five miles away; I humor it and continue following the cues, driving what seems to be further and further into wilderness. I take the next turn "continue to follow the road for one and a half miles." Walden VermontOk, I make the turn, and drive about a quarter of a mile. One thing I've found when driving around the back roads of Vermont, often they dead end in someone's driveway. I always find this embarrassing, hastily and sheepishly trying to turn around without being noticed. This time however, I stop the car, roll down the window, hold up the camera which while usually attached to a tripod in the back seat, this time is in the passenger seat beside me, and take a picture of the "road" that lies in front of me. This may be my one shot of Walden. On to Stannard to which my GPS takes me directly.

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