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Opinion: Leisurely drive delivers vistas and observations

I drive a small activity bus for a senior living community in Addison County. We take scenic rides. I have done this for a year or so and it has afforded me the chance to get to know better this mostly rural county that stretches along some of the flattest farmland closer to Lake Champlain well into the Green Mountains that include vast tracts of national forest land.
Are there scenes prettier than one’s first view of the yellow clapboard of Breadloaf or the vistas of Route 30 that include both the Greens and the Adirondacks? There is mostly not a plan but the trips could include visits to the Snow Bowl in the winter or an apple orchard in the fall.
Last March we caught folks gathering sap buckets along Cider Mill Road just outside of Middlebury. We also caught the nesting eagle pair in Ferrisburgh. I have no doubt that any who found their way around the county would be amazed at how much of the flat or rolling open land has been turned over to solar power.
Family members often accompany residents on our rides and this past weekend a regular rider suggested we check out the Cornwall section of Route 74. In general we stay away from Route 22A and Route 7 as much as possible. Even I don’t want to be stuck behind a seniors bus when I am trying to get somewhere.
But we also try to find roads that are well maintained and not screaming for refitting. We try to go easy on the bus’s shocks and suspension. The suggestion to check out Route 74 came because the Shoreham part of the road had been repaired nicely in recent months but Cornwall not so much.
So the plan was to check out Route 74 and make our way over to the bridge in West Addison and see if the Bridge Restaurant was still serving creemees. A spectacular plan for a late summer Saturday.
The aforementioned section of Route 74 had been beautifully upgraded and we headed to Bridport to get closer to the lake. We took the Middle Road out of Bridport and as we sloped down toward the lake the Adirondacks opened before us. In the near distance to the left a large patch of brown indicated a herd of cows keeping one another company in a summer pasture. Yes, Woody Jackson, not all dairy cows are black and white.
As we approached there was another unexpected sight. A section of the pasture close to the road had been carved out. Two makeshift soccer goals had been set up and teams could easily be distinguished by two different jersey colors. The play seemed enthusiastic among the tan young men in their twenties. We slowed and tooted our approval of the scene. Waves were exchanged. It seemed the participants were reveling in a break from their labor.
There is a presidential candidate who talks of a wall. That seems a long way away in both space and time. For the present I suspect most of us are simply content to go to our supermarkets and grab those dairy products that await us. And we have little or no sense of the anonymous hands whose labor produced those products. On a Labor Day Saturday those hands were enjoying the camaraderie of a game in the late summer sun.
John C. Mahoney
Burlington

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