For reasons that would make a good story, which I will tell any of you if I see you in person, but which I won't go into here, we made a journey to Canada yesterday.
That is a long trip for a day trip, may I just say, but anyway. We encountered some interesting people along the way.The Leaf Lady
She was from England. We encountered her at a a rest stop and information center on the interstate in Vermont. She was here, apparently, for the foliage, which is looking pretty magnificent in northern Vermont right now, but my phone got itself in a tizzy trying to update operating systems, so NO PHOTOS.
Leaf Lady: Excuse me, where are the leaves?
Visitor Center Staff Person: There's a board out front that tracks the foliage. It's best in the Northeast Kingdom right now.
Leaf Lady: All right. How far is it to Kingdom?
VCSP: You're entering it now.
Leaf Lady: And so I'll see leaves?
VCSP: Well, it's overcast today, so it may not seem as impressive, but yes.
Us, mentally: THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL LEAVES LITERALLY ALL AROUND YOU.
We made up a story that one of her children, who likes mountain biking and free running and recaning old chairs and making cheese, came to the United States and married a Vermonter and wanted her to see this beautiful place, but the mom is very suburban and didn't really want to come and this is her passive-aggressive resistance.
That center had a school parent-teacher group raising money by offering fresh coffee and baked goods fro a donation. Excellent.The anti-tourism border guard
We crossed into Canada at a very small crossing point. There were no other cars on the road, and only one border guard, a young woman in her twenties.
Border Guard: And what is the purpose of your trip to Canada today?
Thanks to Wakanomori's research, we had a good answer to this question.
Wakanomori: We're going to see the museum in Coaticook.Or was it a good answer
Border Guard (incredulous): No one goes to see the museum in Coaticook!
Wakanomori (laughing): Uh, well, we are.
Me (piping up from the passenger's seat): It's a holiday in the United States.
Border Guard: It is here, too: Thanksgiving.
Me: Hmmm. I wonder if the museum will be open, then...
Border Guard: And where are you from again? Massachusetts? And you're coming up just to see the museum?
Wakanomori: It's a long story.
Border Guard: I have all day!
Wakanomori then told her the story of how he and the older kids had biked this route to Canada years ago, and how he'd noticed about the museum then, and....
Border Guard: I see--so you're retracing your steps! Well, enjoy yourself. Maybe you can get some honey or cheese!
Interestingly, we saw a place selling honey a little further along the road--so we could have!The gas station attendants
These were boys who looked to me like maaaaybe they were 14 or so, but I guess they must have been older? They were full of life and smiles, and they were going to pump our gas! It wasn't a self-serve station. Going to Colombia has emboldened me in languages that I'm not fluent in, so I tried out my rusty, rusty French: "Avez vous une salle de bain?" And he answered me in French and pointed out where the bathroom was! 通じた！(This handy word means literally, it passed through and more accurately, I made myself understood. THE BEST FEELING)The man at the museum
The museum had a definite shut
vibe to it, though there were other people walking the grounds when we got there. We rang the doorbell, as requested by the sign. After a bit a man appeared and told us, politely and with a smile but at length, that he was desolé and that it was un dommage, but the museum was closed. We nodded and thanked him but he kept apologizing, and in that moment all I could think of for "we understand" was 分かりました and entendemos.The fox spirit
On the grounds of the museum, the healing angel spied a fox. It ran under the museum porch, but then came out again and ran up some stone steps leading up a hill behind the museum. It was very tall for a fox, with long, graceful legs. It stood on the steps halfway up the hill and regarded us, very foxy. Then it ran the out of sight. It was a prince among foxes, a god, a spirit.
Annnd then we came on home, long drive back. Hope you all had a wonderful Indigenous People's Day/Thanksgiving/Monday.