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Long Weekend in Burlington, Vermont

The stony beach at the North End

The stony beach at the North End

Our visits to the Cousins always include a few hours at the North End Beach (at the North End of my uncle’s farm) which is covered with smooth lake stones. The pier was not there when I was a child. The cousins, my brothers and I didn’t need any refinements to swim and have a wonderful time. We used those stones any number of ways, including hitting them together while we were under water. Our first experience with ‘sonar’.  And of course, these stones were perfect for skipping.

Henry at the North End

Henry at the North End Beach

Something else has been added to the beach – zebra mussels. In spite of the waves Henry was able to bring back a couple of these tiny fragile mussels that are the scourge of Lake Champlain. Since 1993 “the mussels have spread throughout the lake and their effects have been well chronicled. They kill native mussels; coat surfaces with razor-sharp shells; foul anchor chains; block water intake pipes; and steal plankton and other food from native fish. (Burlington Free Press)”. Now visitors to the Lake have to wear water shoes because stepping on the zebra mussels break and the sharp shells cut up your feet. They have now spread to over 29 states.

Marina on Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT

Marina on Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT

Fortunately, there have been happier changes. The Burlington lake front looked nothing like this in 1947.  The Coast Guard also has a post in this bay.

Me on a Lakeside Park swing

Me on a Lakeside Park swing

I enjoyed the swings at the Lakeside Park, which also didn’t exist in 1947. The large lawns provide venues for many events.

Larson dinner at the Lakeview House

Larson dinner at the Lakeview House

Of course, there was lots of eating, and talking, and turning to Aunt Doris and Uncle Mike (about to celebrate 90th and 91st birthdays) for the final word on family stories.

UVM Horticultural Research Center

UVM Horticultural Research Center

Before we left we visited the University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center which was just about 1/2 mile from our hotel. This photo is of some of the vegetable trials.

Jessica Foster, Research Technician

Jessica Foster, Research Technician

We spent time in the apple research area talking to Jessica Foster, a Research Technician who has been on the job for a year and a half, as well as Sarah Kingsley-Richards who has worked here for 20 years.

Eduardo

Eduardo

We also got to meet Eduardo, from Italy who is now studying at the University of Vermont. I will be writing more about the Center soon.

But after our long weekend with the cousins, and my brother and his wife – it was time to go home. The only stop was at the Curtis BBQ for ribs.

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