Monday, August 7, 2017

Vermont Journal: The Quechee Gorge

watercolor of Quechee Gorge by Hallie Cohen
There is Little Shop of Horrors and then there is the real thing. It’s the same with wonders. You have the Taj Mahal and The Grand Canyon and then there are the sublime wonders that you find in a state like Vermont where the electorate has voted to bring time to a standstill, albeit the same voters who elected Bernie Sanders. Not really a contradiction, when you consider Donald Trump’s executive order exploring the repeal of the Antiquities of Act of l906 with respect to monuments that occupy more than l00,000 acres. For instance Vermont still has over l00 covered bridges and consider the historical note that the millionaire Frederick Billings, who made his fortune in the California Gold Rush of 1848, came back to his home state and reversed the depredation caused by cleared land, which he saw destroying both the scenery and ecology of environment. Another Vermonter George Perkins Marsh wrote Man and Nature (1864), one of the first primers for environmentalists. Woodstock, which was the home of both Marsh and Billings, has consistently been voted one of the most beautiful villages in America. The town of Quechee, right down the road from Woodstock,  features the Quechee Gorge, a sublime treasure that may not qualify as one of the Seven Wonders, but which displays a beauty that's almost more powerful due to its intimacy. The Quechee Bridge which is half between Woodstock and White River Junction was built in l911 by the American Bridge Company and it’s the spot from which you peer 165 feet down into the mini abyss created 13,000 years ago when the Laurentide Ice Sheet cut through the area.

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