Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A happy day for himself

I ask you my friends .... is that a happy face or what?

Many many (well two, which often feels like many many) months ago, himself,  King Richard, celebrated another birthday, for which we are aways delighted and gleefully doing the "happy dance".

To celebrate said natal day his son Patrick (himself an air traffic controller) hired his friend, a pilot, to fly his Dad to the destination of his choice for lunch.... His highness the King is "all about" all things aeronautical and didn't really care too much about the lunch or the destination, it was all about the getting there, getting there way up high where the birdies fly .... lets just fly fly fly

Not so quick there your highness .... first and most importantly a pre-flight inspection must be done ... check things in the aircraft, check things under the aircraft and check the oil ..... 

then ....

YOU, your highness can pull the plane out of  its hangar .... 

and finally, after all this work is done you will go up up up and away

to Martha's Vineyard for a delightful, delectable, enjoyable, love filled lunch ....

devastation and destruction

Not a particularly pleasant title is it?  It has, however been the tone in these parts for a couple weeks, but it has also been a great motivator for communities to "come together" and do what has to be done ...

I think I may have posted the above photo a few months ago when we first arrived in Quechee, showing just how beautiful the Quechee Gorge is.  The photos below, however, are quite a different view of said Beautiful Gorge .... don't you think!!!

Taken from the same spot on the bridge looking down into the gorge - the first one when the water level was at a "reasonable level" mid-June ... the next two were taken a couple days after Hurricane Irene reeked havoc on this area ~ tearing towns, villages, houses and families apart with wild abandon!  As you can see from the photos the water level was considerably higher through the gorge - the rock cliffs along the side are under water!  The trails (which by the way are maintained by "us", the State Park) and still impassable because of the damage done to them.  The park system has been working to get them "passable" by the coming Columbus Day weekend, which in these parts is a major tourist weekend because of the gorgeous foliage that will surely color the area in a couple weeks (stay tuned, I just may be back in the blog swing of things and post a photo or two).

Above is a photo of the hydroelectric station just down the road from us (in fact across the street from the  Park Rangers house).  I don't have a comparison photo but this link is a terrific video (tab #1 at this link) of what was happening during this chaos, as well as a still shot (tab #2) which is a great comparison.  There is mention during the video of propane tanks .... a store in Woodstock (about seven miles west of us) had several propane tanks lost in the disaster, being close to the flooding river, of course they floated away with several of them bursting, causing the bridge over the gorge to be closed for a while as a precaution ~ as if there wasn't enough going on!!!

Above, just a random shot of a small building that had "floated" off its foundation!

I think the worst of the local (within a one mile radius of us) tragedies was the photo directly above and those below of the Quechee Bridge.  As you can see the bridge is "fine" but there is no longer access to the bridge, making it an island!  Word has it that repairs will not start until sometime in 2013 on this devastation, as there IS other access to this area.  The photo above was taken approaching the bridge from the south, the photos below were taken from the north side .... amazing the force of nature isn't it!  That mother nature was one "pissed off woman" when she came through here that day!

An interesting note to the photo below, as well as one similar above, the building to the right of the bridge is (was) a real estate office - the entire back wall of the building was washed away!  I do expect that any day now the building will be razed - I can't imagine that any insurance carrier would cover it in the future?

With all this said, there is progress being made - a couple of the businesses in this little area known as Quechee Village have reopened, but more surprisingly the main thorough fare from east to west across the state (route 4) at this point has finally been reopened, as of yesterday, with one lane passage.  The closure of that road had a huge impact on the moral of the entire area with many many small towns being totally isolated.

With all this said I will close by saying I have photos loaded for two additional posts, but well ....... we shall see, but please do try to stay tuned ....