Ricker State Park: Enjoying A Vermont Campground

We have been putting lots of miles on the car lately, so when two very good friends invited us to join them at a Vermont State Park, we jumped at the chance. They had reserved a waterside leanto for a couple of days and we were gonna paddle & fish & drink & cook. And then probably drink some more. Isn't that the goal of car camping?

We drove up to Barre and then out into the Vermont boonies, full of many wonderful things and lacking cell service. Perfect :) Before even heading to the leanto, we unloaded our boats and took a quick spin around Ricker Pond. She's a cute little pond and apparently the beginning of several bodies of water that mark the beginning of the ..... River.

On our first trip to the local geneeral store, we quickly learned that Tropical Storm Irene had been a definitive part of life up here as well. The owner showed us a horrific slide show that he had hanging in one of those digitical frames on the wall. The river had taken over his business - the enormous river boulders that Veermonters have now become accustomed dominated the area surrounding his riverside property. But with hard work and good old determination, he was back open for business - and damn proud of it!

So we set up camp...and guess what?
It rained!!
Totally standard for both June days in Vermont so we were ready. The tarp was up over the table in minutes and and rain gear never came off as we ventured back out onto the water. As I have mentioned before, I admit to having tortured way too many fish as a youth and have sworn off fishing as a way of making amends. So Vespi & I took the canoe and went exploring.

We came upon an end to the water.
In classic Vermont fashion, there were no markers, no buoys, just a section of the pond where the water seemed to just be ending. As we paddled closer, I realized it was manmade damn and quickly steered off to the shore before ending up heading down a five foot waterfall in a kevlar canoe.
This was the exploring we were looking for...

Behind this new damn lay a complete and wonderful wilderness. As the water poured over the damn, it wound around rocks and trees and under a thin, lifting fog. It was like a magic place, where little girls would find fairies and boys would find hidden monsters. I couldn't get enough, dodging around fallen trees and climbing over boulders to try and study this place from every angle.

As we stumbled over the remains of the old damn, we knew we had found something special.

And then we heard noises, muffled voices breaking through the sound of rushing water. Our friends had seen our boat and come venturing in after us. Vespi and I were shaken back into reality as these new humans, armed with fishing poles, entered our domain. But they, too, quickly fell under the spell of this little nook and we stayed, bound by the moment and the place and the magic, until our tummies grumbled too much to ignore and we reluctantly headed back to the leanto.

We quickly settled into our leanto - and except for the city guys banging a hammer against an axe to split wood - settled in to enjoy a wonderful evening by the campfire :)

Oh yeah - Just want to give Vespi a big shout out for doing all the dished this trip!

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
FemaleSkiBum & Vespi