Summer is usually to hectic to even think about relaxation. John and I decided to take a little break before we were just consumed with work. With soaring gas prices and beautiful state, we explored Vermont for a get away. First we went to the Shelburne Museum. I highly recommand going, it's a family affair. As usual, we were not prepared when we went. We arrived an hour before they close. So the first event of our vacation, was, as usual, rushed. I saw a lot of great things, unfortunately I didn't get to read about any of them. The other enlightning fact I found out about at the museum was that the "Big" Barn is not at Shelburne Museum, but rather at Shelburne Farm. This "Big" barn is something I have wanted to see for years. I was determined to see it.
The next day we hiked Camels Hump Mountain. I was suprized how well I felt that morning considering we slept in our friends driveway, in a tent, with our dog, in the rain. I haven't really hiked much since college. Hiking is nice because it gives you lots of time to think. It is kind of like a solitude shared with a friend. Just the thought of hiking makes me think back to the time my father and his "girlfriend" now wife, and I hiked Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks. Not only was it a very long hike, we were consumed by black flies. It was like a slow, frustrating torchure. I wanted to cry and just make it end. Even when we got to the top there was no relief, so we just took a picture and then turned around and went down.
Back to this big barn. After the 8 mile or so hike up and down Camels Hump, we were off to the Shelburne Farm. Again we arrived at the farm an hour before it closed. Its something like 700 acres, very spread out. The young man at the counter told me I could walk the mile trail to see the big barn. I wasn't that psyched about the idea of an other mile after four hours of hiking. But what are you going to do. We walked the 10 minutes and arrived at a very lovely barn and courtyard. I remember telling John that I expected it to be bigger. He said, "Yeah and it looks like a ski resort" He was right, I was a bit disapointed, especially since it had been a goal of mine to see this barn. We went inside to ask a few questions. The hosts were definately college interns. It was 5 minute to closing and they were looking at us like they had wished they had locked the doors before they turned off the lights. After a couple exchanges of words, I felt like we were talking to each other but both of us on different topics. But I did find out that this wasn't the Big barn! Yeah I felt, maybe I hadn't been let down yet. Of course it was another mile that way. I felt like we were chasing a Unicorn. When all I could think about was my burning thighs, we finally came to the big barn. It still looked like a ski lodge, but this barn was a mamouth. 100' by 400' it stood with no center posts. The pictures I had in my mind were those that I had seen on VPT or somewhere. The barn would be a host to horse shows and fairs. As we walked thought the archway, high enough for a horseman, I felt like was walking through a porthole into the past. While the building itself was beautiful it didn't hold the ambiance I was looking for. Now it was a mere shell, for storage of trucks and gravel and such. I walked into one of the 12'x16' stalls. The doors were huge, the handle was intricate, a pice of art work within itself. Pieces of the wood had been chewed, by nervous or bored horses. I could close my eyes and fill the place with horses, and proud owners. The barn felt like it had a million stories to tell me, I just needed to find a way to comunicate with it. We left the barn, not really feeling like all expectations had been fulfilled.