On the news this week, I learned that Lake Champlain is officially completely frozen over! This is something that doesn’t happen every winter. In fact this is the first time since 2015 that this has happened. Last time, I was pretty bummed that I didn’t take the opportunity to walk out in the middle of the frozen lake. So, to avoid that same regret this time around, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and walk onto the ice near Oakledge Park in Burlington, VT.
There were a number of other groups on the ice as well. People were taking pictures, going for bike rides, catching fish, and overall enjoying the spectacle of the State’s largest lake being frozen. My favorite thought was remembering summer days spent swimming at Oakledge, and comparing that mental image to how far from shore we had walked. Luckily, we were able to take some pictures and videos all while staying quite dry.
Lake Champlain certainly seems locked in the icy grip of winter, but surely that wont last for TOO much longer. Spring will come soon!
Today, I thought I would explore the Burlington Bike Path and perhaps find some geocaches. When I got to the waterfront however, I was met with conditions I wasn’t really expecting! I was only able to take a few pictures of Lake Champlain and some angry looking water before I needed to retreat to the car.
Despite the sun and fluffy clouds, the temperature was in only the high 30’s and the wind was howling so it felt much colder. I attempted to find one geocache, but the cold and the wind made me retreat back to the car for warmth. At first, I was disappointed in myself for not being prepared for the conditions, but the wind by the lake was just a little too strong for me to enjoy spending much time away from the car. Rather than giving up on a bright and sunny afternoon, I decided to change my plans and go for a different adventure. I decided to go for a drive away from the lake and go letterboxing!
Similar to Geocaching, Letterboxing is another outdoor scavenger hunt game that I have enjoyed for some time. I was more involved in the game while I was in high school, but since moving to Vermont, I had never been able to find one of Vermont’s most famous letterboxes! The Prayer Rock Letterbox was originally placed in 1998, right after the sport started in the United States. In fact, this letterbox is famous for being the first to feature a piece of hand-carved stamp art for each finder. Today, this practice is commonplace and so clearly, I needed to find the first!
The exact location of this box is shrouded in a small amount of mystery, so I wont be the one to spoil the fun for you, but as someone who has been a part of this game for over 15 years, finding a letterbox that has existed for 20 years was very exciting. If you are interested in finding this original Letterbox, find its clues here.
After we found the box, we hopped back in the car and proceeded to get lost on Vermont dirt roads making our way slowly back to Burlington. On the drive alone, we saw 3 new parks and trails that I had never noticed before. Looks like more new places to explore next time!