Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Laurel wanted to surprise Morgan with a day of sledding down Lincoln Gap Road followed by a night in Fern Forest Treehouse. Lincoln Gap Road is closed from Thanksgiving until about Easter, depending on the weather, but the brave and fit hike up and sled or ski down, navigating the hairpin turns or joyfully careening into a snow bank. A couple years ago our son Will hiked up with his puppy Rowdy, and Rowdy got so excited that he took off into the woods and disappeared. For days Will tried to find the little Hungarian Moody, but there was no sign of him. Fortunately, he was wearing a collar with a tag, and a week later a woman in Warren called to say she had found Rowdy shivering and hungry on her front porch. Somehow the pup had wandered over the mountain and into the village, managing to outsmart coyotes, fisher cats and foxes.
Instead of the Lincoln Gap Road, Morgan and Laurel accidentally took the Appalachian Gap Road, which stays open all winter for commuters from Addison County on their way to Waitsfield, Montpelier or Mad River Glen for a day of skiing. Instead of sledding, they pulled their car into the parking area at the top of the gap and hiked a few miles on the Long Trail, which crosses the gap road.
Fern Forest Treehouse perches between the two gap roads, and Laurel and Morgan managed to find their way to snowy Lincoln. They were rosy-cheeked and tired when they arrived just before nightfall, but they unloaded their gear, cleaned up and had a beer with us before heading back down the mountain to Bristol for dinner at Mary’s Restaurant at the Inn at Baldwin Creek. While we nibbled cheese, we learned that the couple met while working with troubled and at-risk teenagers in a wilderness therapy program, taking kids out for two weeks at a time with nothing but a tarp and sleeping bag, even in the depths of winter. Beside the fact that they are both exceedingly good looking, I imagine Morgan and Laurel were attracted to each other as heat sources. They also have a common drive to do good deeds in the world. Morgan now works at NRG Systems, which manufactures wind energy products in more than 135 countries. Laurel is an artist who takes discarded cabinet doors and paints on them gorgeous landscapes with gold leaf borders. She sells her work at My Expose (go to myexpose dot com and search for Laurel Fulton) and also paints on commission. Her renderings of sky and stone and sea are incredible, as are the barns, boats, and even a cow or two.
At breakfast the following morning we had some art talk and then these two visitors had to get back to their adopted barn cat. We’re counting on them coming back, and hopefully they’ll find Lincoln Gap Road this time. This generous hearted couple is always welcome at Fern Forest.
Posted by Louella Bryant at 6:41 AM