12.11.23 — Travel

Sunsets & Swimming Holes

After meeting Mallory and Megan in Montreal, reuniting with everyone in Williston, and then heading up to Jay Peak with Maureen and Mallory, it was finally time for me to spend some quality time with Megan. As an old friend and a local expert (I discovered this last year when she put together an amazing plan in Vermont and New York), I was excited to see what she had in store!

With me connecting to work every day at a very early hour, I had a nap after I’d finished and then Megan arrived back home as I was getting up. She told me to pack my swimming trunks and a towel and off we went to a place called Bolton Falls. I assumed we weren’t off to Bolton, Greater Manchester, as that would be quite the journey with very little payoff…

Megan parked up in a little car park just off the road and then guided me down a little dirt path. This then opened out into a gorgeous little lake set at the foot of a series of little waterfalls, all surrounded by trees. It was a rather tranquil spot that the locals call a ‘swimming hole’, but I assumed we’d just be dipping our toes in.

The swimming hole was gorgeous but also quite cold.

It turned out that Megan had much more adventurous plans for the two of us. We were soon wading through the part of the pool that we’d figured was the shallowest, an observation helped by a dog that wandered through the water without any problem. Once on the other side, we scrambled up the rocks and to the top of the falls, which provided some amazing views out over the valley.

I still can’t get over how beautiful Vermont is.

Now at the top of the falls where the water pooled in a shallow basin before descending down the the lower pool where we’d begun our trek, Megan decided to take the plunge. She leapt right into the cold water after some motivation from me and the others who were hanging out down at the swimming hole. I eventually followed suite, but it took a lot of convincing: I was happy just paddling!

We stayed a while to watch some of the other visitors jump from a rocky ledge into another perfectly circular pool. We decided we fancied jumping in, but we weren’t up for the 5m dive that others were making and so returned to the base pool to try our luck there.

Once we’d found a spot we were comfortable with, the two of us joined hands and jumped right into the deepest park of the swimming hole. It was so much fun that we went for a second and third go, much to the bemusement of a couple who had also shown up for a dip.

I don’t think I’ve ever swum in such pretty surroundings.

When it was time to leave we ferried our things through the deep part of the pool by holding them over our head, a move which could have easily ended in disaster but luckily did not. We then dried off and got changed in and around the car – quite the challenge in a public car park!

From Bolton Falls we went for a meal in a nearby town to put an end to the day. We had some delicious bao and burgers accompanied by a glass of wine. It was a great chance to have a proper chat after so many days of running around all over Vermont.

We also took a little detour on the way home to drive past the house one of Maureen and Terry’s neighbours. Megan has assured me that they’d already have their halloween decorations up and that they always go big, and she wasn’t wrong!

The next day also saw me and Megan head out to spend the afternoon and evening together. She’d bought us tickets to ride the sunset cruise on The Spirit of Ethan Allen, a boat which I’d seen last year from the dock as it made its return from taking all those on board to see the last rays of sun over the Adirondack Mountains from Lake Champlain.

We cut it very fine, arriving and parking up just five minutes before the sailing time. We just about made it on board though, finding a cute little spot to sit down on the stern of the boat. Megan went to get drinks, I ordered some chicken nachos as a little snack, and off we went after a rather thorough safety briefing.

Looking back over Burlington made me appreciate just how small it really is.

A rather large tray of nachos then showed up, which we set about nibbling at as The Spirit of Ethan Allen powered out into the centre of the lake. We passed the lighthouse marking the entrance to the port, a series of sailboats out on the water, and a group of teenagers who were jumping off the same rock that Megan and I had spotted as we kayaked around the lake last year. It was all very, very beautiful.

Vermont, ladies and gentlemen.

After nearly two hours of sailing and some of the best sunset views one could wish for, the captain eventually turned us around and we headed back to Burlington. Once back home, Megan and I teamed up to make some food and then headed out to karaoke night with Megan II (Megan’s flatmate who is also called Megan) and Mallory. This was a short-lived affair though, as we we were all pretty tired and so headed back home nice and early.

These two nights I spent with Megan were an absolute blast. Once again she’d shown me some of the best and most beautiful parts of Vermont, but more than anything it was just lovely to spend some time together having a laugh and putting the world to rights.

There was still more to come before I left Vermont, but we were soon to be joined by another VIP. More on that in my next post!