Happy 2016! We made it! This is the future, and we are alive! It is time to live like we have arrived. No more worrying about what might happen (because what did that ever get us anyway?), but instead we focus on new themes and goals and challenges that we will face with joy and wonder! As my family sat down for the first of many family meetings, we decided to choose a word for the year that will sum up our hopes and goals and dreams. I tried to suggest “good behavior,” but I was immediately shot down on account of that is two words, and unfortunately “no more hospitals” is three words, and a completely unrealistic goal at this point anyway. Luckily my wife was on hand to supply the perfect word for the lens through which we will view the next twelve months: Adventure!
Now, there are 365 days in a year, and it stands to reason that we ought to put a little bit of adventure into each one of them. This we will try to do. And yes, I know how many minutes there are in a year, but I cannot tell you that number, for fear that the entire “Rent” soundtrack will be stuck in my head for the remainder of 2016. And there are 52 weeks in the year. We have some weekly adventuring goals as well. My wife and I are going to try to spend some individual time with each kid, each week. Yesterday she took Edward bowling, and Ruby to the bookstore to buy coloring books. But we also decided that, with 12 months in the year, we ought to set a big goal of 12 big adventures. Not “going to the store” kinds of adventures. We’re talking about the kind you make a scrapbook page about. We are talking some serious adventure. One every month. No take-backs. And that was how we ended up on the road this weekend, looking for covered bridges.
We had already been to one covered bridge here in Vermont, though it is mostly not in use anymore. The Shelburne Museum has a very fine covered bridge that we have visited multiple times. We made sure to wave to it as we drove down Route 7, looking for a new adventure.
Our first stop was just a bit further south, in Charlotte. There was a small parking area (for the small beach nearby, not for the bridge specifically) which we took advantage of and wandered outside for our first major find of the day.
The Holmes Creek Bridge is a small bridge on a not so very busy road, which was why we able to stand out here in traffic and get this amazing group selfie (grelfie). We even went walking onto the bridge itself, only having to dodge a few trucks here and there.
After we took pictures of ourselves taking pictures of ourselves, we packed back into the car and kept on going. One covered bridge does not an adventure make! No, we needed to find more! And we did. Right on Route 7 (well, next to Route 7) we found the Spade Farm bridge, now a tourist attraction for a local business. At least we could run up and down this one without wondering if we were about to be run over.
Now began the longer drive down to Middlebury. We all needed drinks and snacks, including the car, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to stop until we had reached the third bridge. This was going to be a good one. The Pulp Mill bridge was our first and only double barrel of the day, complete with a walking path along side of it. Boy, that was a cool bridge.
Wait, how did Bear get in that picture?! Well, anyway, we had a good time with that one. We didn’t walk on the actual covered part in this case, because there was actual traffic and the thing was fairly long, but we did walk alongside the bridge on the pedestrian walkway, complete with helpful signs warning us of giant rooftop gila monster attacks.
It was now time for the snackage, and for figuring out the way to the 4th bridge, Halpin bridge, located just a short distance away.
This was another low-traffic bridge, so we walked all up and down and over and around this one. Of course it was getting later in the day by this point, and we were all getting pretty tired. Hey, if you’re not tired, it’s not an adventure! On to the next bridge!
We turned around and headed homeward, knowing that more bridges were on the way. I mean, this is Vermont. You can’t throw a snowball without hitting a covered bridge around here. And sure enough, right there in Charlotte, we found the Quinlan bridge.
It was at this point that Edward flat out refused to get out of the car. He had had enough adventuring for one year it seemed.
That’s okay. We managed to get a grelfie of all of us at the bridge anyway. He just had to stick his head out a little further than normal. But he never left his seat!
Now obviously, at this point, any sane family would decide that the five bridges were plenty and that they ought to go home. This is why we continued on to Seguin bridge. “Sanity” is not our theme word this year, after all. And besides, Seguin bridge was seriously like five minutes away from Quinlan bridge. It would have been madness not to go there. Right?
Edward did come out of the car for bridge number six (seven, if you count the Shelburne Museum one that we waved to). But he only came out so that he could shoot his new nerf gun over the railing and into the river and then throw a fit because his dart was gone. Luckily intrepid adventurer Tenor Mom was on hand to save the day. She was definitely getting the full experience.
And so we ended our adventure with all of us out of the car, standing by an amazing covered bridge, nerf dart in hand, Bear on shoulder, and maximum experience achieved. I have no idea what next month’s adventure will be, but you can be sure that I will document it here for you, as we live out 2016: The Year of Adventure!