45 years or so ago a man bought many acres of land, an entire mountainside actually. 35 years ago my folks bought a small number of the man’s acres and built a home on them. I was already out living on my own, but I stored my dirt bike at my folk’s home. On visits I’d get on my bike and zoom the side of the mountain, following log roads that the man hoped would one day lead to many beautiful house lots, carefully planned, and sparsely and expertly set, all the way up to the top of the 2300 foot high Worcester Ridge.
Months passed and the roads stretched further up the mountain. On my dirt bike rides, I’d go and go till the logging roads petered out. Then I’d shut down my bike, rest, and look out across the valley to a majestic western view of Camel’s Hump, Mt. Mansfield, Sterling Ridge, and more north, all the way to Lowell mines. The views were awesome, and I dreamt the best thing in the world would be to one day become rich so I could afford land with such a fantastic view.
Age 44, with a dying dad, not rich, but rich enough, after weeks of searching for reasons why, I called the man to ask if he “had any of them lots up on the ridge near my folks,” available to buy.
He did, and almost 9 years ago, on a very cold and brilliant sunny day, the 83 year old man and I snow shoed to lot 16, where the view from 1497 feet above see level was one I’d recognized from rests I’d taken during my long-ago dirt bike rides. 4 minutes after arriving at the heart of the lot, the older man and I shook hands on a deal for my purchasing lot 16. 9 months later I closed on the land where I now sit writing in my home.
Luck struck my way one day in the form of the town select people setting 1500 feet as the highest elevation one can build along the steep winding road to the ridge.
Thanks to the now 92 year-old man, my folks, the town select people, even myself I guess, and actually many many many humans I know and don’t know, I have a 200-acre back yard/mountain preserve, with views up the ying-yang, practically to myself.
I’ve driven my truck, a car, a 4 wheeler, and a snow machine up the mountain behind my house dozens of times. Hundreds of times I’ve hiked, ran, and mt. biked it, all the way to the 2300 foot ridge, that offers views west across Mt. Mansfield toward Lake Champlain, and east out across to the Presidential Range … if you can believe that.
You know when you’re really, really thirsty, you take a drink of fresh clean cold water, and after the final gulp you experience a few seconds when you aren’t able to speak, and your breathing slows down, and you close your eyes, and you’re totally in awe of life itself? That’s how I feel every time I summit the Worcester Ridge.
Yup, up here on the Worcester Ridge, it’s Christmas every day.