Sunday, 11 October.
Ribbons of rain parting, the crisp pre-snow blue skies break through just as we cross the causeway from mainland Vermont to South Hero, gateway to the Champlain Islands.
Eastern facing shoreline dotted with second homes, camps and easy life. Banner supreme announcing Applefest, beckon and call to far flung tourists looking for something sweet and inspirational. A joker in a go cart tooting his mini horn down the aisle of South Street, followed by John Deere, gawkers in wagon tow.
Caramel aromas, candied corn and Hackett's Orchard Cider donuts, hot dogs and pretzels, soup in a bread bowl, the world famous deep fried Bloomin' Onion.
Irresistible country rhyme and tune, brisk wind, latent summer radiant sunshine beaming through the peaking crimson & gold maple leaves.
One decked out drummer sitting in for the Fox Band, electric guitars, threads to die for and a winsome smile. Great energy, good gigs and so much to look back on.
Canadian Thanksgiving, since 1990, some 20,000 folk trapse down Apple Alley; stall, tag sale, antiques, sign purveyor, fiddle player, drummer, exotic goat, the tap dancer. Apple orchard promenade, pony rides, live bees, purveyors of honey, maple syrup, all the fixin's.
Such a carnival, the blueberry boy thrown in the drink mercilessly by the kid with the good arm who peggs the metal plate target with just one throw, cold hearted, cold plunge. Somehow we missed the famed St. Rose of Lima apple pancake breakfast, ought to next year.
In the mean time, if you'd like to live in, buy a house or pick up a second home in South Hero, surf away at maplesweet.com or jet off an e-mail describing what you'd like to find and you can expect a prompt reply.