We had a great day on the mountain with our second open house! 125 people came from all over Vermont, New Hampshire & Massachusetts. At the base we heard people call out the county they were from in Vermont. People had come from Lamoille, Orleans, Caledonia, Rutland, Orange, Washington and Chittenden counties. We recognized people from our first open house but the majority were new comers. One couple traveled 3 hours from New hamphire that morning.
After a short introduction and logistics talk near the base campfire we broke up into 4 hiking groups. The groups each had a leader and a sweeper coming up from behind. The different groups traveled at different speeds ranging from fast (deer group) to slow (turtle group) and 2 in between. Everyone had a choice of what pace they wanted to maintain so no one was left behind. One group even carried up some GREEN & HEAVY planking for the platform we are building to put a wall tent on. Our tents have been getting a little flimsy with the snow, rain and wind beating on them. The weather cooperated with lots of sunshine and not too much wind. There was a sense of camaraderie among us all even though there were people both for and against the wind project we were climbing up to observe. There were lots of conversations about wind, solar, property rights, politics and the environment all the way up, while on top and all the way down. Most of the conversations I heard on the way up consisted of, “Where are you from, why are you here, what do think about wind, solar, hydro, where is Nelson’s property line, what are we actually going to see, we won’t get arrested will we ?”
Once we reached the top we were briefed on where the property line and disputed property line was. There were 2 very polite Lamoille County Sheriffs telling us to stay on our side of what Green Mountain Power said was the property line. Green Mountain Power was paying the county Sherriffs to be there to enforce that line. We heard more than a few visitors ask if we could hire a Sherriff to enforce where the Nelson’s say the line is. The Sherriffs informed us that until the dispute was settled in court it was where Green Mountain Power says it is. It almost seems like you are guilty until you can prove you are innocent..?
After all 4 groups made it to the top we had a questions & answers session as we got warm by the fire, had some hot drinks and snacks.
We stayed up on top and were able to walk up to the ridge to the North where people could get a better look at The Crane Path. There were only security guards there.
David Halquest from VEC was among the visitors along with representive Vickie Strong. The only mishaps of the day were the cars that got stuck in the field by our base camp. But a local farmer came and pulled them out with the help of Steve Wright and others. Among the stuck cars were the folks from VEC.
Everyone worked together throughout the day educating, comparing ideas and pulling out cars.