YESTERDAY ON THE MOUNTAIN:
Laura Starecheski from NPR came to Craftsbury to see the Lowell Mountains! Laura is one of the producers of the NPR show, “State of the Re:Union.” Laura had contacted me through the blog asking if I would bring her up to the mountain. NPR is in the process of doing an hour long show about Vermont. A good portion of the show will be about the effects of Hurricane Irene. Some will be about the Lowell Wind Project. Laura will be interviewing people from both sides of the issue or mountain so to speak! Laura was a joy to spend the day with. She is young, energetic and has great enthusiasm for her work. She came from New York City with all the gear and energy of an avid hiker. Today, she is on the Lowell side of the mountain interviewing people. Unfortunately the show won’t air until this coming May. Laura plans on coming back to interview more people before then. I gave her a list of other Mountain Occupiers she will be contacting soon if she hasn’t already.
Our morning started at the Craftsbury General Store. From there we went to Steve Wright’s house. She was going to interview Steve after our hike to the top so we left her car there and she rode with me to the base of the mountain. As we were driving past Don & Shirley Nelson’s house I saw that Shirley was outside so I pulled in to say hi. Laura was thrilled to meet them. Shirley invited us in out of the cold and the next thing I knew there was a full fledge interview going on with Don & Shirley. We stayed for about a half hour and then drove on down The Bailey Hazen Road to park and hike up.
We met a random hiker who was going up to see for himself what was going on. He wasn’t sure of the trail so I invited him to join us. Laura had her recorder going the whole time. When we reached the top there were a few workers coming and going and a security guard had his eye on us.
I did my best to explain how much the landscape had changed since we first started hiking and camping in late September. I pointed out the newly blasted areas for towers 6 & 7. Laura had lots of questions for both me and the hiker. He had been on Lowell Mountain lots of times and was obviously saddened by what he saw. The hiker headed back down and Laura and I scooted North through the woods to another portion of the Crane Path. I believe we were at the site for tower # 5. There was a lot of equipment parked but no one was working there. As we were traveling through the thick spruce trees Laura said, “This is how I had envisioned it being up here.” I explained that it use to look like that all over the ridge. There were no expansive views as there are now. She asked if I was getting numb to it. “Yea, I guess I am.”
After sharing some hot tea to warm up our hands by the platform we headed back down. We stopped a few times just to enjoy the view of the snow on the hardwoods, brooks meandering through the snow covered ground and the quiet away from the few machines that were running. I drove Laura back to Steve’s house. We hugged goodbye and I drove home wondering what it would take for us to stop wrecking the environment all over the country. Does everything have to be about money and more power?