Everest Traffic Jam

The first official ascent of Mount Everest (29,029 ft) was made in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.

Times have changed, and the undertaking has become a world-class sport, with hundreds attempting the effort. The photo, taken on May 23 of this year depicts a “conga line” of climbers ascending the Lhotse Face.

Information Session on RGS Artist Trip to Tuscany To Be Held March 21

An informational meeting for anyone interested in joining the River Gallery School art trip to Tuscany in October will be held on Thursday, March 21, 6:00 p.m. at the school, 32 Main Street, Brattleboro. Those interested in learning more about the tour are invited to attend.

The trip will take place from October 4–11, 2019 in Pienza, Italy, with a three-day, optional stay prior to the tour in Cortona from October 1–3. The tour is sponsored by the River Gallery School and organized by Travel Fever Tours of Putney.

Camimo Pilgrimage Path Across Spain is Topic of Library Presentation

Spain’s thousand-year-old pilgrimage trail will be the focus of a presentation at Brattleboro’s Books Memorial Library on January 8, 2019, at 7:00 pm. The library is at 224 Main Street in Brattleboro, VT.

The slideshow and discussion will be led by Betsy Bates, Cicely Carroll, and Bob Lawson.

The Camino is nearly 500 miles long, running from the Pyrenees in France across the northern portion of Spain to Santiago de Compostela.

Walking the Camino Pilgrimage Trail in Spain

Walking the 1000-year-old pilgrimage trail across northern Spain will be the focus of a presentation at the Putney Library on November 15 at 7:00 pm. The slideshow and discussion will be led by Betsy Bates, Paul LeVasseur, Cicely Carroll, and Bob Lawson.

The Camino is nearly 500 miles long, running from the Pyrenees in France across the northern portion of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Running from village to village, across farm fields and beside streams and rivers, the path is now walked for many reasons and by many people from many countries.

Future Shock in Upstate New York – A Visit to the Real World


Recently, C and I shuffled off to Buffalo for a short visit with family. Leaving Brattleboro is always an adventure, partly because we hardly ever do it and never know what we’ll find out there. This time, it seemed as though everywhere you looked, the future was being installed, and folks, it wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was almost scary.

Our first jolt of the new normal came in the outer Albany area where we’ve been stopping at McDonald’s for years for a quick bite before we hit the Thruway. This time, there was only one young woman at the counter with maybe 5 or 6 customers in the lobby.

Uber in Brattleboro (Free 1st Ride)

If anyone needs a ride, I’m now approved by Uber for servicing the Brattleboro area. Will tailer hours to demand. I’m based in downtown Bratt, and will provide rides anywhere in the region. Request a pickup from the Uber app anytime you need to get to or from somewhere. More affordable, luxurious and convenient then a taxi.

Boating Accident at Exit 3

I was out on errands and was thinking about the long list of disasters we’ve seen lately – hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, earthquakes, nuclear saber-rattling, and so on. No specific thoughts, but just general awe of the list.

River Gallery School to Take Artists to Mexico in February

The River Gallery School will take artists in search of inspiration and sunshine to Mexico in February on a tour led by instructor Mary Giammarino. The trip will be based in Oaxaca and run from February 4 to 11, 2017.

In the mornings, the tour will introduce participants to the sights of southern Mexico, with daily instruction in oils, water colors and pastels by the trip’s resident art instructor. Afternoons and evenings will be devoted to exploring the small city’s many galleries, workshops and art museums, not to mention the excellent cuisine.

Brattleboro’s River Gallery School has previously run artist tours to Italy and Spain.

Why We Need Vacations

For many years, I regarded a vacation as a necessity.  Like the two day weekend, I considered it vital to my health and well-being.  Then I stopped being able to afford the time or money to take a vacation, and next thing you know, a decade and a half had gone by.  Guess what? I lived.  But my body has taken a beating, because the continual ongoing activities of my job — typing, mousing, clicking — are gradually rendering my right arm useless.

Summer’s Almost Gone

Just out of curiousity, I’m wondering how many people actually got to have some real vacation in their Summer.

Did you get away? Even long weekends count. Have a “Staycation”? They don’t count. I’m talking about the real, pack a bag and get out of the house and away from our everyday life sort of break.

The Vermont Community Foundation Awards Vermont Partnership Grant to Support the Vermont African American Heritage Trail

Brattleboro. The Vermont Community Foundation has awarded Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity an $11,000 Innovations and Collaborations grant. The grant will support Vermont Partnership’s development of the nearly three-year old Vermont African American Heritage Trail to be more accessible to Vermont school children and families.

The Vermont African-American Heritage Trail includes nineteen sites of importance to black history in the state and brings visitors to Vermont museums and cultural sites where exhibits, tours, and personal explorations illuminate the lives of African Americans for whom the Green Mountain State was part of their identity.

Spectacular Niagara

Americans love a realistic spectacle, the more realistic the better.  So says Umberto Eco in Travels in Hyper Reality, a survey of American theme parks and attractions that argues the premise that for Americans, the real is not real enough, and that enhanced reality (or even enhanced unreality) are sometimes better than the thing itself.  One could certainly make that case with the theme park called Niagara Falls, which I was fortunate enough to visit recently at night, when Niagara transitions from mere natural wonder into a 20th century spectacular worthy of Las Vegas.

New Route for Amtrak

Trains will now stop in Greenfield and Northampton instead of Amherst. This project replaces the Palmer backup move and combined with already completed work in Vermont and work in Connecticut to be completed by 2016, will take an hour and a half off the schedule.

The faster running times are not yet evident.  Seven separate slow orders remain on the new line as construction is finished up.  Rather than try to run the new schedule while it’s not yet achievable, Amtrak has kept the running times in Vermont the same for the time being and will introduce the new schedule in the spring.  Trains will leave Vermont points about half an hour later than they do now and arrive about half an hour earlier in the evening.  Top speed in Massachusetts will be 79 mph.