Thursday, June 30, 2016

From Antigua to San Pedro

Here's what that eruption in Antigua looked like a bit closer:

Antigua is a stunning city. They've done a great job of preserving the old style and buildings, but the place is bustling with activity, plenty of it touristic.

Here's a View of the place from the forest nearby:

After spending two nights and one nice day in Antigua, we boarded a bus for San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlan. The drive was exciting, but less exciting than others we've had over similar roads. After a very smooth section of highway for some hours we turned off and descended switch backs like those of the "Ghat Road", except with standard road width, down to the lake.

Cuddles, the sloth, joined us. As has scooter the puppy (not pictured).
Lake Atitlan is stunning.

And wow, is there ever so much to look at, taste, climb, learn and do! This is just the start of the start, but we are having an absolute blast.

Next up: San Pedro itself - a small lakeside city of some 13,000 lovely people of mostly Mayan descent, most of whom speak Tz'utujil, which sounds more like Arabic than spanish. The place is alive with color and life and food. Our language school is beautiful, our host family impossibly generous, and the city entrancing with it's narrow streets and tuk-tuks... That's for next time!

Leaving for central America

Tip: don't try it without professional assistance. I mean 160+ hrs of manual labor from experienced workers. In our case, those worker were our fantastic grandparents, Sally and Tim and Marie and Topher.

Thank you all for your trips and your visits! I have no idea what we would have done without you, but I can tell you it would not have been sane. Thanks! 

We also got some time to hang out with some good kid friends, only some of which we got pictures of. Katie and I are deeply pained about how long it might be before these kids see some of their best friends again. Sabbaticals, especially sequential ones, are a doozy.
We bussed to Boston, flew to Houston, then to Guatemala City!
Then immediately took a pre-arranged taxi to Antigua, and that evening at midnight (2am our time) we saw molten lava erupting from el volcan del feugo. The next morning, here is what that looked like:
At that point we knew it was real. We were on our grand adventure!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vermont before Monteverde

A quintessential Vermonter approach to hauling wood:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Alewives are Running!

The alewife population is being restored to a few rivers in Maine. A small tributary of the Penobscot is one of those rivers. It passed into an living museum and historical reenactment education center called Leonard's Mills. The place is spectacular in many ways: a working water powered wooden saw mill, a covered bridge, a fall re-enactment harvest festival, and a spring running of the Alewives event. This was the first time we saw the latter, and oh boy, was it awesome!

Here is a random shot of an airborne alewife making it's way upstream as if white water pulled it upward!

The good folks (like Tony Dowler) at Leonard's Mills also organized a 5k run at the same time. So we organized some Ale-Wives to Run in the Alewife 5k. Here they are and their junior supporters!

At the start line...

Our ale-husbands and faithful ale-children waive on our running alewives!

After the race, we check out the stream.

It's teaming with fish, as this boy's net attests.

Because there were one good way for fish to go, and one dead-end (literally), kids were encouraged to grab a net and scoop them from the dead end whitewater into the fish ladder, pictured here.

This is Ale Wife #3 scooping two more alewives to safety.

They were also smoking the fish for food.

Liam catches more.

And drops them safely in the fish ladder.

THIS. THIS is the Lombard Log-Hauler a steampunk wonder of tracks and locomotive-locomotion!

Here's a short video of the beauty.

And here is a video of the fish, in slow motion.  Wowzers!