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Red Rocks Park

09/20/03 12:00AM By Alan Boye
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(Host) Commentator Alan Boye says that this is a good time of year to take a stroll along the edges of Lake Champlain.

(Boye) I step off the asphalt street and stand a moment at the trailhead. I can still hear the heavy traffic on Route 7 just a few blocks away. The din from the swarm of rush-hour traffic buzzes in the air like an angry hornet.

I walk around a gate and into the quiet shelter of South Burlington's Red Rocks Park. I follow a faint road through thick pine trees. At a fork, I turn onto a footpath. A breeze is blowing; instead of the traffic, suddenly all I hear is the soft music of wind as it whistles through the pines.

Although there were a half-dozen parked cars in the lot near the gate, the park seems deserted. All alone, I saunter down a quiet, peaceful path.

True to its name, Red Rock Park clings to a low, rocky elbow of land, where ledges of red rock sit perched over the entrance to Lake Champlain's Shelburne Bay.

The path I am walking soon reaches a small clearing. The land ahead of me slopes quickly downward. Through the trees I can see the shimmer of sunlight on water. I follow the path downhill toward a sandy beach.

Half way down the hill I stop. The woods have thinned to three or four trees. I find a soft spot on the grass beneath one of those pines, and sit. I tuck my knees up under my chin like an eight-year old kid and take a good look around.

The sweep of the large bay is before me. Although houses line the near-by shore, across the bay the hills are covered with trees. Beyond them lie the open waters of the lake.

On the beach just below me a man walks a friendly-looking dog. Waves slide onto the shore. The deep soft murmur of water on sand calms me.

The late summer sun shines low in the sky. Its light shatters into a million pieces and dances on the surface of the bay. Sunshine lingers everywhere. The pine tree above my head burns golden in its glare; the grass at my feet is a green fire.

In the rush and roar of everyday life I often forget to see the splendor of the world. Lately the busy whirl of the day-to-day has made me so distracted I had thought there was nothing magnificent left to see. I take a deep sigh and watch the shimmering diamond waters of Shelburne Bay.

This is Alan Boye just walking the hills of Vermont.

Alan Boye teaches at Lyndon State College. He spoke from our studio at the Fairbanks Museum in Saint Johnsbury.
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