The Power of Place: Ricker Pond, Vermont
If I go to a place often or spend a little time at it - it will start to leave an impression of some type on me. As I get to know it a little better it will start to develop a personality. If I spend enough time with this place, it begins to reveal its moods… its idiosyncrasies… its secrets.
If I only have time to make a casual acquaintance of a place, often times, I only come away with a first impression, a very broad and vague idea of what it has to offer… It’s public face, if you will.
Occasionally, I run into places that break these norms. Kind of like those few new friends I’ve met that I seem to have ‘felt’ their presence before I actually see them, some places seem to talk to something a little deeper than my eyes. They seem to be more open with what they have to offer or maybe they just speak my language.
I ran into one of these special places on a recent trip to Vermont. I had to travel across the state late one evening and I knew I had time to only stop one place before it got dark. I pulled up a map on my trusty iPad, closed my eyes and stuck my finger on the screen. My finger hit just right to trigger a link to a state park called Ricker Pond. My iPad is much smarter than me so I didn’t argue. I told the nice lady who lives in my phone to take me there and we were off.
I remember the voices in my head saying things like, “State Park”and “entrance fee” and “get cash”but I got distracted and as I drove up a narrow winding road my phone said, "destination... turn right in a half mile. I started to worry about being able to pay my way in when I got there. When I arrived I pulled up to the entrance booth. The fact there was the familiar Visa sticker in the window didn’t matter because when I asked the very large park ranger in the window I was just here to take a couple pictures he said, “Cool, just go right in” (a little foreshadowing of what was to come).
I got a little nervous when the state park turned out to be just a campground and the only way to pull off the narrow road was to pull into a camp spot and they were ALL occupied. Great, I had decided to stop at a crowded campground on a pond. Dumb iPad.
I finally was able to pull off the road at the community outhouse. The trees were awesome, so I grabbed my gear and headed through the trees between a couple campgrounds. What greeted me at the shore was absolutely breathtaking. I took a couple quick ‘panic’ shots in case it all disappeared and then sat down to soak some of it in. Ricker Pond Something was strange (other than me) about this place. It didn’t take long to figure out what it was. There must have been two hundred people camped around this pond and yet the silence was nearly complete. Not a voice… not a boat… not a single engine. It was as if this place demanded an almost reverence. Or, maybe this place’s voices were so load they just drowned out all the others. All I know is that I had been there 5 minutes and I already fealt at home, safe and I didn’t have any desire to leave.
I pulled out my big white lens and started exploring what this place had to offer. The water was glassy… the grasses glowed… colors popped… reflections shimmered. I was only able to spend an hour in this place but the impression it left on me will never leave.
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