Today I took Vespi for a walk to see the damage for the first time as we walked down to the grocery store in hopes of finding eggs and bread.
Honestly, I figured that that she would be able to tell where the road was different from before, but right away I noticed a change in her. She seemed after moreand more information. Like all of us humans addicted to news reports and facebook updates, she was in search of as much data as she could handle. She practically dragged me down the road, needing to sniff and explore every piece of collapsed pavement and open drainage. And each time, aftere her initial inspection, she would inquisitively look back up at me. "What happened here, Ma?"
Sometimes, she smiled, thinking that this new swimming hole might be pretty neat in the future - but even on this swelteringly hot day she never laid down or lapped up the water. Even when I said she could, Vespi would just look at me. While the hole might look neat, she could sense thwt there was something a little 'icky' about the water filling up the space. It was not for playing.
We hitched a ride with a neighbor who was driving to the brand new Vermont State Police Mobile Command Center for the Department of Public Safety. It was conveniently located right across from both the Killington Market and the Fire Station(Now the Killington Command Center). All the town offiicals and state troopers were just moving around like busy backsons, busy, busy, busy...and tired.
But inside the market, the shelves were practically full! Upon talking with the owner, I found out that a group of tourists had cleared the market out of milk, eggs and bread, literally hoarding all the food. The owner quickly called her supplier for a rushed up order to replace all the food:
Early this morning, 11 personal pick-ups trucks of local Killington volunteers convoyed across the Mendon Rt 4 disaster and met her delivery truck at the Home Depot. They filled up and drove right back up to Killington. The truckers unloaded all of the food, even stocking the shelves. Refusing to take even coffee, they simply replied thst they had other work to do and headed out. The owner of the market was teary eyed as she told me how awesome our local boys are.
Anyway, I was thrilled to find a grocery store full of calm locals and slightly off-kilter Floridians meandering through the aisles. Yes, there was bread, eggs, orange juice and milk - but even yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate...and BACON!! Yes, they got a complete shipment of bacon. It was wonderful. Except for these asshole tourists in line behind me, who had the nerve to make sure they were only charged $2.99 for a particular item. Seriously? Access to our town is totally destroyed, my friends have lost their homes and you are giving someone shit about the price of your bread?! Do you realize that you're lucky to even have bread?!
We did wander down to the cravass on Ravine Road. Having unwisely been right next to the culvert only a few hours before it blew on Sunday, I just had to see the damage for myself. Vespi knew she had found the big one!
She knew exactly where we were - and she had no fear what so ever. She ran right up to the edge of the cravass, excited to see the destruction. It was that same uncontrollable indescribeable non-giddyness that overtook all of us as we explored on Sunday and Monday. That - "did you see this crazy shit over here" look. I recognized it. Like us, she wanted to adventure in the demolished road, to check out every little nook and crany. Like she was trying to figure out how all of this dirt had somehow vanished from the last time we were here......we even walked down a little to beyond the culvert. Vespi got right up to the stream, sniffing the huge amounts of debris.
Then all of a sudden, this light went on in her head and she just turned around and looked at me in awe.
She must have sniffed something that she recognized from somehow higher up on the mountain. She knew. Somehow, Vespi knew that this was not how things were supposed to be. This debris was not supposed to be there. After that, she walked pretty close to me and waited for permission before sniffing anything or moving away from me. She knew.
After surprising the boyfriend with bacon & eggs, I headed out with some friends to see what was going down at the Killington Elementary School, which had been set up as a temporary shelter. They have been seving lunch and dinner everyday for anyone who needs it. Concerned citizens have dropped off canned goods and other non-perishables, as well as cell phone charging stations for those residents who still do not have power. Even a Red Cross Disaster Relief truck turned up for the "festivities". While we were at the shelter, a cargo chopper flew overhead...hopefully they were bringing food and water to our friends in Pittsfield. Although I am always suspicious of corporate aid, it was still nice to see our small corner of the world actually being provided assistance.
It was a nice change of pace following Vespi around through the damage. But, if she is a good judge of water quality - which she usually is - I would definately consider boiling my water before drinking. She wouldn't touch it.
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
Location:Killington's Island, Killington, VT