wonderful part of any trip are the people. This has been true for any trip I have ever embarked on and I am sure that this will be the case throughout this adventure.
The past few years I have grown accustomed to the hyper competitive environment surrounding Washington DC. People in the DC Metro Area are rarely very friendly. They tend to keep to themselves and their group of friends. Of course this isn’t always the case, but it is uncommon to make a friend organically on the metro, in a coffee shop, at a bar, or in other social places. I have experienced the same phenomenon in a few other cities but I know most places aren’t like this.
Burlington, Vermont, for instance, is not like this. It has great people. Austin briefly mentioned a few of our encounters but I would like to go into a bit more detail on our interactions with the people of this beautiful city.
One of the first great interactions we had was with Lyle. As Austin and I sat at a Pizza joint on Church street Austin began to tell the waitress about our upcoming year living in Boosa, the van. Lyle, who was sitting in a booth behind us chimed in with “Did you say you’re living in a van? I lived in a van once.” He began telling us a little about living in his Suburban for a year and continued to intrigue us with tales of the dot com boom, erupting volcanoes, and being robbed by Mexican police. After a few of his tales it was time for Austin and I to head back to Boosa but before we parted ways Lyle offered for us to camp out on his property which was just north of Burlington. We opted out since we were headed in the opposite direction in the morning, but were sure exchange information to connect in the future.
The next day, after we went climbing, Austin and I headed to North Beach to take a dip in Lake Champlain. When leaving the beach by bike we came across two very friendly girls named Danni and Mia. We asked them for some Burlington beta which they were happy to give, in fact, they offered up their driveway for the night. Austin and I drove Boosa to their house where our gracious hosts offered their bathroom (including shower!!!!) along with anything else we needed. I was amazed at how accommodating our new friends were.
After waking up in Danni and Mia’s driveway we decided to get in contact with Lyle and head to Isle la Motte. Austin describes our day here in detail below. While exploring the island with Lyle we found ourselves talking about wonders of interpersonal connections while traveling.
Lyle explained that while traveling, a person tends to open their mind a bit, becoming more extroverted than usual. Other people see this and will often be very willing to help in any way they can or sometimes they will invite you along on their own adventure. Lyle also added later that there is little social investment when interacting with someone who is “passing through”- something Austin and I will constantly be doing.
I am still a little shocked by how gracious and accommodating Lyle, Danni, and Mia were. Maybe there is something in the water in Burlington but I suspect I will continue to find great people, in great places who are simply nice.
Thank you, to all the Burlingtonians (and Isle la Mottians?) that helped A Climbing Odyssey begin with positive vibes!!