Some traveling observations:
If Montpelier can qualify as a state capital of Vermont, then I see no reason why Guys Mills couldn’t replace Harrisburg. All we would need is a domed building.
My family’s aversion to touristy places often leads us to authentic America. Last evening we enjoyed a hearty dinner at Anthony’s Diner. The sign announced nothing about an authentic Vermont dining experience. It just was. I would have felt more at home in logging boots and scruffy sideburns than what I did in my polo shirt and touristy sandals.
In the North, they just do things a bit different. As we entered the aforementioned Anthony’s Diner, the maitre d’ kept counting her cash behind the register. When she finally acknowledged our presence, she didn’t do so with a warm welcome as is typical in the South. Instead we were met with, “How many?” With a few mumbled words she waved us to an empty table in the corner of the small dining area. Our sweet (nearly timid) waitress was friendly enough but certainly not overbearing. She just hurried from kitchen to table, obliging our requests with very few words. However, I left with warm feelings for Vermont. They have just as much hospitality as the South; it just looks a bit different up here.
The world is marvelous when viewed from the summit Mt. Washington, the highest point in the Northeastern U.S. Today our family drove the treacherous 6,000+ feet in the sky with numerous other tourists just because we could. But perhaps it was for more than that. Why would people travel from all across the world just to view the world from a high point? I’m sure different people have different reasons. Some might do it to prove themselves. Others might do it for bragging rights. And of course, there are those who just want cool t-shirts and mugs which are only available at the summit’s gift shop. But today I felt more optimistic. As I brooded over New Hampshire from my quiet vantage point among the rocks, I came closer to an understanding of true sublimity. That rapturous beauty that leaves our insides churning with poetry. We want to say something, but any words would be irreverently deficient. So we just feel. It was then that I wondered about the summit’s drawing force on us mortals. Could it possibly be true that hundreds of people risk life, limb, and vehicle to ascend Mt. Washington in a quest for authentic beauty? If this is so, then I still have hope for humanity. I only pray that the quest will lead us to our Creator–The Truly Sublime.