Thursday, June 5, 2014

Westport Holiday

My husband Denis and I took a midweek holiday this week, visiting Westport, New York, a historic village on the shore of Lake Champlain that dates from the 18th Century. We spent two nights at the charming Inn in Westport, and our innkeeper, Alexandra, couldn't have been more hospitable, tending to our every need.  Our comfortable room overlooked a green park and a marina filled with elegant yachts and offered spectacular views of the lake.

The beautifully furnished public rooms included a bookstore, the shelves filled with books on every topic, and where glass-fronted cabinets displayed many rare editions available for sale.

If we weren't in the market for buying books (Please!  Our house is already filled!), we could walk just across the street from the inn and consider the offerings at the Westport Library, a historic building set on a long green lawn.

Just next door to the inn is the Westport Visitors' Center, occupying a charming building that once housed a church.

And just across the street from the visitor's center is a currently active church, a handsome stone structure with a remarkable bell tower.

 The village of Westport is filled with handsome and historic buildings, which added to the pleasure of our walks around town.  We also took several drives through the countryside, including a short trip to the hamlet of Wadhams, where the beautiful Bouquet river flows over a picturesque waterfall.

A strong rainstorm the first evening of our visit created dramatic sunset clouds and impressive masses of swirling mist rising from the mountain valleys.

We had come to Westport on Tuesday in order to shorten by a hundred miles the drive I was taking on Wednesday to meet fellow plant enthusiasts for an expedition to Valcour Island, which lies but a mile or so offshore from the village of Peru, N. Y.  This island is famous among botanists for the many rare plants that thrive in its calcareous soils, and I was beyond excited by the prospect of seeing the tiny, beautiful, and exceedingly rare Ram's-head Lady Slipper.

Although our group wouldn't meet until 10 A.M., and the drive from Westport would take me only a little more than half an hour, I was up before 6, too eager for the day to begin to waste it sleeping in.  This close to Solstice, the sun was already well up, although it was hidden by departing clouds against the eastern horizon.  But I'm glad I was up and already walking along the shore when a break in those clouds let a golden light illumine the swirls of mist rising from the quiet waters of Lake Champlain.  What a lovely way to start a day that proved to be nothing but amazing!  I'm just going through my photos now and trying to find the words to express what a thrilling day it was for me.  But I will be back soon to share with my readers our adventures on Valcour Island.

1 comment:

The Furry Gnome said...

Looking forward to your report. Hope you see the Ram's Head!