Editor’s note: Cruel August sun spurs sudden appreciation of fall (and Vermont)

Noah Hoffenberg
Noah Hoffenberg, Vermont Country executive editor

By Noah Hoffenberg
Vermont Country Magazine

For my August vacation, I spent a week camping on Cape Cod. Problem was: No one told the ocean I was coming, and it was nowhere to be found.

It was midmonth on a Monday, and temps were due to hit 90-plus. High humidity made it feel like 3,000-plus Kelvin (that’s faux science talk for “really hot”). 

I arrived at Robbins Hill Beach in Brewster toward the end of the dropping tide. I heard the tides went out really far on the bay in Brewster, but clearly didn’t expect them to recede a mile or more.

As such, there was no reprieve from the heat. The deepest spots of water near the beach were puddles. 

So, I — and the other misguided beachgoers who surrounded me — baked for hours in the sun with no cool Cape Cod Bay water to chill us out.

Cooking under the unrelenting rays, I realized three important things: a) In the future, always check the tides before hitting the beach; b) Maybe cool fall-like days aren’t so bad in August; and c) There’s no reason to leave Vermont and the surrounding area for a vacation. 

We’ve got it all right here in the Green Mountain State. Even with this summer’s drought, we still have cool rivers in which to dip. Plus, our venues, restaurants and roadways aren’t mobbed with throngs looking for a typical vacation break. Here in Vermont, we have fresh air, unparalleled outdoor rec opportunities and plenty of elbow room with which to enjoy them.

In this September-October edition of Vermont Country, we show you just a few of the ways you can have a good (if not spooky) time here. For starters, check out our list of fall activities, with most ideal for families and one just for grown-ups (a visit to a hard cider brewery).

With Halloween right around the corner, we couldn’t resist the chance to share with you some of our more scary and intriguing places, like an abandoned town and graveyard in Woodford, or phenomenon, such as the New England vampire panic of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

We’ll also introduce you to this issue’s Person of Interest, Cooper Jillson, a young feller from Vernon who’s developed a serious knack for breakdancing. Ever wondered about the medicinal value of herbs? We explore that alternative health approach this month. The Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival is also featured within this Vermont Country (it’s another event to hit up this month in Southern Vermont, along with The Forest of Mystery next month). 

If you’re like me and have come to realize that travel vacations aren’t what they’re cracked up to be, consider staying put in the Green Mountains for your next string of time off from work. The chances of frying your brain here in the sun are greatly diminished (this last statement has not been evaluated by medical professionals).

Noah Hoffenberg, Vermont Country executive editor

Noah Hoffenberg is a word-peddling mountain biker who spends all his time in the hills of Western Massachusetts, grousing among the porcupine and woodchucks.

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