Lake Champlain is enormous: 120 miles long and 12 miles wide. Both North Hero Island and South Hero Island are connected to the mainland by bridges, with beautiful views of Vermont and the Green Mountains to the east and New York and the Adirondacks to the west. Access is just 18 miles north of Burlington, where we are staying. So we took a 3-hour Sunday Drive on Wednesday to see them (and we really like exploring islands). Eagles were scouting overhead. Cranes were wading in the lake. Like all islands, life is slow and lazy and lush. Also like all islands, there are ice cream shops, restaurants, and local products for sale (here, they are apples and maple syrup).
The islands are named after two patriots, Ethan and Ira Allen, heroes of the Revolutionary War. The Republic of Vermont gave them the islands in 1779 for their military service and their role in settling the state. As you can see in the photo, in Vermont, the county seat is called the shire town, just like in Lord of the Rings!
We liked all of these views of Lake Champlain, and the message on the school board was interesting: tell kids we are honest, safe, and kind, and maybe bullying and violence will stop. And the last two photos were taken on South Hero Island, an old railroad car with a woman with tasseled slippers in front…uh…doing something. The last photo is a closeup!