BOOKS CHECKED OUT | By JANET CLAPP
Summer in Vermont: emerald green mountains, brilliant blue skies, and golden sun shining benevolently on sparkling sapphire water. After months of cold and darkness, who wouldn’t want to spend every possible moment of summer experiencing the outdoors? Some writers have compiled informative books to help you enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, boating, picnicking or camping. If you want to contemplate the effect of air conditioning on the world while swinging in your hammock under a shady tree, there’s a book for that too.
“Take the Plunge: An Explorer’s Guide to Swimming Holes of Vermont”
By David Hajdasz
Each swimming hole has a one-page description, a photo, directions for getting there, and GPS coordinates. A Vermont map at the beginning of the book shows the locations, and a brief introduction explains swimming hole safety and etiquette.
“Rodrick’s Guide to Vermont Waterfalls, Cascades & Gorges”
By Rodrick Pingree
Dividing the state by geographic sections, Pingree offers a few pertinent details that distinguish each waterfall, as well as directions and GPS coordinates.
“The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping With Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures & Connect Kids to Nature”
By Helen Olsson
Whether camping in Vermont or elsewhere, Olsson covers it all – planning, safety, fun and food. Smart tips dot most pages: “To avoid kerfuffles, issue one headlamp per child.” Checklists, recipes and craft ideas make it easy to pack up the family and have a grand time at the campground.
“Short Bike Rides: Vermont”
By Sandy Duling
The rides in this book cover approximately ten to thirty miles each, and are mostly along roads in various parts of the state. Fact boxes before the step-by-step directions contain important factors like terrain, traffic, distance and difficulty.
“Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont: Exploring the Green Mountain State” and “The Walker’s Guide to Vermont: Rambles for Half an Hour or Half a Day”
By Green Mountain Club
Over 200 trails are described in “Day Hiker’s,” which is divided into geographical sections. Each trail description gives the distance, elevation change and hiking time. For less arduous footwork, there is the “Walker’s Guide.” Each section includes directions to get there and a description that includes the distance covered.
“Quiet Water New Hampshire and Vermont: Canoe and Kayak Guide”
By John Hayes and Alex Wilson
For each pond and lake the authors include, they supply a description, map and the prominent fish species.
“The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket”
By Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker and Jen Stevenson
A picnic can be much more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a paper bag. Not only do the authors provide variations on the standard recipes like deviled eggs, but they offer more exotic suggestions, like chicken liver mousse. In addition to the menus there are discussions of foods, like how to pick out cheeses, and even creative ideas for activities like setting up an outdoor movie.
“Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer)”
By Stan Cox
Cox explains how people live with and without air-conditioning and its effect on the environment, people and society. “Air-conditioning has also been an important tool in creating a society shot through with unsustainable trends: settlements of large human populations in fragile environments; an imbalance between indoor and outdoor life; buildings designed for dependence on high energy input….” He knows that air-conditioning is here to stay but believes, “With some forethought, we can hold on to many of the benefits we derive from air-conditioning without the squandering of resources that it now entails.”
While you are out and about Vermont this summer enjoying swimming holes, hiking trails, bicycling or picnicking, stop in at a nearby library and get your Passport to Vermont Libraries stamped. Haven’t got a library passport? Pick one up at the Rutland Free Library while getting one of the titles mentioned here, or any of the others about summer activities that stock our shelves. What book helps you make the best of summer fun?
Janet Clapp is an adult services librarian at Rutland Free Library.