Sometimes, the obvious is right in front of your eyes. You pass by the sign everyday and never stop to wonder. “Irish Settlement Road.” Were they Irish that lived there? The answer, in this case, would be yes.
And Irish, too, would be Casey’s Hill.
A few years ago, my small town was offered to buy the local sliding hill and the adjoining field. We voters, smart Vermonters that we are, said yes and kept it from being developed into housing. And now, kids have a magnificent hill to tempt fate and get their ya-ya’s out come winter.
Casey’s is a beautiful slope with a million dollar view. Mt. Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont hovers just behind and gives you a winter’s tale. Sometimes, it looks frigid and you just know, bitter winds are whipping the snow around, gusting to hurricane force. In the summer you can see people hiking the exposed ridge of Mansfield. Good binoculars and a clear day are all you need to watch people moseying along the nose, the chin the forehead. You can’t see profile on Mansfield from this side. Got to go over the other side of Pleasant Valley Road and then it appears.
But I digress.
This small slope is home to all manners of dare-devils, young and old alike. Not supposed to build jumps, but some just cannot resist. It’s quiet now, with fall approaching. The mowers haven’t made their final cut – they wait as long as possible thanks to my daughter who informed the town that it shelters the final hatch of monarch butterflies in the milkweed patch at the hill’s base. These are the travelers, the strongest butterflies that will migrate over 2,000 miles to Mexico.
But winter’s coming and we all know- gotta get the sleds unburied from the shed and polish up the skis. All you need is a few good inches of the white stuff. Think it’s too early? We had a foot and a half day before Halloween a few years past…
So, here’s to Casey, our Irish sledding hill – a wonderful spot to while away short cold days and fight long winter blues.