Sunday, October 21, 2018

Coffeeneuring 2018 - Second Cup at Ethan Allen Homestead

Focusing on attending one of two different and unrelated historical events happening on the same day (go figure!), I opted to check out Ethan Allen Homestead's special exhibit on the Missisquoi Abenaki Nation where Abenaki citizens were recreating a late 18th, early 19th, century hunting and trading encampment.

Normally I would ride through the Intervale's dirt roads and trails to reach the Homestead, but for some reason I continued in a different direction on a paved trail. As I hadn't ridden that section for a while I noticed a wooden box attached to a tree and stopped out of curiosity. The city parks department has posted a box "for whoever is in need". I looked inside to find a pair of  Bean boots. The box is checked frequently and restocked. Users can also request items. It's an interesting approach by the city to helping the homeless in the area.

I continued to the Homestead and Museum, but first pedaled around, looking for what I thought was a new parklet but in hindsight I've discovered it's in a different location.

However, there were a couple picnic tables on the grounds so I left my compact chair unpacked. I enjoyed my coffee (my Stanley thermos is perfect) while watching several volunteers rake leaves. It was a warm, autumn morning - maybe the last for a while.

I discovered the special Abenaki encampment exhibit was held outdoors, so with specific time allotted for my coffeeneuring outing, I bypassed the indoor presentations and headed out behind the building.

Three Abenaki descendants, dressed in appropriate attire were tending fires, answering questions, weaving a mat, or generally just hanging out. I learned that the Abenakis lived just north of Burlington, stretching on the east side of Lake Champlain all the way towards present day New Hampshire, and northward into Canada. There are currently 3000 descendants registered as part of the tribe, with 400 more applying for inclusion.

After a half hour, I continued riding, climbing into Ethan Allen Park, then descending towards the waterfront for a stellar view of large waves on a windy day before climbing the hill toward home. I never tire of this view.

The History:
The Abenakis called Vermont home for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived. Land disputes between the Abenakis, settlers, and the Vermont government continued into the 1800s. Fearing persecution, many people of Abenaki descent concealed their heritage, especially after being targeted during the Eugenics movement, but continued preserving their culture and traditions to the modern day, many of those traditions influencing the course of Vermont's history. In 2011-2012 the Stare of Vermont acknowledged four Abenaki tribes within Vermont.

The Place: Ethan Allen Homestead
Date: Saturday, October 20
Drink: Cafe Bustelo, made in moka pot at home
Observation:  There's much more to see inside the barn/museum. Have to make a future trip! Also, it's refreshing and less complicated to leave my stove behind for this year's challenge. 
Total Miles: 10

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