Vermont Scenes 2023

A Windsurfing (Sailboarding) lunch at Braeloch Point, Malletts Bay, opposite Colchester, VT.

Click below for enlarged photos.  More photos?  Look for the 2020-22 pages.  

Photos are licensed: CC-BY-SA   Attrib: Brian Chapaitis

Christmas -
Our Crèche

In a neighborhood filled with bright colored light extravaganzas, colored Santa's and reindeer, snowmen, and all the rest, we decided to bring everyone back to reality. White light is so appropriate. Let's all slow down enough to realize what the holiday is all about. And just as the first century world needed the Christ, how much more so, today?  Our house on Black Walnut Lane, December 2023


The New Year Awaits!


Camel's Hump as viewed to the south from Mount Mansfield.  Celebrate God's awesome playground.


Breakfast Flight -
Saranac Lake, New York

On a below freezing morning, pilot friend, Tony Hanudel takes me to breakfast in New York, our neighboring state to the West. At the very tiny regional airport, people fly in as far away as Florida to stop by the ADK CAVU Cafe restaurant, which serves wonderful meals. Sort of like a trucker's diner, but for airplanes. There were great views of the Adirondack and Green Mountains, as we crossed over Lake Champlain.  Near the state border, with Cessna 182 aircraft, December 2022


The Mountains Next Door -
Saranac Lake, New York

The Adirondack mountains in New York State, to our west, across from Lake Champlain as seen by small aircraft. The northern part of this state is quite picturesque and a great summer retreat for the big city dwellers to the south. I have skied the backside of Whiteface mountain as seen here on the left, a skiing resort.  Near Saranac Lake area, New York.  December 2022


Classic Decorations -
Trees Dressed Up

While traveling home and passing through upper New York State, we stopped over at a hotel for the night. What an amazing Christmas Tree celebrating (we trust) the Birth of Christ, reflecting an image of the season's joy and celebration.  Britannica states: "Germany....  hung wafers on it (symbolizing the Eucharistic host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes. Candles, symbolic of Christ as the light of the world, were often added."  Hampton Inn, Saratoga Springs, New York.  December 2022


The GMHC -
Global Medical Missions

A scene from the Global Missions Health Conference, (GMHC) where Helen and I represented Wycliffe along with a few other coworkers. World wide we don't need an abundance of Christian medical professionals, like many other large medical missions, but we still need a few for placements around the world. Here we meet the best and brightest who are either finishing their University training, or recently graduated. Amazing plenary speakers, clearly anointed by God, come and inspire us over the three day event in the main auditorium.  Southeast Christian Church, Louisville KY.  November 2022


A Feast of Booths -
Global Medical Missions

Helen catches up with a friend from African Inland Mission (AIM), one of maybe 100 organizations with booths found in the two story Exhibitor's Hall. Our Wycliffe Bible Translators was there. It's always fun to catch up on old friends and get the latest news while at these events, plus we have other friends who couldn't make it to the conference. Over two days the conference participants can come to receive prayer, counsel, and insights as they interview various agencies and hear about their missional goals. For many, these are their first tentative steps towards a lifelong career overseas, with the Lord.  At the Global Missions Health Conference, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville KY.  November 2022


Classical Busking? -
Urban Immigration Movements

While visiting a relative in the Washington DC area, I encountered this resourceful Colombian family where the man was playing wonderful classical solo violin music, that just captured my ears and heart. (Helen and I listen to a lot of classical music). This was the Fall, where certain southern states were literally busing thousands of immigrants that crossed our southern borders to northern urban centers. One couldn't help but notice. Suddenly I was in a real Northeast "border" town!  McLean Virginia, outside of Washington DC.  November 2022


World War II Mementos -
Crashed Aircraft

All that remains of the B-24 Liberator bomber, which had taken off in October 1944 from Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, on a training mission that somehow ended with it smashing into Camel’s Hump. It is believed that on that dark evening run, that the very cold temperatures, lowered the flight altitude to 4000 ft (to stay warmer), instead of 8,000 ft. But surely there would be no obstacles in their flight path, right? Nine crew members had been killed instantly. Miraculously, the 10th, a napping gunner survived.  Eastern approach to Camels Hump, just below treeline.  October 2022


Signs of Fall -
Frost on Mt. Mansfield



The promise of Winter yet to come, Mt. Mansfield receives a hefty frost, a harbinger of Winter's snows just around the corner. Day temps are already falling and the air is filled with the unique smell of rotting leaves on the forest floor. The trees celebrate a good year of color, just before going to sleep.  On the way to the Jericho Market, Mills Riverside Park.  October 2022


Birthday Girl -
An Old Family Friend



Longtime friends of ours, the Masters, supported us overseas for decades. So while I met up with Mark for breakfast, I discovered it was his daughter Janell's birthday. I just had to run out and purchase a surprise birthday present for her. Janell had served with us with WBT/SIL over in PNG for a few years, and she stayed at our house at Ukarumpa for a bit. She became our adopted daughter. Sadly, the Masters have since moved away from Vermont, but we plan to see them again soon.  Our car top in the parking lot, McDonald's Restaurant, Essex Junction, Vermont.  October 2022


Blue Ponds -
Deer Island Maine

We discovered this small public beach in a forest bordering a pond in the center of Deer Island, Maine. Absolutely gorgeous and no one around. We think there was a trail that completely circumnavigated this quiet body of water. Serene and untroubled, this place reflected our souls at that moment.  Georges Pond, Deer Island, Maine.  September 2022


Lobster Traps -
Fresh Seafood

A classic scene in Maine. This one was in the backyard of our near neighbors to where were staying on holiday. Maine and lobsters go together, and early morning at the crack of dawn we could see the lobster fishermen heading out of the harbor to fetch their day's catch. These are set on the bay ocean floor with colorful buoys that mark the trap's owner. The lobsters must crawl through a net-like funnel arrangement (look carefully), to eat an attractive bait like salted herring which is placed in the main compartment. Once inside they can't find a way out again. On to the restaurant they go!  Deer Island, Maine.  September 2022


Fragile Alpine Areas -
Camels Hump

Beyond this point, one finds a fragile and very unique alpine ecosystem. The Vermont climate is such that our treeline is relatively low. One quickly reaches the point where the conifers shrink to bush sizes and a special species of alpine tundra begins. Hikers must stay on designated rock-face trails clearly marked to reach the summit. Although it was only October on this day, clouds covered the mountain, and near freezing weather came my way. I needed a warm overcoat for this hike.  Camels Hump, about 500 ft vertical below the summit.  October 2022


Kettle Pond -
Men's Camping

Once a year, our church plans a summertime men and boy's camping retreat that lasts a few days. Lots of good food, fellowship and games and a great bonding time for our congregation. The campsites are situated around Kettle Pond as seen here from the vista at nearby Owls Head Mountain. The Green Mountains are shown here to the West. On a quick day hike with Helen another time; part of Groton State Park, Vermont  August 2022


Backyard Sunsets -
A Glorious Orange

While the rest of the country struggled with some rather dramatic climate events, Vermont had a season conducive to some pretty amazing sunsets. A sunset is said to be 'a symphony of color as it sings us all to sleep'. Crimson lingerings remind us that some things in life and even life itself, can end in God's glory in Christ. Amen!  Off the backyard porch, Walnut Lane, Jericho Vermont.  August 2022


Exotic Islands -
Coastal Maine

Off on a much needed holiday, Helen and I journeyed to the eastern shores of Maine. Our trusty kayaks took us to one of many small islands along the Atlantic Ocean coastline. This particular beach caught my eye with a bolder that I assume was deposited in the last ice age, not that long ago, by God's standards.  A tiny island near Deer Island Maine, September 2022


VT Rails to Trails -
Lamoille Valley

Over the years, Vermont started converting an extensive system of abandoned train railways, into wonderful bicycle paths. Now there is a huge network of interconnected trails that traverses the state. Helen now has a recumbent, low-to-the-ground, tricycle that she can speed along with full 18 speed derailleur gear train. Brian follows with a conventional, now antique, bicycle.  Somewhere east of the Cambridge trail head Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, along the Lamoille River, VT.  July 2022


Miracles "Big and Small" -
Helen's Recumbent Trike

Helen and I are always looking for activities we can do together. One day, with a flash of insight (vision) from the Lord, I thought about one of these fancy recumbent tricycles. That very same moment, I jumped onto Vermont's Craig's list, and low-and-behold, there was a very expensive USX tricycle for sale, selling for a song. I dropped everything, ran out and liberated this one from years of banishment in a storage shed. It cleaned up nicely. This is nothing short of a miracle, and yet, we in the West easily miss those miracles in life when God sends them our way. Let's not do that! Look for miracles "big and small" all around you by the hand of God.  Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, along the Lamoille River, VT.  July 2022


Exploring -
Lake Groton

Intrepid Helen explores the southern end of Lake Groton nestled in the mountains of Vermont. Part of the 26,000 acre Groton State Park, this is a bit of a drive for us, 30 miles east of Montpelier our capital city. This was near the lake outlet with lots of wildlife, before returning to the parts of the lake with summer homes and cottages situated on the lake shore. There is a public beach on the eastern side.  Groton State Park, Vermont  August 2022


Tiny Ocean Coves
Coastal Maine

While hiking a trail off Byard Point, Maine, just before the bridge to Deer Island, we could see these picturesque houses nestled on a tiny cove on the Atlantic Ocean, complete with private sailboats. Parts of Deer Island are off to the west. The trail was short enough for Helen and we could catch some amazing vistas in this part of the world.  Byard Point, near Sargentville, Maine.  September 2022


July Means...
Summer Bible Camp

Our small church in Jericho holds an annual Summer Bible Camp with lots of fun activities designed to bring our children closer to God and His Son, Jesus. There's usually a theme verse like Psalm 46:10, for the given year, and even an original camp theme song, uniquely written by one of our talented storytellers and songwriters. Here is an outdoor activity where we learn teamwork and cooperate together as we transport this ball from one jar top to another around 100 feet away.  The Jericho Green, Jericho Center VT.  July 2022


Picnic Tables -
On the Green

One activity for the Summer Bible Camp kids, was their construction of these wooden picnic tables. They learned skills using electric drills, wrenches and hammers. The final step was finishing with a waterproof varnish. Then a group carry onto the Jericho Green, for at least two tables, placed in a community picnic area in front of the Jericho Country Store. At JCC church near the Jericho Green, Jericho Center VT.  July 2022


Wildlife Homes -
River Otters

On the water once again, Helen and I happen upon a River Otter den, on a gorgeous summer day. These dens are located close to the water line of rivers and lakes, and have multiple entrances underwater and on dry land. Dens are lined with leaves, moss, and grass, and females usually have two pups a year. River Otters are said to be strong predators in the water, eating fish, turtles, and crabs, but evidently easy prey on land, to wolves, coyotes, and bears.  Green River Reservoir, near Garfield VT.  July 2022


Art on Wheels -
The Spider Hot Rod

A meet up with some churchmen for breakfast brought me to a surprise one morning. A classic custom hot-rod automobile with exquisite details done in a spider motif. I loved the black spider with web gas cap filler (see insert). Even the 'hood' is a metal web. I have no idea who owns this car, but a lot of skill went into making this, so I just had to grab a shot in appreciation.  The parking lot at JP's Restaurant, Essex Junction, VT.  June 2022


Summer Sailing -
Wind and Waves

In this extremely rare photo of myself (first mate Helen took the picture), one can see this happy sailor on Kaya-III. Recreation is a big part of maintaining our sanity resting from our work assignments and just relaxing for the day. God's glorious creation reminds us to be very thankful that He brought us back to this part of His world. It's so easy to take things for granted around us.  In the middle of Malletts Bay, realizing the dream of a highly portable, two person sailcraft.  July 2022


Men's Camping Trip -
Jericho Church

Dusk at our annual men's camping retreat which runs for a two night, overnight at Kettle Pond. Fathers with sons of all ages converge for this wonderful time to relax and play games together, with food and fellowship in abundance. Bring your tents and sleeping bags! For some, this is the highlight of the year, and a great bonding time for the men and boys in our tiny quaint village church. Kettle Pond State Park, in Groton State Forest, Vermont. July 2022


Waves of Sticks -
A Dutch Playground

While participating in an international conference on Christian materials creation and distribution, I came across a neighborhood playground for the kids. This view reminds me of water waves as you enter the playing field, and well, I thought is was a creative entrance.  Near the town of Zelhem, Netherlands.  June 2022


Experiments in Sailing -

I found two beat-up, used paddle-boards on Craig's list, and 'tada!', Kaya-3 was designed and built with an idea of improving the sailing characteristics over Kaya-2 (based on Kayaks before). With it's totally flat keel on the pontoons, and the aluminum mast step now 7 inches more forward, Kaya-3 performs the best of all my prior designs. I later had to add a jib, not show here for straight runs downwind. Yes, the wind did come up that day, only later.  Early morning, Lake Iroquois, Williston, VT.  June 2022

Summer Recreation -
Kayak Adventures

A long paddle upstream got us fairly close to this dam on the Lamoille River. A swiftly moving rapids, made approaching (and photographing) the base difficult, but it was still fun to try. Turns out, the Peterson Dam is highly controversial in different green organizations. The 6.4 MW of clean-energy produced by hydro-electricity has so far, won the debate for dismantling the dam to allow fish such as endangered Lake Champlain sturgeon and landlocked Atlantic salmon a free passage upstream for spawning. The dam started in 1948.  Kayaking, South of Milton, VT.  June 2022


The Cross Victorious! -
Over a Long Lost Temple

While visiting Eretria, Greece, Helen and I explored many archaeological sites down near the Aegean sea coastline (left off photo). I was so proud of Helen when she bravely attempted an ascent of a 500 ft. hill, to a newly discovered site (2007) of the lost temple of Artemis (see Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (ESAG) for more details). As we celebrated our personal victory and explored the temple that was in complete ruins - it seemed fitting, that we would find this large cross overlooking the village nearby. Christ endures and is alive today; Artemis is not. Near the village of Amarynthos on the island of Euboea in Greece.  March-April 2022


Animal Relief Area -
Burlington VT, Airport

While leaving Burlington VT, on the start of yet another International trip to Amsterdam, past the security check, and on the way to the airport gate area, one encounters provisions for our canine travelers!  I always get a kick out of this thoughtful provision, and say to myself: "Only in Vermont!" on this one. And I never see felines fly. Guess they get too "frazzled".  Our BTV Airport, South Burlington, VT.  May 2022


Heroes at Work -
A Time Honored Profession

I was bringing a bunch of scrap iron parts from my home to the local metal recycle place for disposal. That very day, I ran into our boys at the Williston Fire department in a practical training session with overturned car wrecks. The Williston town waste disposal unit had flipped cars, especially just for their visit. Here the firefighters on an emergency call will practice mounting an auto stabilizer arm first, before attempting to extract a victim from the possibly burning car. One man told me he was living his childhood dream job, as a real fireman.  CSWD Materials Recycling Facility, Williston VT.  May 2022


Acrocorinth -
Temple to Aphrodite

If you look carefully you will see the Temple of Aphrodite towering ~1880 feet over the small ancient city of Corinth. Famous for the descent of temple prostitutes who came to town looking for courtesans, and who were said to be dedicated to the service of the temple. This contributed to the attraction of visitors to the city of Corinth. The temple prostitution was made famous by the descriptions of historian/philosopher Strabo. From this we can see many of the challenges written about by the Apostle Paul to the fledgling house church at Corinth in the New Testament.  At ancient Corinth, Greece.  April 2022


Nea Makri -
Conquering the Mountain

At a medical conference, for days, longtime friend Charlie Schaeffer and I looked up from the coast at this 480 meter mountain, on the Aegean Sea. Despite being "old fossils" we headed out, and managed to find a base trail that quickly disappeared about halfway up and then we had to endure countless Greek thorn bushes with inch long needles (ouch!) and boulders to reach the summit on our own. But we made it! Victory! Lunch was grand and the views were spectacular of the many Greek towns below. Famous Marathon is to the north from this spot.  At Nea Makri, Greece.  April 2022


Guarded Flowers -
Natural Protection

Protected flowers nestle among ferocious thorns. As our trail ended on the ascent of the mountain (see last week), the terrain went to sharp rocks, boulders (which were nice) and endless Greek spiny spurge bushes (Wild Euphorbia Acanthothamnos) between the boulders (not nice). Lots of scrapes and cuts on this one, and you checked your clothes for tears all the time. Needless to say, it took about twice as long as normal to pick our way onward and upward. These are the very same type of thorns woven into a crown on the day of Jesus' Crucifixion on the cross.  At Nea Makri, Greece.  April 2022


Corinth -
The Old Canal

The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου) is an artificial canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth. The 81 ft. wide, 4 mile canal was dug through the Isthmus at sea level (1893) and has no locks. In the first century this would have been a Roman road for goods transport by cart, from sea to sea, and is the reason for ancient Corinth growing by commerce. We visited Corinth while Helen participated at the CMDE-22 conference, near Marathon.  Near modern Corinth, Greece.  April 2022


Easter -

Rejoice with us!  And sing a wonderful Easter song:


[B-H] Ancient Corinth -
Temple to Apollo

The temple of Apollo at Corinth was said to be built around 560 BC., of local oolithic limestone (small spheres called ooids that are stuck together by lime mud) north of Acrocorinth. The temple was an emblem for the Greek city of Corinth, reflecting its growth and prosperity. Today of the 42 monolithic columns, over 7 meters high, only 7 remain. Touring the ancient city we stood before the building ruins where Paul and the early church would have met together.  At ancient Corinth, Greece.  April 2022


Nordic Tracks -
Backyard Excursions

It's always fun to cross-country ski starting in your backyard. A perfect cure to conquer "cabin fever" which is a common problem with Vermont's longish Winters. But if you like to alpine ski, or snowshoe, or ice-fish, then Vermont is a bit of a paradise. The quietness in the woods is a great time to just spend alone with God. Then home for a good ol' hot chocolate.  Our backyard, Jericho VT.  March 2022

Greece -
Ancient Ruins

After a longish time for Helen working in Papua New Guinea, we met up for a holiday in beautiful Greece. We randomly chose a "get away" spot in a town called Eritrea. on Euboea island, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow South Euboean Gulf. It was an important Greek port in the 6th and 5th century BC, mentioned by many famous writers and actively involved in significant historical events. In the center of town are ancient ruins, and a nearby museum with many artifacts. We couldn't read the Greek and French placards, but Google translate could! How cool is that?  Evia or Euboea, the second largest Greek island.  March 2022


Fresh Seafood -
Greek Harvests

Helen and I drove south on our island getaway, and following a narrow coastal road, ran into a large ocean fish hatchery. The Greek seafood dishes in the local restaurants were wonderful, and there is quite an industry here in fresh fish and oysters. We also passed many fields with migrant workers pulling in a harvest, even though it was March.  Heading south, Evia island.  March 2022

Kandern -
At the Beach

There's a very interesting canal that runs straight through Kandern Town, and some enterprising persons managed to find some sand and make this very cool park and playground for the kids. Note the quaint houses with a sort of stucco exterior, and very different than the USA. I'm standing on a bridge spanning the canal in this shot.  Visiting my sister, Kandern, Germany.  March 2022

Rötteln Castle -
History Everywhere

Germany, like the rest of Europe is rich with ancient ruins from the past. Their history spans millennia, making America a mere youngster civilization. Sister Lisa and I hiked a forest from the north, and then arrived at this restored castle ruins on a high bluff overlooking a modern city to the south. Tours are available, but most people seemed to just want to relax with families in a park-like setting.  Visiting my sister, near Lörrach, Germany.  March 2022


Kandern Canal -

In Vermont, March is still in winter season with skiing, snowshoeing, and lots of snow on the ground. In Germany however, March is more Springlike with a warmer, temperate climate. Trees are starting to bud, and the winter snow melts from the nearby Black Forest (in the distance here) fill the streams with fresh new life.  Visiting my sister, near the canal, Kandern, Germany.  March 2022

Moon Rise Sunset -
Mount Mansfield

The snow-capped mountain glows reflecting a gorgeous sunset to the West. Meanwhile the moon rises above in the East. One never gets tired of the sights and sounds of the natural landscapes found in Vermont.  Mount Mansfield as seen from our back porch. The trail head to the summit is only 20 minutes drive away.  Jericho VT. February 2022

Speaking Engagements -
Tri-City Covenant Church

A truly amazing church, the Tri-City Covenant fellowship had their annual Missions Conference, a multi-day celebration of world-missions. I and others were asked to represent Wycliffe Bible Translators at this weekend event. They have a very different order of service on Sundays, which I found quite refreshing, and above the sanctuary area is the church orchestra with musicians of ALL ages participating, regardless of skill level. They sounded excellent to my ears. The Tri-City Christian Academy, preparing young minds for college, is right next door. Latin studies, anyone? <grin>  Somerworth, NH.  February 2022

Lisa Gathers Some Flowers -

Helen and I traveled the world in two directions and then converged in Germany, where we visit my sister. Lisa lives and works in Kandern, and during the Spring, there are farms/estates with fresh road side flowers growing, for sale. Travelers can stop by, pick as many flowers as they want, and then deposit a sale price in cash with no one around to supervise. Everything is based on an honor system and community trust runs very high.  Kandern, Germany.  March 2022

Winter Delights -
Fresh Snow on Wreaths

Our Christmas wreath with lights hung around long enough for a blanket of fresh snow. Having lived near the equator for so long, it's always fun to take in the new sights and sounds of the seasons, here in Vermont. Even on the highest mountains in Papua New Guinea there was never any snow accumulation. Time to shoosh down a mountain on this stuff.  Our house, Jericho VT.  January 2022

Church Dedications -
Blessing the Children

Friends and family members gather in the midst of the Pandemic, for a children's dedication service. The wonderful and youngest members that God has given to us are brought before the Lord in prayer, and also a promise is given by our community to watch for their care and spiritual nurturing for the future. By God's Grace He seems to have given us a wonderful youth ministry, which continually bears much fruit into adulthood. For example, one of our teen "graduates" is in Nepal, with YWAM.  Sunday JCC Church service, Jericho Center, VT.  January 2022

Churches Unite -
Vermont Right to Life

On an especially frigid but sunny day, various churches from around the state converged on the Montpelier Capitol Building for a very peaceful demonstration. In warmer weather, there are more speeches and often a guest speaker, where the (heated) Representatives Hall (House of Representatives) is available to use indoors by the public. However in this case, Covid-19 had closed off the building from everyone, legislators included. Vermont has one of the most liberal abortion rights laws in the country, far exceeding the "normal" restraints of say, the European Union at this time.  Capitol District, Montpelier, VT.  January 2022