Meet Lura – she's got the inside track on Woodstock's best swimming holes
Blogger Lura Pratson knows how impossibly cute her hometown of Woodstock is, and she’s quite all right that everybody else thinks so too, even if it means frequent traffic stoppage when the leaves have turned colors.
Through the eyes and experiences of “The Woodstock Local,” we get a taste of all that is happening and waiting to be discovered in and around town—and we can literally almost taste the maple syrup bounty and sautéing fiddleheads that Lura indulges in semi-regularly. Just don’t make her decide what locally crafted sandwich she should choose. That too is impossible.
Where does your connection to Woodstock begin? Did you grow up there?
My dad is from Bridgewater, Vermont. My mom from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We moved to Woodstock, Vermont, in March 1991, and into my great-grandparents’ house. It was also once a two-room schoolhouse. I have moved away a few times, only for short periods of time. I last moved back to Vermont in 2014.
In your first blog post, you asked the big question, “Why is Woodstock so cute?” Thanks in large part to the Rockefellers’ contributions years ago, the village is so well-preserved. But what are some of your favorite (maybe secret) aspects of Woodstock’s charm, seeing it as a local?
The green spaces and river swimming holes. I enjoy the outdoors, and summer is my favorite season. As teens, my friends and I would get snacks and sandwiches at the butcher shop and head down to the river under the Elm Street bridge. There is a small waterfall that is shallow enough to sit in and cool off during the summer weather, and the large rocks are great for picnicking on.
Does living in a town that’s such a tourist magnet have its drawbacks? I think of all the chartered coaches full of leaf peepers in October. Do you get out of town during those high seasons, or do you embrace the infusion of charm-seekers?
Yes, the foliage traffic can be stressful at times when the normal flow is easygoing. I have an appreciation for it. I know the tourists help to keep our small economy thriving, so I try to remember that without them we just have “cute and quiet.” I will say it is the only time of year I have seen people attempt to go the wrong way around The Green. Thankfully it's slow enough or has stopped traffic, so no one has ever been hurt.
How would you spend a perfect Saturday in and around Woodstock?
I like to start my Saturday morning at the Woodstock Rec Center gym. There's no better way to boost your energy than with a good cardio sesh! Afterward, hit up one of the three coffee shops for a cappuccino and maybe a bagel or brunch. Depending on the season, a hike up Mount Tom, a swim in the river, or a cross-country ski. In the eve, catch a flick at the Town Hall theater. When the White Cottage is open, a late-night ice cream to end the day right.
Okay, but what’s your favorite of the legendary selection of sandwiches at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market?
Oh boy! This may be the toughest question. I love the Farmers’ Market sandwiches! Torn between #2 and #13. "Moonlight in Vermont" (#2) and the crisp of the Apple's with the VT cheddar and turkey is just so tasty. And with "Annie's California Roll Up" (#13) I like to add bacon and have it grilled. I want to go there right now and get a half of both!
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