Last week, two walks on the paved in-town Recreation Path in Stowe, Vermont. One long walk, sunny, bright, hot. The other, shorter, misty and overcast. A pastoral path curling through manicured and unkempt landscapes, ten metal arched bridges crisscrossing sections of the West Branch River, painted walkways across Route 108. The hum of civilization at arms reach, at times increasing to a roar. Bikers and roller-bladers, joggers with big-wheeled strollers moving by at full speed. Birdsong and running water close at hand, and in the distance, the sounds of lawn mowers and children playing, the whistles of spring sports practice. Farm pastures and Holstein cows. Construction noise and dust, a few small patches of snow still visible on Mount Mansfield’s ski trails. A short hop off the pavement, the quiet walk loop – soft and grassy, mostly walkers and their dogs. Easy access to restaurants and shops off the path. Multiple parking options around town for accessing the path at different points. Even in a rural state, a welcome alternative to driving, biking and walking on trafficky roads.