In the first few chapters of The Heav’n Rescued Land, C.C., our hero, explores Hidden Valley, the former home of the Sennett family.
Early on, he discovers a group of huge, monolithic stone structures in the center of the stream that runs the length of the valley. These little mountains of amorphous rock have been smoothed through the ages by the action of wind and water. On the side of one of those wonders was a natural sliding board down which our family plunged thirty years ago, and down which the fictional CC slides into the crystal clear and icy water of the stream.
These stone structures I described in the second book in The Star Spangled Banner Series actually exist in the real world, or at least they did about thirty years ago when my family and I first visited the Clarendon Gorge, near Rutland, Vermont.
On July 19, 2015, Joy and I returned to the gorge to try to rediscover these remarkable stone formations that we’d played upon decades ago. I regret that we did not find the original collection, but did find the stone shown here.
A stone similar to those we saw about 1980
We wanted to gather photos of this phenonema. I also looked for a cave near Kingston, New York, that I’d visited fifty years earlier—a cave that meets the description of the system into which CC drove his tractor-trailer—but the highways had been rerouted and the trees had grown to cover any sign of an entrance.
It was with a desire to photograph these wonders for you, our readers, so that you would know that I try to base every account in my novels on reality. The “swimming hole” in “The Heav’n Blessed Land” is no exception.
EnJOYing the water in the Clarendon Gorge