Monday, September 9, 2013

welcome to new england...

Carrying on down the road...ever eastward...we passed through the pastoral landscapes and picturesque farms of the Midwest. 

Soon we were in new York working our way north through Adirondack Park. It happens to be the largest park in the United States.  It is a state park which covers over six million acres and encompasses all of the Adirondack Mountain Range.  There were no entrance gates and no admission fees...but we passed by official park signs here and there.  I'm thinking it would be a most beautiful drive in the autumn.

From northern New York state...there is only one way to get to neighbouring Vermont...and that is by ferry.  Since Lake Champlain is too large a lake to bridge...there are three free ferries to take passengers across.  We boarded at the wee hamlet of Essex ...and had a 30 minute ride with spectacular views.

Soon we docked at Charlotte, Vermont and carried on down the road.

It seemed all the tourists were heading for Ben & Jerry's Ice-Cream factory in we fell in line.  We learned a few things...about how two childhood friends turned a five dollar ice-cream making course into a huge business.  We toured the factory...sampled the 'flavour of the day'...and exited through the gift shop.  That's always a good strategy!  And then we stood in line to get our cone!  Though we can buy Ben and Jerry's ice-cream anytime at our local store...we just couldn't resist having some right here...where it all began.

Not far from Ben & Jerry's was another place of interest...

...the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. We checked it out...just for fun.  If you are familiar with 'The Sound of  Music' you will know about the Von Trapp family who left Austria in 1938...and ended up in Vermont.  They opened a ski lodge here in the mountains at Stowe...and have been operating it ever since.  Baroness Maria Von Trapp (of Sound of Music fame) passed away in 1987...and the lodge is now managed by her youngest son and grandson (Johannes and Sam Von Trapp).  It looked like a beautiful place to spend some time...but we carried on down the road.

The next morning...we visited a Rock of Ages near Barre, Vermont. 

It is the world's largest deep hole granite quarry...and the tour was most worthwhile.  Who knew that the granite for most of America's headstones originates right here?

We watched the work in the pit...and learned a lot from our most excellent tour guide. We also toured
the factory where the rough granite was being made into beautiful works of art.  We wandered around a bit outdoors (in the rain) on granite walkways...past granite pieces of art...and by the world's only granite bowling alley.  And we left with a sample of Vermont granite (we could help ourselves from the scrap bin).  I'll never look at a headstone in quite the same that I know where it comes from. 

Logging seems to be a significant industry in Vermont...not so different from back home.  But we couldn't help but notice that the hardwood logs of Vermont are much shorter than the Douglas fir and hemlock logs we are used to seeing in British Columbia.

Vermont...also known as the Green Mountain the second smallest state in terms of population.  It is known for it's beautiful fall foliage (we missed that) and it's fabulous maple syrup (we got that)!  Tourism is huge...and there is a bed and breakfast around every corner.  It's a lovely place to visit!

From Vermont...we carried on into New Hampshire.  We crossed a covered bridge that caused us a little grief...

  ...and drove through the White Mountains hoping to see Mt. Washington.  We saw the Mt. Washington resort...but the peak itself was obscured in the clouds that day.  At 6,288 feet...Mt. Washington is the tallest peak on the east coast.  To put that into is a wee bit shorter than our local Mt. Cheam.  Though it may not be among the world's tallest peak...Mount Washington  lays claim to the honour of being "Home of World's Worst Weather".  More than 135 recorded fatalities have occurred on this mountain...more than on Mt. Denali.

We bade farewell to New Hampshire...sometimes called Switzerland of America...

...and crossed over the bridge into Maine.  I'll take you there next!

Here at home it was a good weekend...a fine time at the MCC Relief sale, catching up with friends and enjoying the beautiful fall-like weather.

 Have a wonderful Monday.


  1. You are in my stomping grounds. If you make into Massachusetts you will be in my home state. If you ever get into New England again come at the end of September or October when the foliage is at it's peak. It's absolutely stunning.

  2. John and I were married in Stowe. We love Vermont and I think we need to return to see some of the sites and sights that you have seen. You make an excellent tour guide!

  3. Thanks for the tour! Love the Von Trapp trivia as well!

  4. Thank you for the beautiful photos. I feel like I was on this trip also!

  5. I want to come with you! Have you considered starting a tour guide business? I am always amazed at what you see...what you learn about what you see....what you tour and the roads you travel.

  6. I love your tours, Judy. You find the most interesting things and then share them. I'd never have known about the granite quarry, or Ben and Jerry's without your posts. The trip across the continent is such a grand idea and I am glad you are taking us along for the ride!

  7. What an amazing adventure! That second pic is so crystal sharp - I felt like I could simply walk right into the scene! I didn't know about the stone quarry - how interesting! I've been on that covered bridge before - sorry it gave you grief! Did you tell the officer you're not as heavy as you LOOK?? (Speaking about the RV!!!)

  8. There is so much beauty to enjoy in our world. Thank you for showing us this lovely part of the states. I hope to make it there in the future...leisurely...

  9. So beautiful, now I can't wait for the next. I especially liked the information on the Von Trapp family!! I read it to my husband and he said, "well you'll have to go introduce yourself :-) I'm going to remind him that he said so.....


  10. I'm sure enjoying this trip. Scot will be most interested in seeing the photos of the granite quarry in Vermont. Your blog posts would make a wonderful tourism journal for many of the places you have been. Most interesting and fun.

  11. I did not know the von Trap Family ended up in Vermont ...
    and that granite quarry sounded very interesting! It's good touring with you!

  12. Hey you're very near our area!! We love visiting those states but haven't seen the sights you mentioned. Thanks for the travel tips!

  13. Very do such a good job and I am learning a lot! Thanks for taking us along.
    Farm Gal in VA

  14. Your travelogues are most interesting and educational. Thanks for sharing your experiences and delightful photos of places you've visited. What fun to travel along with you.

  15. You have shared some very unique places and sights!!! I didn't know about the Von Trapp family settled there - so interesting! You should write a book about your travels - have you ever thought of writing a book? Smile!

  16. An excellent tour of New England, Judy. We have been through all those states on our way to Ontario but it's been years ago now. The granite mine is very interesting. I can't wait to see Maine through your lens. Pam

  17. I feel like I'm riding on the 'Hop On, Hop Off Bus" when I read your writings.
    I love the way you record the events and take us along. I think we will all remember 'that bridge' Your research into 'places you like to travel' takes you to places most people would not think of.

  18. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos! You make the journey so much fun.

  19. You sure do know how to make a trip most interesting and so appealing that one feels like heading there as soon as one finishes the blog visit. The New England states have always been inviting to me. We made some visits to Vermont during the ski season and the quaintness of the area, covered in snow, is beautiful too!

    Thank you for sharing all this with us. You are an excellent tour guide and I don't have to pay a thing:)

  20. My husband and I took quite a few trips to New Hampshire over the years and one we will never forget was our car ride up Mt. Washington! It was hair raising to say the least, as it was a one lane narrow road with no side rails. It wasn't a road with curves or switchbacks --it was an almost total vertical assent, which meant the decent was also vertically downhill, with steep grades! Every so often one has to turn off to cool the brakes. My husband said "Never again!" about driving up to the top, although we drive up steeper higher mountains here in Colorado with out any difficulty. The roads in CO are so much better routed for a high ascent. The top of Mt. Washington is a little higher than where I live (on flat ground) now! That never ceases to amaze me. The top of Mt. Washington had an interesting weather exhibit--the highest recorded winds were recorded there.

    I did not know about "The Rock of Ages" quarry! That was so interesting! We did visit Vermont one fall season, pre blog days --it is worth the trip to see the magnificent colors.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson