4-9 October, 2016; Still Exploring Vermont

Good evening everyone!  We were so happy to hear from all of our family and friends in Florida that things went relatively well with Hurricane Matthew.  Unfortunately, it looks like he may have taken quite a toll on the Carolina’s.  Hoping for the best for all!!  When we wrapped up on the 3rd, we had just arrived in the little town of South Hero, VT which is located on Grand Island, just north of Burlington…and that is where we still are, until tomorrow.  Let’s see what happened this week…

Tuesday the 4th was a work day for me, and Terri spent time researching campgrounds and where we may land in FL for the late fall/early winter.  That was hampered of course by not knowing what Matthew was going to do, and what campgrounds may or may not be left.  We now know things are in good shape for the areas we want to go, so we will start making plans.  Terri also spent a bit of time exploring this campground some more, and planning some trips for the week…so, no pictures from Tuesday.

Wednesday, on the other hand was very nice.  It was mostly sunny, and in the 60’s, so we decided to head back to an area we had been to before…Smugglers Notch and Stowe.  We attacked from a different direction, and were greeted by spectacular scenery and color.  Unfortunately, the pictures once again do not do the scenery justice at all…I guess you will just have to come and check it out for yourselves!

Cruising the back roads in northern Vermont.

Cruising the back roads in northern Vermont.

Working our way up Smugglers Knotch from the North.

Working our way up Smugglers Notch from the North.

Getting some good color here.

Getting some good color here.

This country is so beautiful, your eyes get tired after a while.

This country is so beautiful, your eyes get tired after a while.

We made it into Stowe, and had a great lunch at the Idletyme Brewing Company. they have a fantastic outdoor area with Corn Hole, and other games and places to just sit and soak up the scenery.

We made it into Stowe, and had a great lunch at the Idletyme Brewing Company. They have a fantastic outdoor area with Corn Hole, and other games and places to just sit and soak up the scenery.

A better shot of the church in downtown Stowe that I had in the last blog. This one is much better me thinks.

A better shot of the church in downtown Stowe than I had in the last blog. This one is much better me thinks.

Here we are parked at Ben and Jerry's. Tried to get the Packer Plate as close to the NY plate as I could since we are playing the Giants tonight.

Here we are parked at Ben and Jerry’s. Tried to get the Packer Plate as close to the NY plate as I could since we are playing the Giants tonight.

This place was packed beyond the worst definition of crowded, so we took and pick and hit the trail. They definitely have a loyal following based upon the number of people just waiting to pay $4 to take a short tour and get a little paper cup with a sample of their ice cream.

This place was packed beyond the worst definition of crowded, so we took an pic and hit the trail. They definitely have a loyal following based upon the number of people just waiting to pay $4 to take a short tour and get a little paper cup with a sample of their ice cream.

When we got home, we received this awesome school pic of our grand daughter! See you soon Peyton!!

When we got home, we received this awesome school pic of our granddaughter! See you soon Peyton!!

We battened down the hatched and secured the awning in honor of our loved ones in Florida as they prepared for Matthew.

We battened down the hatches and secured the awning in honor of our loved ones in Florida as they prepared for Matthew.

It was early to bed, then early to rise on Thursday, the 6th as we were headed into Burlington to check out their rails to trails bike paths.  Burlington is really a neat little town that has a big attitude.  The records state the population is about 42,000.  It doesn’t seem that big.  There are 3 Universities here, including the University of Vermont.  It looks like a very nice campus, as we drove past and through it several times while we were here.  We landed downtown where the ferry comes over from NY (as it does in a few spots near here…more on that later.)  We found a great parking place right at the trailhead on the waterfront, loaded up, and took off…well, kind of.  We did not know that there was about a two mile detour right after the trail began heading north due to trail maintenance.  We both ended up walking our bikes up a huge hill to take a busy street to get back to the path, but it was well worth it, as I hope the pictures below depict.  This trail runs from downtown Burlington, 9 miles to where you can catch a bike ferry on the weekends to get to Grand Island…where we are staying.  I took a shot from the north side looking south on the 3rd when we arrived, so we wanted to get to the ferry landing on the south side.  What a great trip!

On the trail overlooking Lake Champlain into NY.

On the trail overlooking Lake Champlain into NY.

The trails are nicely maintained, and blacktop for the first 6 miles going north.

The trails are nicely maintained, and blacktop for the first 6 miles going north.

Neat bridges and bays all along the trail.

Neat bridges and bays all along the trail.

Here the trail turns to crushed granite, along the old RR causeway that heads to Grand Island.

Here the trail turns to crushed granite, along the old RR causeway that heads to Grand Island.

If you look at where the gap is in the lake...way out there...our campground is on the left part of the gap.

If you look at where the gap is in the lake…way out there…our campground is on the left part of the gap.

Looking the opposite way from the shot I took on the 3rd.

Looking the opposite way from the shot I took on the 3rd.

On the way back, enjoying the views.

This is the only area in this part of the lake that allows boats to access east to west. The guy in this sail boat has done this a few times...the wind was really whipping, and he took the cut under full sail, and had time to through me a wave.

This is the only area in this part of the lake that allows boats to access east to west. The guy in this sail boat has done this a few times…the wind was really whipping, and he took the cut under full sail, and had time to throw me a wave.

Awesome views on the way back...scenery included!

Awesome views on the way back…scenery included!

Back downtown and a view of part of the harbor.

Back downtown and a view of part of the harbor.

We walked a few block east of the harbor and landed on Church Street. A very nice shopping and dining district that is shut off to motor vehicles.

We walked a few blocks east of the harbor and landed on Church Street. A very nice shopping and dining district that is shut off to motor vehicles.

You can get just about anything you desire in this section of town...upscale, downscale, good food, fine food, quick food. It is all here, and the people are very friendly.

You can get just about anything you desire in this section of town…upscale, downscale, good food, fine food, quick food. It is all here, and the people are very friendly.

Friday brought forth another glorious fall day, and we decided to take a drive north on Grand Island and see what we could see.  We landed first at a really neat fish hatchery on the shores of the lake that had a free, self guided tour.

The tour had signs indicating how the harvest water fro the lake, grow the fry, and release them...mostly lake trout and salmon...much like the Great Lakes hatcheries.

The tour had signs indicating how they harvest water from the lake, grow the fry, and release them…mostly lake trout and salmon…much like the Great Lakes hatcheries.

Just a quick pic on the side of the road in a little town we stopped in...North Hero I believe.

Just a quick pic on the side of the road in a little town we stopped in…North Hero I believe.

We drove up as far as you could before entering Canada, and passed over to the NY side of the lake for a quick trip along the lake south for a ways, and took the ferry back over to Grand Island.  This thing runs 24/7 365 weather permitting, and every half hour.  It appears it is used mostly by commuters…but commercial trucks use it as well.

On the ferry headed back to VT.

On the ferry headed back to VT.

It was $10 for me and the truck, and an extra $4 for Terri.

It was $10 for me and the truck, and an extra $4 for Terri.

That finished up Friday.  We did some grocery shopping and grilled out back at Grampa’s Bus.  Saturday was forecast to be overcast, rainy and colder…and it was.  There was a craft fair and bake sale at the campground that we attended and donated to…especially the bake sale part of it.  We then headed into Burlington to see what was going on, and we landed at the Magic Hat Brewing Company, where they had free tours, tastings, live music, and samples from local Vermont vendors specializing in organic food.  Nice time on a gloomy afternoon!

We were back  before dark, and Terri whipped up an awesome chicken dish, and we watched a red box movie.  We settled in early, as we were headed out early on Sunday to visit the Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, VT.  Here is what the folks at Wikipedia have to say about this great place:

Shelburne Museum is a museum of art, design, and Americana located in Shelburne, Vermont, United States. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds. It is located on 45 acres (18 ha) near Lake Champlain.

Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and an array of 17th- to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th- and 20th-century decoys (see Waterfowl decoy collecting), and carriages.

Electra Havemeyer Webb was a pioneering collector of American folk art and founded Shelburne Museum in 1947.[1] The daughter of Henry Osborne Havemeyer andLouisine Elder Havemeyer, important collectors of Impressionism, European and Asian art, she exercised an independent eye and passion for art, artifacts, and architecture celebrating a distinctly American aesthetic.

When creating the Museum she took the step of collecting 18th and 19th century buildings from New England and New York in which to display the Museum’s holdings, relocating 20 historic structures to Shelburne. These include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.

In Shelburne Mrs. Webb sought to create “an educational project, varied and alive.”[2] Shelburne’s collections are exhibited in a village-like setting of historic New England architecture, accented by a landscape that includes over 400 lilacs, a circular formal garden, herb and heirloom vegetable gardens, and perennial gardens.

In 2013, the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education was opened with two galleries, an auditorium and classroom, transforming the institution from seasonal (mid-May through October) to year-round operation. While the main campus operates seasonally, the Pizzagalli Center and Museum Store are open year-round.

If you are ever in the area…this is a must see.  Here are some pictures:

Round Barn from East Passumpsic, VT, 1890.

Round Barn from East Passumpsic, VT, 1890.

Terri on the 3rd floor in front of the silo inside the barn.

Terri on the 3rd floor in front of the silo inside the barn.

Pano of the circus building, loaded with hand carved circus stuff, and a working 1920's carousel out front.

Pano of the circus building, loaded with hand carved circus stuff, and a working 1920’s carousel out front.

Inside the Beach Lodge, which houses some awesome Adirondack life and hunting displays.

Inside the Beach Lodge, which houses some awesome Adirondack life and hunting displays.

Inside the 1890 Grand Isle Rail Car...it was so ornate, I only got this pic.

Inside the 1890 Grand Isle Rail Car…it was so ornate, I only got this pic.

Yes, the 1906 Ticonderoga is dry docked here. Go to google and see what they had to do to get this thing here! It is a great display, and you get to check the whole thing out. This ship worked the lake for years and was retired in the 50's.

Yes, the 1906 Ticonderoga is dry docked here. Go to google and see what they had to do to get this thing here! It is a great display, and you get to check the whole thing out. This ship worked the lake for years and was retired in the 50’s.

On of the sitting rooms on the ship.

On of the sitting rooms on the ship.

A shot of the countryside for the Pilot House.

A shot of the countryside from the Pilot House.

Color shot of the grounds.

Color shot of the grounds.

A barn that is slap jack full of carriages and sleighs. Must be one of the largest collections in the world...

A barn that is slap jack full of carriages and sleighs. Must be one of the largest collections in the world…

And a two room slate jail...from Castleton, VT. 1890.

And a two room slate jail…from Castleton, VT. 1890.

More of the grounds.

More of the grounds.

Unusual two lane covered bridge with pedestrian walkway, moved here from Cambridge, VT originally constructed 1845. They still use it as an entrance for the museum.

Unusual two lane covered bridge with pedestrian walkway, moved here from Cambridge, VT originally constructed 1845. They still use it as an entrance for the museum.

And here she is folks...in all her color!! Don't tell anyone, but she has a birthday on Friday, and it's one of those double digit ones that means we will now get the senior discount at Denny's!! She doesn't look a day over 30, and keeps me on my toes to this day...love this one still, even after almost 34 years of marriage, and two years living in less than 350 square feet.

And here she is folks…in all her color!! Don’t tell anyone, but she has a birthday on Friday, and it’s one of those double-digit ones that means we will now get the senior discount at Denny’s!! She doesn’t look a day over 30, and keeps me on my toes to this day…love this one still, even after almost 34 years of marriage, and two years living in less than 350 square feet.

That’s about it for this go around.  We got almost everything stowed away and ready to hit the road tomorrow.  We still don’t know for sure just which way we will head out of here.  Will either head south on the western border of Vermont, or go north a bit, and come down the west shore of Lake Champlain in NY.  Out next hard stop is for two weeks in a little town in Pine Grove, PA which is just north of Harrisburg.  We will take our time getting there, as it is only about 460 miles away and our reservations start on Thursday.  It has been a real bugger trying to get reservations even now…we thought things would calm down after this holiday weekend, but I guess not.  Plenty of room during the week, but everything is full on the weekends.  The only reason we got the campground we did in PA is because someone cancelled at the last minute.  Oh well, it all worked out.

As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living your Dreams!!!!

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