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Day 36 (10.7.07) - Across VT to Lake Champlain (Video Added)

We spent most of the day near the New Hampshire border, but high-tailed it to Burlington by the end of the day - small state!

sunny 70 °F
View (Re) Discovering America on jl98584's travel map.

Miles Driven: 107
Weather: Sunny, a little cooler (70's F)

Shortly after leaving White River Junction, we arrived at a small town called Quechee (pronounced 'qweechee', sort of like squegee but with a 'ch' sound). The big tourist area on the highway was having an antique show and everyone who was at the Warner fall festival in New Hampshire yesterday came over to Vermont for this show! We got there before the extent of the crowds was obvious and I pulled into the parking lot thinking we could stop at the gift shop quickly and move on. Ha! Parking lot attendants directed us to a back lawn, so we parked and decided to check it out. There must have been a half dozen separate craft & gift shops all in a row, including a HUGE antique mall at the end. In addition there were about two rows of tents in front with more antique dealers.

We wandered through the glass blowing shop, a furniture/woodwork shop, a generic gift shop and finally a shop that carried mostly edibles - especially Vermont Cheese's and Maple Syrup's. There was a very long table for tasting all the varieties of Cabot Cheese you could imagine. After some careful comparison shopping (e.g. tasting), I purchased a small block of Tomato Basil Cheese and a Sharp Cheese. I also liked the Ginger Maple Syrup, but at the price I figured I could always add ginger to my own syrup if I wanted. Mom purchases a few things also, I'm sure we'll swap treats over the next few days.

Mom wanted to walk through the toy museum, so we did that also.

We wandered through some of the antique shops/tents also, even though neither of us are much into antiques. Mom was much more disciplined and kept her wallet hidden. I did not do as well, but am afraid to make a full confession in case one of you decides to have me committed! For some reason, I didn't think to take any pictures of this zoo, I did shoot a short video of an antique record player (that I also purchased...)

A short drive from the gift shops was the Quechee Gorge. The travel brochure described this as Vermont's 'Grand Canyon'. This is probably a bad way to describe it as it is a very pale gorge by comparison. Maybe it can stand on it's own a little better if they just described it as a pretty little gorge? Mom was too tired to even get out of the RV at this point (we had spent a long time at the earlier stop), but I felt I needed some real exercise, so hiked the half mile to the bottom. This wasn't very far as the crow flies, but it was a very steep hike and the rocks at the bottom were terrible to walk over (Of course, I had to go all the way across just in case I could get a better picture of the gorge on the other side. My feet still ache).

Day_36_-_Q..orge_SP.jpgDay_36_-_Q..e_Rocks.jpg

In all, the gorge is 165 feet deep and about a mile long (1/2 on each side of the bridge). After all that hiking, the best picture (above left) is probably the one I took from the bridge at the top - near where we parked. On the way down, there was a tree with some interesting growth on it, perhaps some sort of mushroom? If anybody knows what this is, I'd appreciate it if you could post a comment and let us know.

Day_36_-_V.._Growth.jpg

By the time we left Quechee it was already 3 PM and we had only driven 7 miles! It's pretty hard to cover the US in 8 months if you can only make 7 miles a day - but we still had some time left, so headed back up north. Mom wanted to visit a Music Box Museum we learned about at the visitors center. We drove over some back roads again to a town called Randolph. Across from the gas station where we stopped was a really cute Railway Station and downtown area. This is right in the middle of Vermont and is typical of the quaint, small towns around here.

Day_36_-_R..f_Depot.jpgDay_36_-_R..owntown.jpg

We made it to the Porter Music Box Museum just as they closed, so I had about 2 minutes to visit the gift shop and buy a CD, that's about it. I did learn however that these are not the types of music boxes you or I would buy. They cost thousands of dollars and play giant copper disks that can be stored and played like records. The music on the CD I bought is lovely, but I think the CD will be quite enough for me.

http://www.portermusicbox.com/default.aspx

Now it was 4 PM and we were still not that far into Vermont. Mom noticed a campground on the map fairly close by, but I suggested we try to see if we could go a little farther. Sure enough, it turned out that we could get all the way up to Burlington on the North West side of the state in about one and a half hours. Burlington has two exits off the freeway, so it's not that big a town, it is a big college town however. It turns out this weekend is Columbus Day, Parents Day at the University of Vermont (here), and of course a big fall foliage tourist weekend - so hotels and campgrounds are full all over. We found a lovely city campground on the shore of Lake Champlain, North Beach Campground, and got one of the last two open spots they had.

Tomorrow, we will check out the Ethan Allan homestead here, then probably start back on our journey eventually towards the far NE corner of Maine.

Posted by jl98584 18:09 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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Comments

Well, so you saw Quechee Gorge! If I'd seen that
Grand-Canyon description you read, I'd have been very disappointed; otherwise, it was pretty impressive. But my picture isn't nearly as nice as yours, though from the same place on the bridge--maybe a different time of day; it was too shaded down in the gorge.

by msj

wow, I have always wanted to visit Vermont. Remeber the Alberts were from Vermont...
Very beautiful. Too bad the music box museum was not open, maybe another time.

by rllomas

I think the fungus on the tree (related to mushrooms, but more woody) looks like it might be a turkey tail fungus, so called because of the concentric rings that make it look somewhat like a turkey's tail. Que

by drque

Thanks to all of you! These entries take a while for me to write up at night, so it's nice to know people are reading them. The Gorge was pretty nice, just not in the same league as the "Grand Canyon". Did you also hike to the bottom?

I had forgotten about the Alberts. The state promotes only two famous people: Ethan Allen and Calvin Coolidge. Also, we found out Morgan Horses originated in Vermont.

by jl98584

No, Bob was sitting in the car, eager to get on home at that point, and I just hastily ran back to the bridge and took a couple of pictures down the gorge. I would have enjoyed hiking into it but had to move on.

by msj

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