Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vermont-Food, Forts, Flowers, and lots of Granite

I’m writing this from Bangor, Maine, about 350 miles east of Burlington where we were parked at the Elks Lodge.  As I look out our front window (big slide pulled in) the rain is coming down in sheets and the wind is gusting. Hurricane Irene is coming to town.  We anticipate 2.5” of rain and wind about 45 mph.  In Burlington right now they anticipate 5-9” rain and wind about 65 mph.  The reason I begin our blog with this bit of information is that yesterday we very seriously considered moving further west to Burlington to avoid the brunt of Irene.  We just did not get a good ‘feeling’ about moving (thank you, God) so we decided to stay.  Good plan!

Back to a week ago.  We headed to Vermont, turning right instead of going into Canada only 500 yards to the north.  This was the closest we have come to Canada.

Vermont has a lot of things going for it for a very small state.  If you like maple syrup, blueberries and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, this could be your favorite state.  Every day while we were here we take day trips, traveling about 50 miles a day away from our beautiful spot at the Elks in Burlington.  By the way, if any of our Elk RV’ing friends have an opportunity to park here, do not miss the fabulous lunch that is served 6 days a week for $6.95 a plate.  I had the best Haddock sandwich, coleslaw and fries and Tom had a huge BLT with potato salad and fries and drinks for less than $15.  Nice.

Our first day trip was to check out the Ethan Allen homestead.  All I ever knew about Ethan Allen was that he made real good furniture… just joking.  He was the hero of Vermont, but more of a redneck. He was one of the Green Mountain Boys who rebelled against New York when they tried to tax the residents of Vermont who had been given title to their land by New Hampshire.  Neither New Hampshire nor Vermont were part of the original 13 colonies.   Can you imagine living through the Vermont winter in this little house with a wife, 8 children, and 2 servants?
Our next day trip was to Fort Ticonderoga that strategically guards portage between Lake Champlain and Lake George.  This Fort played a very important role in the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars.  It is a living history site with Fife and Drum Corps, Long Rifle demonstrations, and even a soldier making leather leggings.



The gardens at the Fort were worth the trip even if we had not gotten to tour the Fort itself. The flowers were just beautiful and the docents in the garden were very informative.
We took the ferry over and back from Vermont where we were parked and New York where Fort Ticonderoga is located.

Next day, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream tour.  Sorry no pictures allowed.  They think Haagen Dazs might steal.  So this is as good as it gets for pictures.
Our final adventure was to see the Capitol, Montpelier, the nearby granite quarry and Hope Cemetery.
We noticed all the curbs in Vermont were made out of granite. When talking to some Vermonters we were told it was much cheaper to cut the curbs out of granite and replace them when the ice heaves move them around rather than pour more cement curbs.
So we headed for the incredible Hope Cemetery to see what granite workers can do in the cemetery closest to the quarry.
Well, it’s still raining and windy so I’m going to take a break and maybe post the next blog, New Hampshire.

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