Thursday, October 6, 2016

Challenging Internet Limits Our Time in Vermont :-(

Monday, September 26 - Thursday, September 29, 2016
Plainfield, Vermont

Our last day in South Hero is a Sunday of football and a quick drive to town for groceries. Lake Champlain is so beautiful that I have to stop and enjoy the views from the sand bar.

Perfect weather
Para-sailers moving very fast
Monday we move to our most north-eastern stop - Plainfield, Vermont. When we arrive at Onion River Campground I'm sure I've finally taken us somewhere I'll regret. No one is in the broken down office, the interior road is narrow and rutted, there is zero cell and Internet signal, oh boy. Driving the Jeep to the grass sites Bill discovers they are all 20 amp with no sewer! This is not going to work for us, but with no Internet I'm not sure how we're going to look for another spot. Back toward the office we find a 30 amp site with sewer buried in a grassy hole. Okay, we can stay a night.

But after we get backed in and set up and meet the owners we're thinking our original three nights will be fine. The two Russian men who own and run the place are delightful. They're so happy we're here, even though they're 2/3 full and others are arriving. A Passport America park, the three nights will only cost us $45 so what the heck.

Seasonals on each side, we only see one person one time.
Our huge backyard
with a low-flowing river just beyond.
Our plan on Tuesday is a 50 mile loop to see some more foliage and check out a couple fun places along the way. Although I found this spot so we can go to the Cabot Cheese Factory, this morning we pass it by on our way north. We'll check it out tomorrow.

No sign on the road, but I catch a glimpse as we pass by and make a quick u-turn to check out a large covered bridge. It's our first and I'm very excited! Reminds me of turning around in Organ Pipe National Park to see our first crested saquaro :-)

The marker says this is the last working bridge in Vermont, but the 1908 structure is clearly closed. Built by the St Jonesbury and Lamoille R.R., the Fisher Bridge in Wolcutt spans the Lamoille River. It features a full-length cupola providing escape for the smoke. Steel reinforcements were added in 1968 and it seems in great shape, but the tracks stop just 10 yards from the east opening.

The tracks have been removed, making for a nice trail.
It's a beauty.
We make numerous stops to capture (try to) the beauty of what has already become one of my very favorite states. Much of the vibrant color is along the highway in places with no pull-out. There's so much wow!

Apparently we have an aspiring politician in the family.
Some kids outstanding in their field.....

We make our way to the cute little town of Stowe. A year-round destination for outdoors enthusiasts, today it is full of "leaf-peepers". Like us.

Stowe, Vermont
Lots of art pieces along the main road.
Several ski shops
The whole town is decked out for Fall.

Isn't she wonderful??
The Green Mountain Inn is a lovely combination of delicious food and town history. Said to be haunted, we only encounter solid, breathing souls this visit.

New England Corn Chowder - divine!
Freshest salad I've had in weeks - and so pretty!
The halls are lined with wonderful old photos and historical documents of both the town and the Inn.
1891 roster from the original Brick Hotel
More wows at every turn bring us to our next stop in Waterbury - Ben and Jerry's Factory. I believe it is a legally required stop when in Vermont - so we have to. Even before we get to the front door we learn that this place is just like the Grand Canyon.

You may doubt this, but it's true!

Nowhere else but the Grand Canyon have we seen the variety and quantity of license plates! There are nearly 30 different states. In the top section there are actually none from Vermont. They include all the neighboring states, but also Florida, Louisiana, Colorado and Utah. Oregon may be the furthest, but we're at least second. Amazing.

The tour is short and very fun. I especially enjoy the company's continued commitment to social justice, and that they are proud of their activism.

We're here.
Sign petitions, join upcoming actions, read about election reform.
Too hard to choose a favorite!
Where all the yum comes together.
The sample at the end of the tour is a good size so we don't take any home. Later I of course wish we had :-(

The quick trip back to Cabot on Wednesday proves our insider information was accurate - the cheese here is delicious. Although we don't do the tour, and I forget to take a single photo, we do taste a lot of really unique cheeses. And purchase several of them. The Vintage Choice is my favorite.

I really want to spend more time here. Vermont just feels so good. The beauty, the people, the little towns - all of it is magical. The little park has grown on us, and at the inexpensive rate it would be a perfect spot to spend some more time.

But we have no cell service nor any Internet connection. Not only in the park, but in most of the surrounding area we have very limited access. And the timing couldn't be worse. With Bill's mom being moved this week it isn't practical for us to be out of touch. 

So Thursday morning we pack up and head for New Hampshire. We will definitely be back to spend more time in Vermont.


  1. So happy that you enjoyed your time in my home state. It sounds like you discovered some of what Vermont is known for - tasty food, pretty scenery, and terrible cell service! Seriously, we've traveled all over the U.S. and Vermont wins hands down for the most inconsistent cell coverage. Glad that you at least got to have a nice short visit.

    1. By far our favorite state since in "the east" - it has such a healthy feel to it.

  2. Love Vermont, it's just flat out beautiful and there seems to be a social conscience there that I don't find very many other places. That said, we have always stayed in the south where there is cell and internet. BUT we have never stayed into October to see the gorgeous leaves you are experiencing. Wow to your pictures and I love the witch! One of these days I really really do want to stay into October.

    1. October seems to be a balancing act in New England, with the foliage turning while RV parks are closing for the season about the same time. Fortunately the colors have followed us south. Yes, the social conscience is a big part of why I love Vermont.

  3. Don't you hate it when you have to choose between scenic and cell?

  4. Love how rustic that covered bridge is! Glad you are capturing some colors! I bet Tessa loved that big back yard.

    1. It was one of the more rustic, the ones over the roads here are pretty modern looking. Tessa loved having that big yard to run around - and she was the only dog which is very rare.

  5. Wish I had been paying attention earlier and knew you were on your way to VT. Our place at Maplewoods in Johnson (Stowe area) had great Verizon service and cable tv, with gorgeous scenery thrown in for good measure. Though it was a bit more $$'s than what you paid. Looks like you hit the top tourist stops. Did you see the ice cream graveyard where the discontinued flavors go? Sure do miss my B&J's ice cream and Cabot cheese.

    1. Will put your stop on my list because we will definitely be back and Stowe is an area we especially enjoyed. Did see the graveyard - too funny- but forgot to grab a pic :-( Cabot cheese is soooooo good!

  6. What a bummer about no Internet, 'cause I could definitely hang out at Ben & Jerry's for a few samples!

    1. Can't believe we didn't buy anymore while we were there as the selection is tops.

  7. Vermont is a gorgeous state. NY and New England have such beautiful fall colors because of the sugar maples that turn red. The red trees make the fall colors much more spectacular. You captured some very nice fall colors:) That covered bridge is a beauty! Glad you were able to make the necessary stops. It is nice that Ben and Jerry's gives such a big sample. You didn't need to do the tour at Cabots, it is nothing special. But the sample room is a must! I do believe this is the best sample room ever. Vintage Choice is one of my favorite, too:) Too bad you didn't have cell service. Sounds like you found a nice little spot, but NH and its Notch's is very nice!

    1. The reds are incredible aren't they?? New Hampshire and now Massachusetts haven't disappointed in the color department either, just keep getting better as the nights get colder. Glad you steered us to Cabot, really great sample room!!

  8. Hi Jodee...we loved Vernont ! We missed the fall maple trees though. If you are close to Quechee, VT, Simon Pierce glass blowing is worth a stop. Beautiful pieces and downstairs, you can watch the artisans at work.

    Can't wait for your New Hampshire adventure....we haven't been there...yet! Happy trails...

    1. Missed the artisans, another reason to come back and spend more time! We loved New Hampshire as well, just so much to see in such a short season.

  9. Vermont is such a beautiful state. Your timing is wonderful to catch the fall in brilliant color. I do believe you that Ben and Jerry is required. It's good you did stop because you might have been ticketed had you not. :)

    1. I think you're right! I'm sure there's a camera to make sure everyone makes the stop - although it's not a hardship to do so :-))))

  10. This campground looks like a dream compared to where I'm heading to park the 5er in Yarnell. Vermont looks so picture perfect East with the glorious fall colors and that outstanding covered bridge. Plus how can you go wrong with Ben and Jerry ice cream.

    1. Yarnell has its own charms, but this little place is really beautiful and green. I like BandJ's even more now that I've been to the tour - which of course is why they do them :-)