Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vermont and The Road Trip: Part Two

So there I was, halfway to Vermont.
 I began to see many landscapes like this one above, composed of single barns, silos, and happy cows.
The weather was accommodating, with only a slip of sprinkles and general overcastness making it easy to leave the windows cracked.
 Then I arrived at Smuggler's Notch (what a name) to find Sue and Nigel, all ready to go with gorgeous snacks (a small meal!) and ideas for outings to see waterfalls before the sun went down. Don't mind if I do! :-)
 As you can see, it was really hard on the eyes.
 We even saw fresh evidence of beavers! This fallen tree was neatly chewed through, a few feet away from a serious beaver dam (difficult to get a good shot though-- you'll have to go visit).
 We finished with seeing a covered bridge. Why does New England have (so many) covered bridges? Sue and Nigel expected me to know since it was Americana, but I come from the complete opposite coast, where such things were quite rare: Strike 1 from me. So we asked the waiter at our restaurant that first night, who, while quite entertaining, turned out to be from New Jersey. Strike 2 from Vaughn.
But don't think we were completely without contribution ladies and gentlemen-- I gave it a college try. My theory was triangulated from the facts: the large amounts of snow, the timeframe these bridges were built (before steel was commonplace) and the remoteness of the location. It was probable that a sloped roof was necessary to slough off the snow so that it didn't weigh down and destroy the wooden bridge, making the way impassable all season.
Vaughn seemed to support my theory.
 Again, hard on the eyes, waking up in the Green Mountain State.
 This after the sun warmed itself up and got out of bed.
And this is one of those shots I made Nigel pull over for-- Sue told me to do it!
It was just the perfect time for fall foliage/ leaf-peeping/ whatever you want to call it, and I am so glad I was able to make the time to visit such grand friends and experience such beautiful vistas!
Near Jeffersonville (I think), the eminently competent driving team stopped at this 'Old Mill' so I could snap another couple photos. What caught my eye was the river flow- so full!- after a night's steady pounding of rain. You know, just enough to make cozying up with a good book inside a resort just the thing.
The Mill was also the site of a museum on a local celebrity: Wilson A. 'Snowflake' Bentley who proved that no two snowflakes were alike under the microscope. I didn't go in, but Sue and Nigel had been fascinated when they saw the exhibit. I was more interested in the interesting effect of the cross-hatched wooden outer wall- never seen anything like it!
Finally, there was a foodie find here, ladies and gentlemen, that I hope none of you miss if you are ever in the neighborhood (meaning Vermont). It is an unassuming, prepossessing place called The Family Table. We all indulged in appetizers, which meant that unfortunately 2/3 of my entree was toted home in a take-home container. But hold the phone, Irene, what was the appetizer?
"Fried calamari tossed with hot peppers and black olives, garlic, lemon, basil, white wine with a side of marinara" 
I haven't tried making it at home yet (still experimenting with those Scottish delicacies), and I must say calamari is pretty intimidating, but... it's definitely earned its place on The List. It had that combination of spice and sourness, crisp and crunch, that rendered one incapable of stopping shoveling it into one's mouth.
Next up: Day Trip to Montreal.

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