July 29, 2008 – Mill at Quechee

Our trip today was to the Simon Pearce Glassworks. This building was originally a mill and the dam was built to supply power to the mill and to the town of Quechee. It was closed down in 1972 but in 1983 Simon Pearce purchased the property and re-installed the turbine to supply hydropower for the glassworks. Any excess they now sell to the power company.

The covered bridge over the dam:

The dam:

The mill:

Each piece of pottery and glass that Simon Pearce Glassworks sells is hand made. We were able to go to the glass production area and watch the glassblowers – WOW! The pottery area was down so we were not able to see them make the pottery. The building also houses a store/display area and a restaurant. It was a nice little tour.

We leave tomorrow for New Hampshire so we started breaking down and packing up.

And, of course, another great campfire.

July 28, 2008 – Kayaking at North Hartland Lake

This morning we traveled to North Hartland Lake/Dam to kayak.

Some scenes from the kayak:

There are a number of nesting pairs of loons on the lake. We were able to get a picture of one pair:

We could hear the loons all during our ride. We also heard another animal make a loud noise but not sure what it was!! The lake is about 3 miles long. We are not sure how far we went since we turned back when the water began to get shallow.

A picture of the dam on our way back:

This afternoon, we walked to Quechee Village – a little shopping center about ½ mile from the campground and I was able to get my picture taken with moose:

They also had a Cabot store there (Vermont cheeses) so we did some sampling (mmmmm!) and made a few purchases.

This evening, Marie and Dean joined us around the campfire for some great chatting.


July 27, 2008 – Just a Regular Day

Today, my mom would have been 80 years old and I hope she is having a great party in heaven. Happy Birthday, Mom. And I have been really missing her a lot lately… She was a great lady and I try to keep the great memories and forget the tough times when the last stages of Alzheimer’s took effect!!

Today we went shopping in NH (no sales tax) for groceries and other odds and ends.

And I caught up with the blog and hopefully will upload tomorrow. I have been thinking about not posting every day especially on those days when we just hang out. However I will continue to post our adventures but as a range posting instead of a daily posting. Let me know what you think!

We did have another great campfire and Vivian, Rin, Marie and Dean joined – what a great time.

July 26, 2008 – The Gorge

Today’s hike took us to Quechee Gorge. This is Vermont’s Grand Canyon and beautiful it is!

Sites of the nature hike from the campground:

The bottom of the gorge:

A part of the gorge:

The bridge over the gorge:

The dam at the end of the gorge:

The Ottauquechee River above the dam:

Dewey’s Mill Pond (by the river) – notice the white lilies in bloom:

How about this little fellow:

We then decided to explore the area. We went to North Hartland Dam (where we hope to kayak on Monday) then thru the town of Hartland, Woodstock (yes, we are close by another Woodstock) and Quechee.

One of Quechee’s sites:

We hope to explore more of Woodstock and Quechee in the coming days.

And we enjoyed another great campfire. The campground hosts, Marie and Dean, and our neighbors, Vivian and Rin joined us for some great chatting!!

July 23-25, 2008 – Rain, Sun and Travel

It continued to rain until Thursday night and the sun finally came out around 4 PM – Yea!! We were starting to get a little stir crazy!! And now the drying out process begins.

The river and the dam were high so we had to go out and take pictures. These are from the same area, the first picture is when we got here and the second one was taken last night and this morning…

Amazing, isn’t it! The river runs right along the campground and the sound of the rushing water was loud… a lot different than when we first arrived.

So today, our travels took us to Quechee Gorge State Park – about a 67 mile trip. When we arrived and set up, we had to pull many of our damp items out into the sun!!

This is a beautiful campground – our site:

And it was great to just sit in the sun, enjoy the warmth and dryness and the campfire.

Miles Traveled: 67
Vermont: VT-101, VT-11, I-91, I-89, VT


July 22, 2008 – Rain and Rainbows

We woke to more rain so decided to head into town to do laundry (my favorite thing – sarcastically said) and grocery shopping. When we were at the post office last week, the postmaster recommended a laundry in Ludlow and that is where we went – a much more pleasant experience (clean, decent, average price).

For supper, we went to the local pub and what a great time. Everyone was so friendly and they loved to play practical jokes (which Andy really enjoyed). This was the first time we have done this on the trip and I really missed it. So we decided that we will continue the habit of visiting some local pubs in the places we stay. (The food was wonderful too!)

Back in the campground; take a look at these pictures. There were these white puffy clouds in front of the very dark background clouds – very impressive!

And the sun came out and blessed us with this magnificent rainbow:

And we were able to have another great campfire!!


July 21, 2008 – Another Rainy Day

This morning as we were getting ready to go kayaking, the clouds started rolling in. So we decided to do a bike ride instead. The rain started as we headed back home and lasted most of the morning/afternoon.

We did get a little ride to the local UPS affiliate to send my lens off to Nikon to be repaired and stopped at the local village shop (quaint!).

The sun finally showed up ~ 5 PM for us to cook over the fire and enjoy being outside.

July 20, 2008 – A Lazy, Rainy Day

Well, no mountain today either. We woke to lots of fog and cloudy skies so we just hung out. I spent time figuring out where we are headed after Quechee Gorge (White Mountains) and what campgrounds are available.

There is a great site that has overlays for mapping programs. Some of them are dump stations, state parks, Wal-Mart, etc. and since we use Deloreme for our travels, I spent time learning how to do the overlays. How wonderful to have all that info on one map instead of going thru all the books. Check it out: http://www.discoveryowners.com/cginfo.htm

We also said our goodbyes to John and Barb who are leaving this campground tomorrow. John helped us a lot with our DIRECTV antennae when we first got here (thanks!). We have met so many good people on our travels and it is so neat to hear everyone’s stories and travels.

We were able to have a campfire for a short time before another storm came in (and I am so happy we have electric and TV when it rains).


July 19, 2008 – Green Mountain National Forest Roads

Our initial plans this morning were to take the gondola to the top of Stratton Mountain and hike to the fire tower but it was so hazy that we decided to try tomorrow (and hopefully it will be clearer).

So we decided to check out some of the small towns, countryside and the forest roads. The countryside is everything we would picture about Vermont – small farms and meadows in between green forested hills and mountains; streams and ponds along every roadside; wildflowers in the meadows and high trees on the mountains.

The small towns are very quaint: Large homes leading in all directions from town and very small (~3 blocks) of a main street. There are no malls here!!

We took forest road 18, 17, 29 in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Some sites:

What a wonderful peaceful ride! I just love the forest roads. It feels like I am back when there were stage coach roads and no highways!!

After a quick stop at the grocery store, we headed back home. It is still very hot/humid here and hopefully there will be a cool down come Monday.

Our neighbor left this morning and gave us the rest of his firewood so we had anothere great campfire tonight.

July 18, 2008 – Moving Day (again)

This morning we moved over to site S12. Because we did not make reservations early, we were not able to keep the same site. This will be our last move in the park.

The rest of the day was the usual – setting up, cleaning up, etc. and then rest, relax!


Happy Birthday to our daughter, Sandy - :-)


July 17, 2008 - Hamilton Falls

Yesterday we met fellow Escapees, Marcia and Joe, who have been fulltiming over a year. We had a great time talking and sharing stories around the campfire. Hopefully we will see them again down the road.

Today was another beautiful day so we went to Jamaica State Park and hiked to Hamilton Falls. The trail is part of the West River Trail that we followed a few days ago. The first part followed the rail/trail and the West River (for 2 miles):

The second part (1 mile) followed Cobb River up the mountain to the falls:

There are two pools of water right below the falls that did look very inviting. I think if we would have had a change of clothes we would have jumped in… Notice how clear the water is – beautiful!!!

I would really like to know the geology of this valley. Some of the rocks we have seen are huge and those in the river have been nicely polished.

A little tidbit about the West River Trail: The West River Railroad Company completed the 36 mile route in 1880. The line soon became known as “36 miles of trouble” as the narrow gauge bed caused swaying trains to bang along the rock ledges and frequent spring floods washed away bridges and tracks. A local newspaper reported the trains ran “tri-daily”. They headed down to Brattleboro in the morning and would “try” to get back at night. Stormy winters left trains stranded in snowdrifts for up to eight days, leaving shivering passengers in unheated cars (can you imagine?).

In 1927 a hurricane caused widespread flooding in the West River Valley, washing away old bridges and rail beds so it was shut down. Today, the Friends of the West River are attempting to create a contiguous multi-purpose trail along the 36 miles from South Londonderry to Brattleboro. And they are doing a great job – the sections that we have seen are in great shape. When it is done, this will be one beautiful ride.

And this afternoon was just one of those lazy days – although Andy did get his haircut (by me). We will be moving to site 12 tomorrow for another week so we started to break down camp. I wish we could have stayed in one place but this will give us a chance to get our tanks dumped before we settle in.


July 16, 2008 – Kayaking and Gale Meadow Pond

Another beautiful day in Vermont!

Gale Meadows Pond is about 3 miles from here on the back roads so off we went to do some kayaking.

Some pictures:

I know they call this a pond but it is more like one of our lakes. It was so quiet and beautiful. I know we will be back again.

Right now it is mid-afternoon and we are going to take it easy... I wanted to upload the blog early since the internet speed slows after 5 (must be something about being on the extended network).

So until tomorrow.

July 15, 2008 – Biking and Ball Mountain Dam

We awoke to a beautiful, cool morning and had a nice bike ride on the rail/trail. At the end of that trail, we walked down to the river and found lots of little frogs (this one is in the center of the picture):
They are the same color as many of the rocks so we did not see them until they moved – hope these little guys don’t get stepped on.

There are so many wildflowers here – a photographer's dream:

Did you notice the bugs/bees/beetle in some of them?

When we took our hike on the West Trail, we saw people canoeing in the dam. We did talk with one of the young rangers (actually I think he was an intern) on how to get access to kayak. He gave us some suggestions but wasn’t sure so we went scouting.

On our way to the dam (yes, this was a beautiful day!):

The dam:

The spillway (notice the people – this was HUGE!):

We did try a couple paths and walkways but there really is no boat access… ah well!

I did subject myself to another laundermat. Since it is going to be beautiful for the next few days, I wanted to wash our rugs and air dry them. So we did find a laundermat a few miles away, were able to use the washers but over half of them are broke… So before we leave, we will be heading back to Manchester laundermat! (Oh my!)

And we continue to have great campfires!!