Everyone one I have talked with has agreed that this has been the most colorful fall in our memories. The last two weekends I was away, so could not explore my favorite VT and NH spots, but today I did. Vermont and New Hampshire are past peak, and I missed that since I was away earlier, but remember I write for myself to reinforce my memory of what I have done. In selecting images to share, maybe I did not get any popping reds and other colors, but it was a great day, and I just have to share my favorite images.

On Friday, October 2nd, I crossed Vermont on VT Route 9 to cut over to New York State to head down to my daughter Julie’s home for three nights. The high elevations on Route 9 were starting to POP.


And, then last Saturday I headed to see my sons David and Gary, and spend time with grandson Alex while David flew to Korea before Mari got back from Italy. New Hampshire Route 101 was amazing. Here is a lake in Dublin looking off to Mount Monadnock.


Driving back from north of Boston on Wednesday the 14th was even more amazing. But it was a hectic week for me, and I could not escape again until today (but who wants to escape the perfect home?).  You know me, and you know where I headed.

Leaving town, I circled up on the hill to look back at the village. You can see the steeple on the Town Hall.  The two orange trees furthest left of the steeple are mine.


Crossing the Connecticut River I first stopped at one of my favorite antique centers in Chester, Vermont. Got two treasures, and one you will see at the end of this post. I left Chester on Route 103 towards Ludlow and soon saw car after car (out of staters, of course) covered with snow. Approaching Ludlow, Okemo’s runs had a light cover of snow – real snow, they have not started making it yet.


Kinda of hard to get an image of a car covered in snow while driving, but I figured I could find a car covered in snow in “downtown” Ludlow, and I did. Of course, Connecticut license plates, and from the town next to my hometown. Remember – October 18th — SNOW.


Leaving Ludlow, and heading north, I turned north on VT 100. Know where I am going yet?

I call this image a Vermont Juxtaposition Oxymoron – note the satellite dish.


And, then I arrived in “heaven” — well, after Walpole.


I parked, and started my explorations. Well, I know what is where – only my 5th or 6th visit this calendar year.


Yes, that is Calvin’s homestead where his Dad swore him in as our 30th President. His Dad was a Justice of the Peace, and when asked what made you think you could swear in the President, he replied, “No one told me I couldn’t.” Below is looking back at the cheese factory and school house.



I timed my arrival just right to have lunch at the Wilber House


I had a bowl of Beef Barley soup, and a grilled cheese and tuna salad sandwich. Both fantastic, and I am now searching for Beef Barley Soup recipes — please send me your best.


You noted the clouds (I am sure) in the earlier images. Well, a fierce snow squall came up when I started to eat.


But, it soon cleared up, and off I went enjoying the early 20th century in Vermont, which as I tell others is really mid 19th century anywhere else.



Calvin’s front porch.


And the 1920’s gift shop with tourist cabins to the rear. The Secret Service stayed in those cabins during Calvin’s Summer White House time in Plymouth Notch.


I headed back south on Route 100, and at the Echo Lake Inn in Tyson turned east on a back road over the hills to South Reading and then Felchville (yes that is right). Turning left on Route 106, and soon a right heading east on VT 44 toward Windsor. I crossed the longest Covered Bridge back into New Hampshire, and yes, you are correct, headed to St. Gaudens to see if there were any great colors.

There weren’t. “But, wait Ray. You have always left St. Gaudens and headed back to Route 12. Why not continue straight up the hill past the park.”  And, I did.


I circled up and up, turned left climbing higher with great views in all directions.


And, eventually I got back to Route 12.  Well, I will take this route again, and probably in the reverse.  You know that there is always different scenery when going in the opposite direction.  I had hoped that when last crossing on the Queen Mary 2 from east to west.  I was sure the views would be different than my crossing from west to east — NOT.

I stopped a short distance at the Trinity Church in Cornish built 1803-1808.


And, you know I love images through windows and other openings.


Well, for the most part it was a dreary day, and once I looked at my images, when I got home, I was surprised how nice they came out.

I have decided that the best world would be if I could move The Red Lion Inn to “downtown” Plymouth Notch. Now, that would really be perfect. I already have a “date” to experience The Calvin Coolidge Historic Site when it is open on December 5th for a Christmas Celebration (we went last year). Hopefully, two other ladies I took there this year will come too, and we can make it a fantastic party — hope there are many feet of snow on the ground. The sleigh ride will be just perfect.

One of the treasures purchased in Chester – a vintage 1950s Brexton Picnic Hamper from London. Always searching for the best one (I now own three) for a picnic under the apple trees in Plymouth Notch. Perfect thing to travel in BLACK BEAUTY, BLUE BELLE, or the back seat of LADY RAB.


Hope you enjoyed these images and tour. By sometime tomorrow there will have been over 51,000 page visitors to SHUNPIKING WITH RAY. If you like what I do, please share with others.

More news to come soon, thank you for visiting, as always, yours, RAY

This entry was posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips, Plymouth Notch, Vermont, ROADS and ROUTES and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Betty says:

    Beautiful pictures, Ray! The reflection image you took in the window even caught beautiful leaf colors in the lower sash! Excellent job!

  2. Marian L. Michlig says:

    Absolutely beautiful array of colors in the trees. Gorgeous.
    We have snow. Lucky you.
    Thank you for the lovely colorful trip.


  3. Chris Burchstead says:

    Always enjoy seeing your photos, Ray, especially Plymouth Notch. What was your other find in Chester?

  4. Carolyn Norback says:

    Good times, great pictures. Having fun!! What a life.

  5. Beverly Disbrow OKeefe says:

    Enjoyed reading of your New England wanderings this past weekend. Had a little snow squall here in Rhode Island on Sunday; I reacted by moving more wood to the back deck as you can never be sure what the winter will bring. I want to have enough wood on hand to feed the wood stove. Safe travels. .

  6. Carol Crolle says:

    Thanks for another great adventure, Ray. In the comfort of my computer chair, I transverse the highways and byways with you…just wish it could be in person! Carol

  7. Brian Shriver says:

    The leaves have been amazing this year! Your photos were just as good!

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