I am still overly cautious about leaving my home with COVID on the prowl, but often a trip beckons, and a beckoning happened. My daughter and her family had a cabin for a week in New York on Lake Champlain, and were going to cross over to Vermont to check out a camp for her daughter next year. “Would you like to meet us?” she asked on FaceTime. Of course, and a plan was hatched. Watching the weather it looked like Wednesday, the 26th, was best. Since Dr. Dewey (car doctor to my ladies that is) had told me of some spots I had to see in Vermont that I did not know about, I decided to make it an overnight and hit those Thursday on the way home.
If you have never crossed Lake Champlain by ferry – you must. There are three ferries across the lake, and a very small one near Fort Ticonderoga (COVID closed in 2020). The Burlington ferry is also not running this year. With two ferry routes running, they crossed on the southern one from Essex, NY, to Charlotte, VT, planning to go back on the northern one from Grand Isle, Vermont, to Plattsburg, NY. A fun circle of experiences, with lunch and visit in between.
Other than the Burlington ferry landing, the landings are remote. I arrived in Charlotte while the kids were still on their crossing.
Tied up to the south was “The Champlain.” Seeing grass growing on the deck, yes I asked. As the ferry making the Burlington/Port Kent, NY, she is tied up this year, but I learned the grass grows all the time, not just because she is laid up.
The ferry is approaching
and they were the second New Jersey car off. If the owners of the first NJ car off (same style and color) would like the photo I took of them, please contact me.
If you have not been in the area, may I warn you that eating options are limited. On the way to the ferry landing, I passed the Old Brick Store—a local Charlotte tradition since 1853 – and the only thing at the “downtown crossroads.” There was a sign outside with menu specials. Remember my travels last week? Stop at a country store, buy sandwich, and enjoy on a picnic table. I suggested that, and that is what we did.
Next – a picnic table! Not that easy, particularly when COVID has had many taken away. But, recommended to my daughter was a visit to Mt. Philo State Park for its views. A short hop south on my favorite US 7, and there we were, paid the entry fee, and wound on the road built by the CCC in the 1930s. This park is the first Vermont State park, established in 1924. RAY RECOMMENDS – take the time and visit.
yes, that is the lake with the Adirondacks in the distance. Lunch at a picnic table (I socially distanced on a bench – hey those little ’19s could infiltrate from NJ), fun conversation, and then walks along the western side of the mountain for the views. Below is a panorama you may click on for a full screen view.
After enjoying the park, we then visited the downtown water front in Burlington, after some ice cream in Shelburne. But, all fun times do end, and the kids headed north to check out the camp, and I headed to Waterbury and The Old Stagecoach Inn, built in 1826. I was exhausted. I walked to the small town, had dinner on the porch of one of the pubs, joined in a church meeting on Zoom, and then headed back to the Inn after eating for the conclusion of the meeting. I had a comfortable room, and basically read myself to sleep in that chair.
Dr. Dewey recently rode his vintage Harley (if I am wrong about make, he will email me) to Warren and across the Roxbury Mountain Road, and told me I had to do it. I was close on my 3 July adventure, but had never been on this stretch of VT 100, nor over that mountain. I had a plan for Thursday.
My plan was head south on VT 100 (the backbone of Vermont) to Waitsfield, then onto Warren, across the mountain to Roxbury (hope you have your maps out) then south on 12A to Randolph and Bethel, then cut over to Royalton and South Royalton on 107. My printer was probably going to have the September CLARION done, so I kept checking emails. In South Royalton their message came in – “Ready.” So time for super-slaps and I was in Brattleboro at 2PM.
I have two more covered bridges for you (remember the great assemblage I provided you in May of last year)? First, here is the bridge in the village of Waitsfield which seems to be a popular outdoor sports area along the Mad River.
and two of the few buildings in Waitsfield – worthy of more exploration, but much is vacant.
heading south again on VT100 you can almost miss the sign to Warren off to the left. Glad I saw it — I cannot wait to visit again in BLUE BELLE – it was starting to rain, maybe a leaf peeping trip in a few weeks. In the center of the amazing village, Dr. Dewey told me was the Warren Store. (yes, that is GiGi – GRANITE GIRL on the right)
Across the street is the Pitcher Inn. An absolute must return to and enjoy.
You can walk across the bridge to the small green, with town hall, library, etc., but on the way is this interesting “band stand” or gazebo.
but what is amazing, and why you should visit, is what you see on either side of the bridge – the flow of water over eons carving the rocks, including glacial potholes. Here is off to the side near to the Pitcher Inn. You may wish to “click” these images for a larger view.
and the other side adjoining the Warren Store.
I thought these were the Warren Falls Dr. Dewey told me about. When I got home and emailed with him, I learned there is even a better site and park, a tad further south on VT100 – I did not get that far since I was going to go over the mountain. THUS – another road trip. But, going a short distance on 100, I looped back on Covered Bridge Road to the village – thus sharing with you another covered bridge.
and, then to East Warren to begin the climb over the mountain. Here is “downtown” East Warren. In fact, this is East Warren. A Market in an old school building.
remember it is now overcast and raining, thus another reason to return for better images. Without the haze, this view when the mountain road turns to dirt to head down on the east side should be great.
Roxbury, on Route 12A (just south of all the covered bridges I shared with you in May 2019), is alright, not too big, but with this country store, and the town offices in the old train station.
Once I got the email the CLARION was ready, I shot south, loaded up the van, made my deliveries to the Post Offices, and returned home. Lots of driving. lots of sights, and the desire to return very soon. Even a simple overnight, particularly combined with family, is a treat and treasure. I want to get out more, and have some ideas once schools are back in session, and any crowds (crowds in New England?) have diminished. Again, for safety sake. your safety sake, and that of others – wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands, and stay and be well. As always, yours, RAY