For safety, of course, options for travel, diners out, movies, and the like are limited, and best should simply be avoided. But a CHANGE OF SCENERY can help, and I have found a great way (for me) to enjoy a rejuvenating change. You may recall that scenery change in November was at the Amos Brown House, an hour (and two centuries) away. This week’s escape was 25 minutes away at Kipling’s Carriage House. Gary again joined me. We both drove directly from home, no stops, and spent three days, interacting with no one – not even a moose or squirrel or mouse.

In June 2015, having read about Rudyard Kipling in Vermont, BLUE BELLE and I decided

NAULAKHA – Dummerston, Vermont

we needed to explore Kipling Road in Dummerston, Vermont. There we saw NAULAKHA, built by Kipling in 1893.  It is in this house that Kipling wrote CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, THE JUNGLE BOOKS, A DAY’S WORK, and THE SEVEN SEAS. He also worked on KIM and THE JUST SO STORIES. But more importantly, I then became familiar with Landmark Trust USA. And, then was fortunate to learn of a tour in 2019 of Naulakha. I wrote about that experience in “A JEWEL BEYOND PRICE” – NAULAKHA – A VERMONT TREASURE.  Friends and I had a great time that afternoon.

Returning from the Amos Brown House I knew I had to experience more of Landmark Trust’s exquisite properties, and I booked Kipling’s Carriage House, seen below 13 January 2021 from Kipling Road, and coming up the drive.

and, placing you between Kipling’s home and the Carriage House. I decided to not even try to capture how great this property is, but recommend you browse the professional images of the interior on Landmark’s page for the Kipling Carriage House.

Wednesday night we had dinner (I had made casseroles at home to make it even more relaxing while there – and easier with your own kitchen even though Landmark’s kitchens are amazing and well outfitted). We then figured out how to use the new screen I had purchased following our not having a screen watching movies with my new projector at the Amos Brown House. Laughs at our “new theater” followed before bedtime.

Michele, of Landmark, told me no one would be at Kipling’s home until Friday, so we could enjoy the rhododendron tunnel if we wished. And, we so wished and did Thursday.

above is looking at the tunnel from the porch, and below another “rocking chair study.”

The tunnel is a unique experience, having now been through in June and January. Can’t wait until a visit in full bloom.

you can certainly tell it was overcast during our entire visit. At the end of the tunnel is this gazebo. This view looks over the tennis courts towards distant “hills” in New Hampshire.

you probably remember you can click on my “galleries” for larger images.

and, passing the entryway to NAULAKHA, back “home” for the rest of the day.

Gary had work, and Zoom meetings, and I had writing projects and reading. He got his work done, but I did not. As usual I brought more to do than time to do it – when will I learn? I brought books (eleven in total) for three writing projects, along with related folders of information, and reading material. Also a pile of old antiques magazines to cull out articles to save – well, maybe another year. I thought at least I would finish a Josie Prescott “antique mystery.” Maybe tonight, Sunday. So, after diner? More of our “mindless” movies and shows.

Friday we both “worked” in the morning, and following lunch I had a circular route to drive – up Kipling Road, past Scott Farm (headquarters of Landmark Trust USA), roam around Dumerston Center, then west to cross the West River, down Route 30 to Brattleboro, and back up US 5 and back up Black Mountain Road, and “home.” First here is Scott Farm, a filming location of The Cider House Rules. The movie also features Ventfort Hall in Lenox, Massachusetts, which I have toured twice, and opens at the Bellows Fall train station.

Scott Farm – Dumerston, Vermont

we spotted a couple of these educational bee displays

my next “Change of Scenery” is already booked at The Sugar House

You have heard me say that a drive is different each time you take it, well a different season makes bigger differences. With leaves on the trees I could never share with you this southerly looking view of Vermont’s longest covered bridge across the West River.

Driving down Route 30, on the other side of the river was obviously an old railroad bed, something also too hard to see with leaves out. Back at the carriage house, and googling to learn I got my answer. The West River Railroad. Fascinating, I had read about the museum opening, but missed the day. And, a book I can always quickly sell – Thirty-Six Miles of Trouble – is about this short route. Can’t wait to find my next copy.

Back “home” – I defrosted the vegetarian chile I had made, and then it was back to “movie time.” Ended up being a seven hour marathon with a Gilligan’s Island Documentary, Delta House episodes, something I cannot remember, and to prove we are not totally “mindless” The Cider House Rules — hey we were right there, so had to.

my new ten foot screen (well you know they measure diagonally) is great, as is my blue-tooth speaker. Gary is ready to start.



It was about 1 AM when we decided to save the last two Delta House episodes for another “movie night,” and turned in. I was aware something had happened early morning, and getting out of bed at 7AM confirmed it was a loss of power. But I started packing, and got back to my mystery. Gary soon found me downstairs with an emergency lamp. Did I tell you Landmark Trust thinks of everything? (PS – great image, thanks, Gary – and it can be enlarged by clicking)


And looking out the door, there had been a heavy wet snow fall that probably knocked out the power.

Do you remember my recommendations following our stay at the Amos Brown house? Well, I am simply going to repeat them:


1- Visit Landmark Trust USA and review the exquisitely restored properties you may rent and experience.
2- Spend your money for experiences and memories
3- Document those experiences and memories such as I do. You have no idea how much pleasure I get rereading what I have done, particularly now when our travels are impacted by COVID-19
4- Did I say book a stay at a Landmark property? Book a stay at a Landmark property, just don’t bump me from getting back, and back soon.

Stay well, wear your mask, and stay safe. Love, RAY

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4 Responses to CHANGE OF SCENERY – 13-16 JANUARY 2021

  1. Carolyn says:

    Always interesting and informative to read your take on the adventures of shunpiking,. Happy that you and Gary enjoyed it so much. Happy your are home safe and sound.

  2. Scott says:

    What an amazingly cool place to stay and with such history! Looks like an amazing time.

  3. Marsha Franty says:

    Thanks, Ray, for another engaging account of your adventures! I am so longing for travel..this summer is still looking quite uncertain. Your essays help fill the void.

  4. theeggship says:

    Wait, is that what I look like now?? Anyway, thanks for another fun adventure!

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