My plan for this 4th was to have no plans – just stay comfy home, and not get out in the crowds (now there is an oxymoron for my perfect part of the world). But in my constant research and reading a couple things piqued my interest to, if nothing more, get me out and to then “fill in the map.” Yes, still roads I have not been on, and once I zero in on an adventure, I look for those roads and areas I have not yet explored. For Saturday a sale I knew would not be fruitful would get me near a road I wanted to see. Sunday a potential purchase got me out exploring, and on the 4th I just had to see the parade in a Vermont town – population just about 500 (that is not a crowd).
Saturday I headed to Newfane (going through Athens and Townsend – check your VT map – or look below at the map marked up with these outings). Ten minutes (maybe eight) at the sale, and off I went on the dirt road towards Wardsboro. Been on it once, but not remembering all the turns, my plan was to eventually head south on East Dorset Road – not been on that. Great dirt roads, BLACK BEAUTY was pleased. Coming down a hill, and around a bend, I recognized where I was – downtown East Dover – the general store and post office.
This is where I parked, and below me was the road from Dover to Williamsburg (Vermont that is). Williamsburg you must also visit, sorry no images this trip. I asked the young lady in the general store (which was gift items and coffee) how often she is open. “Everyday but Sunday,” see replied, “everyone who goes to the post office comes in and gets coffee.” Here is her shop and walkway to post office.
I would have loved to have fifty years ago poked inside this barn almost next to where I parked. But still a hangover from that era, note the ubiquitous peace sign – there for decades.
Passing through Williamsburg the only logical scenic route was down Route 30, cross the Dummerston Covered Bridge, up into Dummerston, down the hill towards Kipling Road to pass my favorite escapes. Then, having to search for books (don’t have enough) I crossed the Connecticut River, cruised to Keene, shopped, ate at a food truck I frequent when cruising through (sweet sausage, onions and peppers), and then slid home.
Sunday, the third, again no plans. But Saturday night I saw something on Craig’s List that I did not need, but I usually have two of everything to be safe. I emailed, it was available, I realized it was on a Ludlow farm where I enjoyed a hit-n-miss show in 2018 (and now will go back this September). In looking at my maps I found a fun way home to include the Cavendish Gorge and Baltimore (Vermont that is). What did I go to see? An original 1966 Norris “canned ham.”
I arrived and was told it had been sold later after I was emailed, but the NYC buyers seemed to have no idea how to move it, to where, and how to get cash. Strange – but, so be it. I asked if I could look inside, and it was nice to see original. Smaller than my “new” LADYRAB III, kitchen in the front, small bed in rear, Stove on one wall, and toilet on the other – but no table or seating. Asking the fellow, who has had many trailers over the years, he replied, “seating? Probably a picnic bench outside.” Even with cash hidden in BLUE BELLE (Gary, I put the “green” back in its location) this became one of those inspections that is an after purchase look that confirms you recently made a good purchase.
It was then to the east on Barker Road from Barker Farm, down the hill, and enjoy the scenic views on the way to Route 131 where I turned left towards Cavendish. On July 6th, waking and wanting to learn more about Cavendish, I found THIS CAVENDISH WEBSITE – do click on the link to learn more, and then plan a visit.
Remember I recently told you that once you trained your nose, they are everywhere? On the right below is a “canned ham” in Cavendish, and another (a Shasta) I later spotted (sniffed) in Perkinsville.
from my old “paper maps” I had a vague idea where Cavendish Gorge was – you probably have not heard of it, so I needed to find it and share. To be safe, I stopped on 131 to ask a fellow painting a white fence for help (he was not Tom Sawyer). He said yes, turn just up in Cavendish at the old three story brick factory, cross the little bridge, go under the smaller railroad underpass and turn left and look for the trail. After my second turn I asked a couple walking on the road who said, “yes, turn in 300 yards, find the snowmobile trail and you will be fine. I did not like the first turn I saw, passed it, but found a likely spot, and started hiking. Watching out for bears in the Hawks Mountain Forest Preserve, I finally decided that I best turn around, just as I did a few weeks ago not finding an abandoned railroad tunnel. You can see that WAZE knew where I was, off in the woods. Walking then down the other sharp drive I found the blocked off trail with a sign which said – “go to Power Plant Road to the Cavendish Gorge Recreation Area.” I did so. Lovely area, not as wooded so easier to spot bear. Click the image below for easier reading.
a young couple pulled in to picnic up the portage trail. Having been there before they said with the woods you really cannot see the gorge. I hiked up a tad, and went back to BLUE BELLE who was patiently waiting for a picnic – next time. With more after trip, and after initial writing research I found lots of information and views of Cavendish Gorge on the New England Waterfalls website. Click the link, and here is one view I borrowed from there.
I continued east on Route 131 along the Black River, which I highly recommend, and then headed south on Route 106 to Perkinsville. A great little village, meeting house at the top of the green, and a state marker relating the 1947 bomber crash into Hawks Mountain.
how do you top this? Make a quick run to Baltimore – Baltimore, Vermont, that is – population about 229. Loop road (long) in and out, I recommend you watch carefully for Baltimore Road off 106, and get ready to enjoy the dirt roads. I was not worried because BLUE BELLE assured me she can still out run bear. Eventually I came to “downtown” Baltimore – with its former one room school house, built in 1894 and continued to be used as a school until it was closed in 1988. Now the building serves as the Baltimore Town Office and is the only public building in the Town.
Continuing on, the road opens up to amazing views looking down towards North Springfield, Eventually the road ends at Route 10 where I turned right back to Route 103, Chester and home — now more roads on the map “filled in.”
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY — Remember long ago on Wednesday I passed into Brownsville on the way home from the VINS NATURE CENTER? Seems ages ago, but remembering the signs for their 4th festivities I checked on-line. Food, exhibits, and the parade starts at 1:30 – my plan was set. I arrived well before noon – early enough to park at the school (this is a small town of 500) right on the parade route. I set up my vintage web chair (think LADYRAB III) and headed down to see the vendors in the Town Hall, and then pick up my cheeseburger and fries to enjoy under a tree in the shade. Did I ever have fun during the well over hour wait vicariously partaking in the fun all the families and friends around me were having. And, then the half hour parade began.
David and Alex – here is a unique GO[AT] CART.
there was a small SHRINERS group adding their antics and color.
With the 2022 theme of the parade being “Our Hills are Alive!,” in a news article it was stated there are many opportunities to use this theme on a float – camping, hiking, biking, hunting, and strolling. But in a town of 500, it was probably wonderful to get two entries:
then came some “antique cars.” BLUE BELLE was resting behind me, but in the parade, I have owned or driven most of what was there. First was a 1927 Model T Ford pickup – I learned to drive on my Dad’s 1919 Model T Touring car. Then came a 1930 Model A Ford Tudor Sedan (sold mine a few years ago). And finally was a 1930 Model A Ford roadster. Moved mine with me to NH 20 years ago, selling her only to pay for BLACK BEAUTY’S rehabilitation.
and completing the thirty minute parade was probably every fire truck in the State of Vermont. — well, at least everyone within ten miles.
I had fun – lots of fun – and unlike sadly what happened at a parade today in Highland Park, Illinois, there was no sniper fire killing people – just one more reason why we live here. But what do you do on the way home? Why revisit the four covered bridges within minutes to again share. Below please enjoy (and click to enlarge) —
BOWERS COVERED BRIDGE – Bible House Road off Route 44 to the north
BEST’S COVERED BRDIGE – Churchill Road off Route 44 to the south
DOWNER – UPPER FALLS COVERED BRIDGE – off Route 131 just west of Route 106
SALMOND COVERED BRIDGE – evasive off 131 heading east – look for Henry Gould Road
Then south on my favorite stretch of Route 5, cross the river to Charlestown and home – home to share my weekend with you. I hope you had a safe and fun 4th as well – LUV — RAY
And what makes my travels even more fun?
I AM ON A NEW QUEST
Yes – to work in my vintage LADYRAB III decor I need a vintage three tier shelf Cosco Kitchen Cart similar to this image. I need red, but will accept any color cart regardless if not pitted and I can repaint shelves red, and legs white (I do not desire chrome uprights). Ready to travel 50 miles (maybe on unfamiliar roads) to obtain the right example) – thank you, RAY
and, here is the map for these adventures –