You know I like to find and share unusual superlatives, and combining those discoveries to share in conjunction with a “road-trip” makes it even the more fun for me. This “road-trip,” as in the last couple of years, was to see my daughter and her family as she was traveling up from New Jersey to take her daughter to camp north of Burlington, Vermont.
Friday after getting my work done in the morning, I headed north, buying books on the way. I “did good” and “I am good at what I do.” With luck I easily pay for my “toys and trips” with my purchases once sold, but “you make your money when you buy.” I met my family at their AirBnB, and went down to the private beach on Lake Champlain that came with their lodging. About 7PM I headed to Jericho, Vermont to check into my B&B – the Sinclair Inn Bed and Breakfast.
In my twenty-five plus years of stays at inns and B&Bs I now place this B&B in my top three, and cannot wait to again find a reason to stay again with Tom and Dan, if nothing else for their breakfasts. Everything absolutely outstanding – the appointments, decorations, cleanliness – all without equal. It was getting dark when I got into my room.
Saturday, my daughter Julie was checking Devi into camp, so our plan was to meet early afternoon at the Shelburne Museum, which you should know I visit as often as possible. Before meeting, there was a small exhibit I wanted to see, but it was opening at 11AM, so I first headed to Essex Junction to an antique center. I had not before been in Essex Junction – a great little town, and Amtrak runs through its center. The book buying was great, and turning one corner there was a red Cosco cart – display only, not for sale. Oh well, saved me money, and I did just finish restoring my Massachusetts Cosco cart purchase from two weeks ago. About five more booths, and there was an original cart, with its original Cosco label underneath – FOR SALE — Shortly SOLD – and loaded into GIGI.
It was then a short hop back east to Jericho to The Old Red Mill.
Housed here are the town offices, a craft shop, and a small historical society museum exhibit – important history that you need to know. You have heard that no two snowflakes are alike, but do you know why? Jericho’s Wilson A. Bentley at age 19 in 1885 was the first to capture a single snowflake on glass plate film. Developing his own equipment, he went on to photograph over 5,000 snowflakes, never finding two alike. His published studies are still “the Bible” on snowflakes. Below is the exhibit room as you enter.
Here are some of his amazing images on display
You probably know I enjoy visiting and studying mills. The majority of this mill is a really nice craft gift shop that also has snowflake collectibles. But fascinating and still in place is this original equipment.
We then met at Shelburne Museum around 2PM. I arrived first using my NARM membership pass (do get a membership at a member organization for an unequaled benefit), went to the cafeteria, and the kids met me shortly getting a two day pass so they could stop on the way home on Sunday. Then we headed to the TI.
This is an amazing nautical relic that was brought inland two and a half miles from Lake Champlain in 1954. When you visit on-board do view the video of that feat. I have watched it maybe five times now. I could relish life on board in the early 20th century.
I did not recall walking through the galley before on the lower deck astern of the boiler area.
In the wheelhouse topside, Patty explained these large back-up wheels for steering. If the powered smaller wheel had a system failure, these two large manual wheels would be engaged, and two men on each wheel would turn the cables running to the rudder for steering – not an easy feat. Note the brass piping on the rear bulkhead – radiators with steam heat for the bitter Vermont winters on the lake.
It was a hot day. On the way out we walked through the air-conditioned circus building (this was my Cathy’s favorite exhibit here) which in 518 feet has a carved circus parade extending almost that entire length. On the opposite wall are vintage posters and original carousel animals. Of course outside there is a real operating carousel.
Heading back to their AirBnB which was a few rooms in a private home – the key feature was being almost on the Burlington bike path along the lake, and a private beach which I enjoyed with them both evenings. After this it was dinner out, and goodbyes until next time.
I really regret not having had my camera at breakfast Saturday morning, but here is Sunday morning. Dan’s meals, the presentation, and Tom’s adeptness at serving make me want to return — if only for breakfast. I sat in the corner of the dining room taking it all in. Breakfast starts with a fruit presentation followed by a main course – this morning a unique hash, and a poached egg on top. Dan’s family was in the restaurant business Tom told me.
I could have easily headed south to I-89 or Route 2 to head towards Montpelier and Barre, but that is no fun when there are back roads I have not been on, and towns I have not seen. I traveled east on Vermont 15 which heads north for awhile up and around Smuggler’s Notch in the Stowe area. My plan was to then go south on Route 12 to Montpelier. Not much on Routes 15 and 12, but I have now been on these sections of road to report on. I saw a sign in Johnson for Ithiel Falls Camp Meeting, and went down a back road to see this camp founded in 1899. I have an affinity for church camp meeting grounds that provided much of the genesis for American vacations. In Morrsiville (per GPS in my phone camera) here is a wonderful round barn, built in 1916, complete with an interesting entrance and leaning round cupola, that I had to share.
Hopefully you remember the title of this post. I have educated you how “no two alike” came about, and here now is the largest in the US – the largest Zipper that is, and made of granite in Barre – the Granite Capital. Unless on the Main Street there you don’t have to go out of the way, because here it is —
Built in 2014, the 74 foot long zipper still needs a 450 foot pair of trousers to be effectively used. And, now you know.
Next I “shopped” at another antique center, picking up another mid-century appropriate decoration for LADYRAB III’s outside focal point. Full report coming once my vintage custom made awning is installed.
Continuing on more “new to me” roads, I headed west on US 302 (do get your Vermont map out) and then south on VT 110 through Washington, turning east in Chelsea on VT 113 through Mill Village, West Fairlee, Post Mills, Thetford Center to Thetford Hill. I once stumbled into Thetford Hill, probably from the east – but was thrilled to see it again. Make sure you make a short side trip from Exit 14 on I-91 to visit the Common. From the extremely picturesque village green I headed south on the back road taking in amazing views to the east. Going down and around you soon arrive at the Union Village Bridge, built in 1867.
Knowing roughly where I was in Norwich environs I back roaded to my favorite US 5, and along the Connecticut River (lovely in this stretch) and onto I-91 to sail home. A great two nights, three days away, time with family, and some good purchases to top things off.
Back to you again soon, I hope, with more adventures – stay well, luv, RAY
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Sounds like a wonderful trip! Every Vermont school child learns about Snowflake Bentley in 6th grade. Those antique malls are definitely worth a visit, as is the Shelburne Museum.
The pictures of the snowflakes were amazing and beautiful! Thanks for educating me on how that came to be…
Books and museums-2 of my favorite things for you on this trip. That and added family time; how wonderful!
As for the vintage purchase…I’m guessing some kind of lights for your awning. Guess I’ll have to wait for your post about it.