10/12/2016 - 10/14/2016
This post will cover three days. It is lengthy, just so you know.
On Wednesday, we ventured away from our Airbnb. The first stop was at a breakfast place. We got breakfast sandwiches made right before our eyes by a guy who rolled out of bed wearing sweats he shouldn't have left home wearing, and he definitely omitted combing his hair prior to leaving for work. He most likely got stoned first, as well. None of that mattered though, because we had delicious sandwiches, and fresh squeezed OJ. He had no place to eat, so we took it to the car. Seems a lot of restaurants up here do that, which seems a bit strange.
Next, we drove up the road to an apple cider place. We had some awesome hot and cold cider, and saw them pressing cider and watched a machine "poop" out delicious hot apple cider donuts!
Then, we headed to the town of Stowe, which is a huge tourist attraction because it is a beautiful, bustling town at the foot of the mountains, and there are ski resorts just outside town. I took some pictures in town, but didn't like how they turned out, so just imagine the perfect New England town in the fall! : ). I must have taken these next couple of nice leaf shots on the way to our next place. Enjoy:
Found this cute wind-up bug along our way!
We headed out of town to a brewery owned by the von Trapp family of the Sound of Music fame. They must feel very at home in the mountains of Vermont, as I invisioned this place in the mountains of Austria as we were there. No real great shots to be had, but here are some pretty trees I found on the property!
After exploring Stowe and the surrounding area, we headed back to our home base of Waterbury to see what it had in store. It is a very beer-centered town, so there were plenty of pubs with craft beer that Jeremy checked out. That is all I can remember that happened on Wednesday!
Thursday, we started the day out early in the smallest capitol city in the United States; Montpelier. We were told before coming that it had two streets. They were right! This place is quaint, and has the best architecture! We enjoyed walking around, but we got there so early that nothing had opened yet. Took lots of pictures for you to enjoy:
While waiting for a beer taproom to open, we headed to a sugar shack to check out the maple syrup craze. We went to a farm a couple miles out of Montpelier, and got to poke around in the woods where their sugar maples are. In the pictures, you can see all the lines they have running through the trees. They gather the maple sap in the early spring. The longer they wait to "harvest" the sap, the darker and thicker the maple syrup becomes. Early, light colored maple syrup is good for pancakes, etc., and the dark stuff is good for baking.
Close by, we found ourselves another covered bridge out in the middle of nowhere! It was pretty simple, but still beautiful.
Snapped this picture of Montpelier on our way back into town:
By the time we finished at the taproom, rain was forecasted, so that obviously put a damper on what we could do for the afternoon. I had picked out a couple things a ways away, so we hit the road. In a nearby town called Warren, there was a covered bridge and a waterfall that I wanted to see. It was raining pretty hard when we found the covered bridge, so we couldn't get a good shot.
The falls were close by. A short hike into the woods, and we found the water, but couldn't see the waterfall itself. They are also having drought conditions here in the New England States, and the water level was pretty low. We could see a path of rocks to get across, and so we went. Remember, it was raining. I went first. I stepped across the rocks that were above the water, but I slipped and fell in! Luckily, I was wearing waterproof hiking pants, a raincoat, waterproof shoes, and wool socks (that theoretically should have dried out with my body heat but they were too wet to ever get completely dry). I also had the camera and my phone safely zipped up in my coat, so they didn't get wet at all! I walked away from the "scene of the crime" with a stubbed pointer finger and a scrape on my upper leg. Didn't even break the skin! I am so proud.
Here is the scene of the crime. I fell in the spot between the two rocks where the white water is:
Being a bit trigger shy after my encounter with rocks and water, Jeremy went hiking around a bit further to see if he could get any other pictures. He found the waterfall...
Check out how clear the water is! You can see red leaves laying on the rocks.
Did I mention this place is a swimming hole in the summer? We can't visualize it since the water level is so low right now. Anyway, while Jeremy was wandering around taking pictures, he captured these cool stacks of rocks! He said there were a bunch of them.
Then, because he wanted to be cool like me, he also slipped on rocks and fell in and got wet. So there we were. Two wet peeps. What better thing to do than drive through the mountains for a couple of hours to get to the next thing?! I had found out that there was a vintage bicycle exhibit happening at a museum while looking for things on the internet for us to do. I left it a surprise until we got there. Mostly because he hates museums. But also because I knew he would like to see the old bikes. I think he enjoyed himself! Here, enjoy some bikes for yourself:
Before leaving that town, we found something to eat (again, at a place with nowhere to sit). The lady said we could go around the other side of the building at the tea place to sit and eat if we ordered a tea. So, that we did. Jeremy had quite the tea experience. He was served a tiny tea with a tiny tea cup. Apparently, the tea could be brewed 15 or more times through the same leaves. We didn't want to have that long of a tea experience, so they gave it to him to go. Plus, it stunk in there! : P
You can't really tell how tiny everything was in this picture, but just know that it was.
The town had a beautiful typical New England church that I had to share with you all, and then that is the end of Thursday's adventures.
Today (Friday), we started out the day by going to the local Inn for breakfast. It was pretty delicious! Ben & Jerry's ice cream is right outside of Waterbury, so we went there for what I like to call Breakfast Dessert.
Then, we headed towards the highest point in Vermont, which is Mount Mansfield. To get to the highest point in the state, we drove to a ski resort, and went 4.5 miles up a toll road. The road was narrow and a mix of dirt and gravel. It is actually a green (easy) ski trail at the resort. When we reached the end of the road, we were at the beginning of a 1.4 mile hike across the top of the mountain. We started at a peak, but we had to hike across to the taller peak. Unfortunately, we didnt get a picture from afar that would help to describe it, but if you'd like to look for it on Google, be my guest. The terrain was rocky. Definitely could not have done it yeserday while it was rainy...we know how coordinated Jeremy and I are on wet rocks! It was a very cold day here. It was probably in the 30 degree range during our trek across the top of the mountain range. However, we dressed for it and actually got too hot at times. Don't worry, no frostbite here! It was also really clear and the sun was beating down, so that helped. We've been giving you awesome pictures of fall foliage from the ground looking up at the mountains. Now, have the view of the fall foliage from the top of the mountain looking down!
It was definitely as cool as it looks!
We got a beautiful view of the church in Stowe after we finished hiking, so please enjoy yet another church picture:
The rest of our day was spent in what is called the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Jeremy's highlight brewery of the trip, Hill Farmstead, is up there. We also met up with another one of his ratebeer friends who lives close by. He took us to a pizza place in the middle of nowhere. When we got there, it was in a shabby building and you could never imagine eating there, but they made some really great pizza, and had my favorite beer from Belgium there! Oh, and it smelled like cow manure outside. On our way back to Waterbury, we caught this awesome picture of the moon coming up. They are calling it a hunter's moon because it keeps the night sky light enough you can still see. I think we'll have it up here through Sunday. Maybe you will have it at home, too?
Sorry for the super long post with all of those pictures, but we hope you got to enjoy it! We appreciate you traveling along with us!
-Ashley & Jeremy