Vermont Vacation: Days 4 and 5 – White River Junction

Day 4:

On the morning of Day Four we said goodbye to Weston and headed North up Route 100 to the little town of Woodstock, Vermont.

Woodstock color

It was another quaint town, larger than Weston but still beautiful. The architecture in the area was outstanding. Check out this cool house. Perfect for a Halloween haunted mansion, huh?

haunted house

On the way into Woodstock we passed yet another covered bridge. It seemed everywhere you turned there was another covered bridge, and the novelty was kinda beginning to wear off. According to this site “Vermont has the greatest concentration of covered bridges in the United States – a total of 114 in this tiny state, many of which are still in use. 100 years ago there were over 600 covered bridges, but the flood of 1927 left only about 200. Nearly half of those have been lost to fire or development since, but the remaining are among the nation’s finest.”

Covered bridge

inside bridge

It’s no wonder we didn’t see many modulars or trailers in Vermont. It would be pretty hard to squeeze a 16′ wide across one of these bridges. Not to mention the 10 foot clearance.

covered bridge

After we rolled through Woodstock we were off to see the next item on our Top 25 Blue Hair Cool Things To Do in Vermont–the Quechee Gorge.

Quechee Gorge sign

The gorge is called “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon” and it was pretty impressive.

Quechee Gorge

There was a bridge across the gorge that was stop and go with bumper to bumper traffic. We walked out to the center, snapped some photos and hurried back to our car to get out of the hordes of other people trying to also snap a photo with the Gorge in the background.

mom at Quechee

Prime leaf peeping week had officially arrived that weekend along with the vacationers, and the state of Vermont was getting a little crowded. It was like Spring Break with Grannies Gone Wild over some Fall color.

We wanted to try to have lunch at Simon Pearce Glassblowing but the wait to get in was over an hour and a half, which is a no-go for a pregnant girl. We wandered through the shop but honestly, I wasn’t very impressed by the $250 glass vases that I could buy for $4.00 at Old Time Pottery back home. So, we drove a few miles down the road and ate at a small restaurant near the shops at Quechee. If we hadn’t stopped there I would have never gotten to take this cheesy photo.

stingy cheese

After lunch we went back and shopped some, where I bought more leaf shaped Christmas ornaments (it was becoming a theme) and also some moose themed stuff for G’s nursery. No wonder I chose to do a Great North Woods theme in his room. Just months before he was conceived J and I visited British Columbia which was inundated with moose and bear themed stuff, and then when I was pregnant I go on this trip to Vermont and that pretty much sealed the deal, I guess.

But I digress…

So after the trip to Woodstock it was time for us to go check into our hotel for the weekend, The Comfort Inn, aka the only place available when we booked our trip.

I was seriously amazed at how crowded the state became that weekend. Those people on Trip Advisor ain’t kidding when they say book your rooms early. When we were checking into our hotel, the lady at the front desk was fielding phone calls left and right with people looking for a room. We heard her tell someone that the nearest room she had been able to find was in NEW YORK! The whole state was full! Like I said before, if you ever want to go on this trip, prepare well in advance.

The Comfort Inn was exactly what you would expect. Nothing fancy, but at least it was a comfortable and safe place to stay that even had a cell phone signal and Wi-Fi, which I had already learned was hard to come by in those parts. We took advantage of the washing machine at the hotel and washed some of our clothes for the next half of our trip. It was near the interstate, which meant there was plenty of food choices nearby. We were happy to be back in some civilization again, after being in the back woods of Vermont for 3 days.

Day 5:

Day Five began with breakfast from the continental buffet at the hotel, then we took off with one destination in mind – The Kancamangus Highway in central New Hampshire. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway traverses through the heart of the White Mountains for a 28 mile stretch of highway that connects Lincoln, NH to Conway, NH, climbing to elevations nearly 3000 ft. above sea level. Hikers and my mom call it “The Kanc”. I refused to call it that because it sounds like some kind of venereal disease. We headed up I-91 and consulted our trusty Neverlost that we had dubbed “Matilda” in search of backroads to Lincoln, NH.

Neverlost

We exited the interstate at Fairlee, NH and headed over Route 25-A to Hwy 118.

It was a nice drive with easy curves and lots of fall color.

New Hampshire foliage

Somewhere along Hwy 118 we saw a beautiful spot to pull over and take photos of the White Mountains.

It was like a Bob Ross painting!

White mountain vista

Check out all those happy little trees.

And happy little dorks!

self portrait

We finally arrived in Lincoln, NH and Mom finally spotted a moose!

NH Products

She pretended to be wigging out:

scary moose

And I gave it a little moose smooch:

Moose kiss

We headed out to the visitor’s center at the entrance to the Kancamangus, and found that again, traffic was bumper to bumper. Without the foresight of knowing how many bathrooms were along the way, I was concerned to get into a line of traffic traveling at .04 miles per hour just to see more fall foliage. Boudreaux was weighing heavily on my bladder by that point, so frequent bathroom breaks were essential.

After about two seconds of deliberation, we scrapped the idea of driving the Kancamangus and headed north toward Franconia Notch. In case you are as disappointed as I was to not see all that scenery, here is someone else’s album full of lovely photos.

We hopped on I-93 North and were happy to be traveling at 65 mph away from all that traffic. We exited in Franconia, and stopped by the Chamber of Commerce to see what interesting sites were nearby.

Turns out there is not much to see in that area that doesn’t involve getting into more traffic, so…. we decided to mosey along back towards Vermont with no destination in mind.

We saw a lot of ski slopes along the way, and I still have no concept of how someone can willingly throw themselves off the top of one of these mountains on two narrow skis.

ski slopes

We found a great little lunch spot along the way where we grabbed some sandwiches and drinks that we ate as a picnic in the car under a shade tree down the road.

lunch board

From there we got on Sugar Hill Road and traveled west back toward Vermont. We came across the Sugar Hill Sampler store, where we stopped for a potty break. Unfortunately they didn’t have indoor plumbing, so we had to settle for the next best thing:

outhouse mom

Funny thing is, inside that outhouse was where we took the best fall foliage photo of our trip. This was on an advertisement hanging inside the Port-a-potty, so mom snapped a photo of it so we could try to play it off as our own. Who woulda thought the brightest fall colors that we saw in all of Vermont and New Hampshire could be found right there in the crapper?

best fall photo in outhouse

The Sugar Hill Sampler was a lot like the Vermont Country Store, cheese, maple syrup, bear figurines, honey, cheese, moose figurines, fudge, cheese, crackers, cheese.

Sugar Hill Sampler

It had great fall displays for photo ops, though.

water spout

Sugar Hill decor

fall decorations

At that point we looked at our map, and realized we were only about an hour away from Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. So we headed out to check out the capital city with the smallest population in the entire US.

Montpelier Dome

We passed by the capital dome and spotted another photo op right up the road. It’s not everyday that one gets to stand next to a horse made of vines.

Montpelier horse

And stick your head through it’s bellay.

And mom continued her obsession with meeses.

Montpelier signs

It was getting late, so we decided to head back toward the hotel which was about an hour south of Montpelier, but thankfully interstate the entire way. Look at the views just from the interstate! Gorgeous!

highway in the clouds

cloud shadows

After 5 days of nothing but cheese, crackers, maple candy and other local Vermont fare, we had a raging craving for something familiar, and salty. So what better place to satisfy those cravings?

chili's chips and salsa

Oh yeah, baby. It was good.

Catch the rest of the story here!
Day 1
Day 2 & 3
Day 4 & 5
Day 6
Day 7 & 8

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Comments

  1. Looks like you had an amazing trip! Those covered bridges are gorgeous. And the changing leaves–heaven!!

  2. I am really enjoying these posts! The pictures are just amazing.

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