Lakes and Mountains

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
Trip End Jul 03, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Friday, June 26, 2009

The view of Montreal as you leave heading south is spectacular. Its only about 30 mins to the US border (another uneventful crossing) and then we turned off onto our old friend US2, moving into Vermont after only 5 miles or so in New York State. The next 20 miles or so were possibly the prettiest of the trip – the Champlain Islands are strung together by US2, bridges and causeways like beads on a string and the small towns, unchanged by progress since the traffic takes the I89 to the east, are almost impossibly quaint. My vote for prettiest goes to North Hero, with its dinky wooden houses with lawns running down to moorings; stone courthouse; whitewashed church and general store etc etc, although Grand Isle, a few miles further on, claims to be the most beautiful town on the islands (the houses were too big and it had too much of a "best kept village" feel for my taste).

Eventually turning onto the mainland we passed through lots more small towns, all getting into their finery for next week's 4th July parades, and onto Waterbury, where a short detour to the Ben and Jerry’s factory was definitely in order! Despite being Vermont’s largest tourist destination there are no signs to it, and just a modest board out front. It’s one of those progressive, creative places to work (a la Google, Apple etc) as there are “Loafing” areas set aside for employees only and has a very relaxed atmosphere.

Further along the US100 is Stowe, Vermont’s best known ski resort, so we popped along for a quick look. It turns out it is also famous(?) as being the town where the Trapp family (of Sound of Music fame) finally settled after WWII. Most North American ski resorts tend to be separate from the actual skiing areas and this was particularly the case for Stowe – the town was strung out over at least 7 miles with only one or two hotels at the bases of gondolas. You have to drive to everything in this country! I emerged from a quick stop at a sports shop with a new pair of skis (half price), and Harry was given a tennis ball by its manager – hard to say which of us was more pleased.

US2 weaved along the valleys in Vermont, one in particular looking exactly like the Wye Valley, down to the stony stream and iron bridge. Finally we crossed yet another iron bridge and found ourselves in New Hampshire, and our stop for the night – Lancaster.

We notched up our 8000th mile today and should hit the Atlantic coast sometime tomorrow afternoon – I’ve got mixed feelings about that as, although there will still be 6 days of holiday to go, the coast to coast challenge will be over.

RnH x
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