Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Feel Like Ethan Allen...

Our second full day started with a visit and homemade apple strudel muffins from our new friend, Rebecca. The day before, we stopped by Rebecca's house while she was making stovetop spiced fruit, and Laura and I swooned over the intoxicating smell of it. We ooohhhed and aaahhhed so much, she gave us each a spoon for a taste. (clearly, our ploy worked ; ) Homemade goodies appear to be plentiful here, and we were taking full advantage!

Peg steered us toward southwestern Vermont this time, hoping to catch more vibrant leaves there, but we were ecstatic with every leaf we saw. It was funny to us that folks apologized for the leaves not being particularly colorful this year; we didn't know any different! Our tour took us through Rutland, Brandon, Dorset and Manchester (where we truly enjoyed a warm coffee on a cold day!); we pit-stopped by Elfin Lake at Wallington Lodge, passed Emerald Lake (the deepest in VT), and drove close to Mount Equinox, the only Carthusian monastery in the United States. We would have never known any of these things if we had set out on our own; we were sooo thankful for our knowledgable guide! (who pulled over soo many times and stayed extremely patient while we snapped thousands of pictures!)  Here's our second full day:

 We toured Robert Frost's modest home in Shaftsbury, which is of particular interest to me, as "Stopping By Woods" is the only poem I know by heart. (thanks to my high school shop teacher, Mr. Frick, I still know most of Jabberwocky ☺) He was a fascinating fellow!

Next stop: The Bennington Monument, dedicated to a Revolutionary war battle that took place in 1777. The obelisk is 306' tall, and an elevator took us about 2/3 of the way up for some fantastic views!
The windows actually open for clear photos, and each view is marked with the direction in which you are facing; this is facing west, looking at New York. Breathtaking! 

 North - Green Mountains.
Facing Massachusetts and Mount Greylock, which should be south! Loved this!

East - Vermont and the Green Mountains. (errr, I hope these are right...if you've been here and they're not, keep it to yourself! ; ) was windy and cold here! Brrrr! We high-tailed it back to a heated car!
 Southern Vermont College...look at THAT view! (but I'd hate to have to get there in the middle of winter...)
An empty grotto at the college, which was at one time a private estate. It had a very Harry Potter-like feel!
Time to visit Bennington town, and the Old First Church!
The cemetery was lovely and very peaceful. "I had a lover's quarrel with the world" ♥

Inside the Old First Church, the first Protestant church in Vermont; started in 1762 and built in 1805, services are still held there! I would like "Box #13" please!
Looking out into the cemetery.
Before the drive back home to Pittsford, we ate a very welcome late lunch in Bennington. We also learned that some towns have their own painted "mascot":
 Bennington has Moose (meese?!)...
And Rutland has Hearts! What fun community spirit! They're all over the place in each of the towns; these are just a few.We stopped in Rutland before heading home to a movie; there IS a Walmart there, but it was built right downtown so as not to take business away from the local folks, and it works! 

Our final stop was at one of Pittsford's four covered bridges. (of course we were super excited and Peg let us out of the car. Again.) It's very Vermonty!!!

Stay tuned for the Leaf People of Brandon!
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