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Green Mountain Highway – Vermont

After a lovely night at Gifford Woods State Park, I spent the morning hiking on a relatively flat trail around the campgrounds through a forest of maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock.  I had to rely heavily on the trail markers as the ground was covered with fallen leaves.  The path led me across several narrow streams, along a river, and past several moss covered rocks and trees.  While I think I heard a moose near our campsite last night, a loud guttural grunt, I didn’t see any on the walk.  I am in Moose Crossing territory and hope to see one from a distance, but I hear they are mean, so I prefer not to meet one up close and personal.  Just in case, what is the survival procedure if you meet a moose in the woods?  Anyone know?

Kord and I said our goodbyes (I might meet up with him later on, but he is off to an interview for a position at University of Wisconsin), and I swung up toward Killington Ski Resort.  I’ve always heard so much about it, I just wanted to take a quick jaunt by the area.  It seemed like the local businesses were having a hay sculpture competition.  As I drove up the mountain, the side of the road was peppered with different animals made out of hay bales – teddy bears, dairy cows, a moose, a duck, just to name a few.  Some of the “sculptures” were quite creative.  Furthermore, the ski resort afforded beautiful views of the foliage, and the clouds were awing.

Calvin Coolidge Born Here

After a wrong turn (I’m amazed at how easily I have gotten lost with virtually only one road to choose from, but I have), I finally made it to Plymouth.  The entire village, home to Calvin Coolidge, has been designated the Plymouth Notch Historic District. The District encompasses the home of Calvin Coolidge, the community church, a cheese factory, the general store, and a one-room school house.

Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 and was the 30th president of the United States of America.  He was sworn into office while on vacation at his boyhood home by his father, a notary, on August 3, 1923 after the unexpected death of President Warren Harding.

After Plymouth, I passed through Ludlow on my way to Weston, where I tried to find the Weston Priory where Benedictine monks sing songs that they have composed.  With the goal to either meet someone new every day or to learn something new every day, spending time with monks would definitely top the list.  I never found them, so I kept going to Jamaica State Park to hike to Hamilton Falls…me and my waterfalls.  The ranger informed me that it was a 6 mile round trip, so I detoured to Townshend State Park.

Townshend State Park turned out to be closed, but I could still enjoy its main attractions from the roadside….the Townshend Dam and the Scott Covered Bridge.  Atop the Townshend Dam, I felt as if I were miles above the river, crossing a deep gorge.  It was slightly nerve wracking to look to each side.  A mile or two further up the West River, the Scott Covered Bridge, is the longest wooden span in Vermont.  The bridge, 277 feet long, was built in 1870 and consists of two king post trusses and a 166 foot town lattice truss.  The sign above the entrance to the bridge reads, “Speed Limit, Horses at a walk, Motor Vehicles, 10 Mile Per Hr.”

It was getting cold and a little rainy, so I decided to pull into camp at Molly Park State Park a little early.  The dogs and I went for a brief hike to unload some energy and we may try to conquer the whole 1.7 mile trail in the morning.  After I claimed my campsite, I decided to tour the small town of Wilmington.  I walked both streets that crossed at the red light and dropped into the Pub as it advertised free wi-fi.  I blogged a few minutes when I met Sully.  He is a chef at an Inn nearby town.  Shortly thereafter, I met Greg and Anna.  Greg, from Vermont, is a chef who went to culinary school in Denver, and Anna, originally from Taos, majored in Resort Management in college in Durango, Colorado and now works with reservations for the ski resort nearby.  Uniquely, Greg, at one time worked at the Char House in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  I know my brother and sister-in-law, having lived in Steamboat for at least 15 year, had to have eaten there while Greg was the cook!

After a game of pool, a local beer (Otter Creek Copper Ale), the hot wings special (25 cents a wing), and an enjoyable time with Sully, Anna, and Greg, I headed back to camp to finish blogging for the night.  This blogging cuts into my social life to a degree, so I hope my readers are enjoying!  I spend most the day tomorrow in Massachusetts. ETB

Websites:  www.vtstateparks.com/htm/mollystark.htm, www.vtstateparks.com/htm.townshend.htm, www.historicvermont.org/coolidge/coolidgetour.html, www.vtstateparks.com/htm/gifford.htm

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