"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vermont - Cheese, Maple Syrup & Bridges

 
Brattleboro, Vermont
Brattleboro KOA
 
The fall color really increased as we crossed from New York into Vermont.  All those beautiful pinks and reds of the many maple trees really were impressive and what we really looked forward to seeing while back on the East Coast.
 




This was a large boulder painted on the side of the road.
Not sure what it stands for or the meaning.

Lots of beautiful little waterfalls.

This was a metal decoration in front of someone's
campsite.  Wish I had the chance to ask them about it.

Our site tucked in the corner.


Brattleboro is a very cute, small town with lots of shops.




There are so many beautiful little drives around Vermont.  This area has many dairies which offer cheese tasting and some of the larger ones have tours.  There are many roadside set ups where you just walk in, sample and take what you'd like.  It's all honor system.  Just leave the money in the coffee can.  I miss that about small North Eastern towns.

You can see the sheep on this farm that provided the
milk used for the cheese that we sampled and bought.

   

   
 
It's always fun to go to a Maple Farm.  If you never knew how the maple syrup gets from the tree to the bottle, it's pretty interesting!  We went to Maple Springs.
 

 
 
Here are some maple facts.  It takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.  One sugar maple tree produces one quart of syrup a year.  Making maple syrup can only happen about two months a year.  It is very nutritious too, having more minerals and antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables.
 
In cold climates, maple trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter  The starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees can be tapped by drilling a hole into the trunk, hammering in a spout (called a spile) and collecting the sap. The sap is processed by heating it to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.  Sometimes the trees have buckets to collect the sap and sometimes the trees are connected by a tubing system to larger collection tanks.  Very interesting to see!


   

These pictures are from the web as this part is usually done in March/April.
 


Of course we had to get 2 different types of syrup.  Some for the kids too.
And of course, they had homemade goodies for the pooch.
So Hurley got a heart shaped WOOF biscuit.

Lots of pretty, historic homes.  Reminds me of the Adams Family show.


   

      
I guess they want to make sure no one lets their dogs poop in the pretty flowers.  Can you blame them?
 

There are many gorgeous covered bridges in Vermont.  Lots of history, colors, build and character.  Not a problem if you're in a car, but when you are 50+ feet long, over 7' tall and weigh 12 tons, it can be very challenging to route around them and still get to where you want to go without going to far out of the way.  Once we were had the rig parked, we still had to be careful we weren't too heavy with the truck and/or too tall if the kayak was still on top.



   

Another thing I really love about Vermont is they have the most wonderful sign system.  You can always find that little shop, farm, cheese shop, etc.  They have these nice brown signs that you come to every 1/4 mile.  So helpful!
 
While pulled over admiring a view of the river, we saw this very interesting "boat".




 


The Grafton Village Cheese Co. had a nice selection of cheeses.  Of course we bought more!  They usually have a nice selection of local beer too, so we also bought some Hi Hopped IPA 9%.  It was excellent.  Steve wishes he bought a whole case.
 


I see they have a Nigerian Dwarf goats.  We used to raise them too!


Off to Walker Farm for some fresh veggies.  They had a beautiful assortment considering it was getting late in the year.  It was the quintessential fall.  Mums, apples, pumpkins etc.

  

    
 
Off to New Hampshire next.
 

4 comments:

  1. Our friend is one of the largest syrup producers in VT, for many years in March during sugaring season we'd stop by, nothing like hot maple syrup on snow. We've been to about 90 of the 100 covered bridges in VT, did it over 15 years, nothing like fall foliage season in VT. Sure made me homesick for a minute.

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    1. Ah, Faye and Dave, we could almost live there! We love it too. Been a few times. We lived in Upstate NY, but sure loved Vermont. So clean, so friendly and so much to do!

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  2. What a cool area. Hope we can get up there next year.

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  3. Would love to make our way to the NE someday. Thanks for the great travelogue. Maple syrup on pancakes or French toast is the best. Loving the warmth of the SW right now.

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