|During a very recent visit to Vermont I had the chance to revisit some of my old favorite places, sample the terrific beer, hang out in the coffee shops and visit new places.
I always look forward reaching the Gilford Visitors Center, right across the state line with Massachusetts. Driving from the Washington Metro Area on I-95 and the NJ parkways, the rest stops along the way on these busy arteries are a reflection of what happens on the roads: rushed, tense, congested, a beehive of humanity. By the time one passes by Springfield, MA, the scenery and the driving experience changes and it becomes more relaxed, less frantic and the Gilford Visitors Center only an hour away. Here visitors find a barn-like structured where artisan show their products, clean facilities and a meadow around the building where one can walk among the display of old farming equipment, and during the warm months, tall grass and wild flowers. It is a welcome respite from the hard drive up to this point.
Later during the week, I revisited both Montpelier and Burlington. There is a ton of work being done on the waterfront in Burlington, with a beautiful biking and hiking trail around Lake Champlain, and the lake itself silver in color, reflecting the dense clouds above it.
A new experience for me this time were the Lake Champlain Islands on the northwest section of Vermont with their unique geography. Lunch from the general store at the town of North Hero – the life center of the town – and overlooking Lake Champlain was alone worth the trip because of the unique experience.
The Isle La Motte has this amazing site – the Goodsell Ridge Preserve – on which one can walk on fossils that are over 480 million years old, some of the oldest in the world, a time when this area was part of the Atlantic Ocean. Some fossils show in great detail the life form of the marine animals that lived there. Sadly, some people have liked them so much that they have literally sawed them off the rocks.
On the northeast of Vermont is the Northeast Kingdom and I had the chance to hike about 4 miles along the Long Trail which according to Wikipedia, “is a hiking trail located in Vermont, running the length of the state. It is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States”.
And of course, there are numerous covered bridges that date back to the 1800s.
Here are some pictures: http://www.austral-lights-photography.com/Other/n-GGFF4/Whats-New/