Woodbury Meadows Campground is tucked away on County Rd 102, outside of Hardwick, VT. What a serendipity! Jon & Anne have created a secret get away for campers as well as B & B folks. We had a private view to watch the endlessly changing sky while relaxing from our tourist-ing.
Hardwick is self-described as “quirky” & we loved it. Lots of new age types blending well with long time Vermonters. It is home to a bumper crop of entrepreneurs. Our favorites are Vermont Soy, makers of the best tofu on the planet, & the Buffalo Mountain Co-op. Hardwick was settled in 1793 after George Washington’s order to build a military road into inner VT.
After lazing around for two days, our desire to see the sites lead us to Smuggler’s Notch. A beautiful drive through Vermont’s ski area led as to the pass separating Mt. Mansfield from the Sterling range. Talk about close quarters & hairpin turns; we were very happy not to be towing Elizabeth. The pass has been used to illegally trade with Canada, help fugitive slaves fleeing the US & move liquor south during Prohibition! Wonder what will be smuggled next?
Stowe’s Ski Resort operates a toll road up Mt Mansfield for those of us too infirm or lazy to make the 8-mile loop trail! It was another wonderful but treacherous dirt meander; my first close-up look at the workings of ski country. Stowe averages 20 ft of snow each year! A shorter easier trail to the summit took off from the visitor center. The trail was through Vermont’s alpine tundra so we walked on slick slabs of slate, planks through the boggy spots or hopped from rock to rock. Mags did a great job staying on the path, protecting the fragile plant life. It seemed we could see for miles & miles. My artistic sense loved the layers & layers of mountains. The wind whipped so strongly in the open areas, I was forced to tie my hair back with a doggie bag! (unused, of course!)
After all that hiking, you know we were interested in refreshments! The famous (Sound of Music) Von Trapp’s operate a lovely 2500-acre ski resort complete with a gorgeous lodge & a brewery! Guess where we had lunch? We had delicious cheddar soup flavored with jalapenos & authentic Austrian bratwursts. Yummy! The afternoon was topped off with a visit to a Champlain Chocolates store & the Ben & Jerry’s factory.