The art workshop behind us, we headed north on I-87 through NY to Vermont. This time we knew about the ferry & were excited. This is our second visit to Grand Isle, but our first stay at this gorgeous private campground, Champlain Adult Campground. What do you think of when you hear “adult camping”? Clothing optional? Interestingly, VT does allow public nudity! One can not disrobe in public, but one can be naked. Something to do with flashers, goodness knows! Sorry to disappoint, but in this case, adult simply means no one under 18 is allowed! This is probably the most fun campground we have ever stayed in. Half of the people return each year, many are seasonal, & quite a few are French Canadians. Nearly everyone gathers at Lake Champlain, with drinks in hand, to watch the sun set. It is a very social happy group of people & dogs. We made quite a few friends & Maggie was particularly fond of Lorraine from Montreal. There were more Airstreams at this campground than we had ever seen. Terry & Olin DeForge felt like good friends after just a few days. Terry is the guest photographer of the beautiful sunset photos. We look forward to meeting them again next year.
Burlington has a great pedestrian area on Church Street, lots of fantastic places to eat & fun little shops. Our adventure started with coffee at an outdoor café, watching all the fun people. We meandered around the area & settled in for lunch at a farm to table venue, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill. Our food was delicious & unique! The lakefront walkway was lovely even though the temps had climbed into the 90’s by then. Edward cooled off with a VT specialty! “Creemee” is really just soft serve ice cream but you can’t say that out loud.
Edward’s family vacationed in this area of VT in the 60’s at a group of houses that was referred to as “Camp Randolph”. Leila remembered the name of the nearest town, so that is where we began our search. The folks at the post office listened to Edward’s description & gave us directions to a community called Tyler Place. (if you want to see how the very rich spend their summers, give that a google.) Obviously not the place Edward remembered, but we went to the main building anyway to see if it used to be Camp Randolph. A lady in the back office knew there was a Randolph Rd nearby, so off we went with our second clue! I felt like we were getting closer but then the road was gated! Darn, but google helped us out with another route. As we turned onto Randolph Rd, Edward knew it was the right place! A small gravel lane with a dozen houses along the shores of Lake Champlain, virtually unchanged in 50-60 years. Amazing that we found it & so much fun to give that “gift” to Edward’s mom. We even found a Dunkin Donuts on the way home, definitely our lucky day!
Vermont is known for its famers markets & we found a small one open on Wed afternoon! Amazingly fresh delicious vegetables. I had forgotten how wonderful a just picked green bean could be. Heavenly produce, fresh baked breads, pies, jams, & a wonderful woman serving Greek & Lebanese food. Oh my how we stuffed ourselves!
The Island Line Railroad went from NYC to Montreal from 1901 to 1955, connecting the Champlain Islands to the mainland near Burlington. In the 1980s, the idea of a pedestrian walkway took shape. Now 150,000 people use the 13-mile trail each year. The three-mile causeway across Lake Champlain is amazing with a lovely ferry ride across the 200 foot gap for boat traffic. What a different hike for us! I am happy to report that 5 miles in my new shoes created no blisters!
Champlain Adult Campground will definitely be on our list for next year & hopefully we can stay longer. Not sure we can commit to the season or even a month but a couple of weeks for sure!