We have been in SW Vermont, camping near Arlington for almost two weeks. Our campsite is a tad crowded on the weekends but it has full hookups & we are living it up! This might be my favorite area of Vermont. The countryside is beautiful, with luscious rolling green mountains and small rivers winding their way. This is the birth place of the Green Mountain Boys (brush up on your pre-revolutionary war history) Think Ethan & Ira Allen. This home grown militia began tormenting the British colony of New York in 1760. Getting a head start on independence! Dorset, Arlington & Manchester are wonderful villages to explore. Unbelievable farmers markets, roadside stands, historical districts to explore, beautiful B & B’s, and our personal favorite, coffee houses with baked goods. How could life get any better?
Harvey & Opal Broussard (dear friends from our stay in VT last year) met us on Saturday to have lunch at Dorset Rising (one of the great bakery cafes). We had so much fun catching up & walking around the village of Dorset. They took us to the Dorset Union Store, which believe it or not, has been in business since 1816! Totally fun day with wonderful friends. Hoping to spend more time with them next year!
Norman Rockwell lived in Arlington from 1939-1953, his most productive “Saturday Evening Post” years. We certainly have a much greater appreciation for his talent & genius at capturing the essence of life in small town America. Learning about Rockwell & the other illustrators that lived in Arlington during those years was fascinating. Today’s residents are very proud of the fact that their relatives were used as models for the magazine covers! From start to finish a magazine cover took over three weeks. Illustrators were in their heyday! I’d love to research more about how the original artwork was transformed into a magazine cover.
Merck Forest & Farmland Center is a great place to hike & pick berries at the same time. The non-profit’s mission is to teach & demonstrate the benefits of sustainable management of forests & farm land. The 3000+acres were donated by George Merck (pharmaceutical fame) in 1950. The farm has pasture raised pork & chickens as well as acres of berries. Miles of hiking trails, rustic rental cabins, & a multitude of educational programs keep this place busy throughout the year.
Mt Equinox is the highest peak in Southern Vermont & home to the reclusive sect of Carthusian Monks. Seventeen men from all over the world dedicate their lives to silence, solitude & contemplation. Outsiders are allowed to visit one day per year. The Order of St Bruno started in France. This is the only group in the US.
There are five covered bridges in this corner of Vermont & we saw every one of them! It was a beautiful day & we enjoyed meandering around the Vermont countryside. But can you believe we were unable to find a coffee spot? Horrors!
We love this area but can we commit to returning next year? Ohhh, hard to tell. We are already thinking of Montana & Idaho for next summer. But Nova Scotia is calling us as well. Who can tell? As our dear friend Joni wrote “ there is a wide world of noble causes & lovely landscapes to discover”.