Northern Vermont
September 2004

My parents and I had another wonderful trip with Holiday Tours. Saturday morning we left Level Cross at 6 am heading out for Summerset, NJ. As with most trips the first day is normally a long drive to get close to the actual trip destination. We traveled some 541 miles with stops for breaks and food along the way finally arriving at our hotel around 7:45. Dad and I quickly changed into workout cloths and spent some time in the hotel fitness center. I always feel better after a long ride in a motor coach when I can work out.

The next morning we were up and on our way at 8 am traveling Rt 87 along the Hudson River of upper New York State. After passing through the City of Albany on Rt 787 we crossed the Hudson onto Rt 7 into Troy where we stopped for lunch. Rt 7 took us on through Rutland, VT for out first tour stop, The Maple Syrup Museum. Here we learned how the Indians first started harvesting the sap from Sugar Maple trees into syrup, looked at old syrup making equipment and the newer modern process. From here we drove on up Route 7 into South Burlington, VT to our hotel for the next three nights.

We awoke Monday morning to a glorious day of bright sunshine and clear blue skies. At the hotel we met our local guide. She would be with us for our two days of sight seeing in and around the Burlington area, directing our driving and giving us a lot of local information. She first took us on a ride through the town of Burlington for a look at the local University of Vermont campus, the water front along Lake Champlain, and downtown. From there we headed up the road to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.

We were taken on a step by step tour through the factory showing us how the bears are made from cutting the bear parts to assembly. From there we drove on to the Shelburne Museum.

Here we were on our own to explore all the wonderful exhibits and antiques collected on the grounds. This bridge was disassembled and reconstructed on the museum property. There are a lot of buildings on the property housing everything from antique horse buggies and sleighs to a old general store to famous art works. It was far too much to see in the couple of hours we had alotted. I at least walked through most of the buildings and stopped to look at the exhibits I was most interested in. Below is just one of the many gardens. 

From the Museum we drove a short distance to Shelburne Farms which is a 1,400 acre working dairy/cheese producing farm. Most of the tour was conducted by a local guide from the Farms via the coach. However, we did get to go in the building where they make the cheese and to walk around the grounds of the Inn. The back side of the Inn overlooks the gardens and Lake Champlain. We also sampled some of the various cheeses made at the farm.

Next, it was back into Burlington to the waterfront to catch the Ethan Allen III for our dinner cruise on Lake Champlain. I have been on many bodies of water on various trips in the last few years but I must say Lake Champlain was one of the prettiest I have seen. I also saw both the sun set over the Adirondacks and the moon rise over the Green Mountains. Needless to say I was thrilled.

Tuesday morning we drove to Vermont's only "haunted" covered bridge. This is the river which flows along beside and under the bridge.

From there we headed into Stowe, Vt, a beautiful little town. We had a couple of hours to browse around the town. This covered bridge walkway was built after the covered bridge that was over the roadway had to be torn down. It was costing the town too much money to keep up repairs to due the bad weather and traffic. 

After lunch we visited Mount Mansfield where we rode the gondola's up to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately it was overcast and hazing but once at the top the clouds lifted a little for a beautiful view of the mountains. As you can the maples had started turning as well as some of the other trees.

Next stop, the Trapp Family Lodge. While visitors are not allowed inside the lodge to respect the privacy of the guests we were allowed to roam around the grounds and gardens.

Wednesday morning we were on the road again by 7:45 for the long drive to Gettysburg, PA. Our driver took us on a rural route through the back roads of Vermont and New York giving us a wonderful view of rural, upper state New York. We finally arrived in Gettysburg at 8 pm. I snapped this picture at one of the rest stops.

Thursday morning we drove to the nearby Gettysburg Park for a two hour tour of the battle grounds. We had a guide from the Park on board our bus providing very detailed explainations of what led up to the fighting and what progressed over the next three days during the Battle of Gettysburg. Naturally we stopped at the monument for North Carolina to take some pictures.

We left Gettysburg around 12:45 heading back to North Carolina arriving in Level Cross at 8:30. These are just some of the pictures and highlights of what was a very busy six day trip.

October 7, 2004


Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Barbara Fritchman Thompson. All Rights Reserved.