Published: November 26th 2007November 26th 2007
For sometime now, we had been dreaming of a driving holiday - The Thanksgiving weekend seemed a perfect time to revv up. So we decided to take a road trip heading south from Boston along the coast. A storm brewing up along the entire eastern coast, however, laid that idea to rest.
That’s when we decided to stop trying to avoid the cold and to head north for the snowy slopes of Vermont. And what a fabulous idea it was. Luckily we managed to book some hotels and headed off early on Friday morning.
We had a rough itinerary in our heads but no fixed plans. Our first stop was Rutland in Central Vermont.
As we approached Rutland, we noticed some snow flurries which quickly yielded to a full-fledged snow shower. Driving through a snow shower was a first for us and we made the most of it. On our way we stopped at Mt. Killington at the ski base.
Let me try to explain the cold: Now one of my teeth has a metallic cap on it due to a root canal procedure. The metallic cap pains whenever I eat something too hot or too cold.
In Killington, every time I even opened my mouth the metallic cap started paining as if I was having 5 frozen ice-creams all at once!!!! For those who prefer hard facts, it was -10 C and due to the wind chill factor, it felt a lot more.
Ultimate proof - Sanjit was shivering and I quickly captured the moment for the sake of posterity. That picture is going to be our New Year Card to everyone! (If you’re shaking your head in disbelief, you’re right. We’re not about to make the effort)
Rutland is the second largest city in Vermont Still, it maintains its quaint charm as only a small place can.
In the evening we went out for a great dinner experience at a restaurant near downtown Rutland called Pasche’s. It has a cozy feel, great staff and anyone visiting must try out their Chicken Enchilada soup which is just heavenly. Overall - two thumbs up.
The next morning we left Rutland and started heading north - with no fixed route only knowing that we had to reach Burlington (in North-west Vermont) by the afternoon.
We decided to take the Green Mountain National Forest
Enjoying the snowfall
En route to Killington
route which offers some great peaks. For some reason, the GPS led us into a narrow mountain trail. We went along thinking it was a shortcut. We even stopped on the way and took some pictures - all hunky dory till the trail actually became a very narrow and rather dangerous mud track covered with snow.
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, we headed back rather disappointed on missing out those great peaks.
A few miles on and we chanced upon a great highway route inside the forest. Sometimes it does pay to do it the old-fashioned way and carry that road map after all!!
We had a great drive through the national forest stopping at Hancock, Sugarbush resort, Waitsfield, Mad River Glen ski area and finally the Appalachian Gap. The Appalachian gap was a totally stunning experience - at the top of a mountain pass a completely frozen world where every twig of every tree was frozen. Do check out the pictures of the Gap.
By 2 p.m, we rolled into Burlington which is flanked by Lake Champlain. This is a huge lake on the other side of which is the
From the snow-lodge
Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Burlington is the largest city of Vermont and an education centre. The University of Vermont is located here.
Burlington was again very chilly and a stroll on the waterfront left us smarting with cold. Post a rather late-lunch at a Mexican place we checked into our hotel and didn’t venture out for the rest of the evening. This had its own benefit by way of curling up in front of the fireplace with some good books and soft music.
Sunday morning - our final day of the trip. We made some really good time throughout the trip in terms of getting up very early in the morning and heading out. We were now headed for the northern -most tip of Vermont at the Canada border in the province called the North East Kingdom.
This part of the trip is also extra special to me as I was in the driving seat. We drove through some incredibly pristine landscape - a snow-covered isolated world and reached the base of Jay peak. We spent some time at the Chalet mingling with the Skiers’ and getting really tempted to ski ourselves. It’s an activity
we’ve notched up for our next trip to Vermont.
The outdoorsy spirit of Americans is commendable. Even very small children were out skiing like pros in the chilly, overcast weather. Back in Boston too, we always see people running along rivers and ponds irrespective of rain, snow or cold.
From Jay, we drove to the town of Newport (which is just 3 miles from the Canadian border) spent some time on the waterfront of the Memphremagog lake. (It is a fresh water glacial lake located between Newport and Quebec, Canada) and then headed to Lyndonville for lunch. After driving through nearly 150 miles of mountain roads, I reluctantly gave up the wheel. It was time to head home. Boston at 2 C was now feeling warm.
Driving through Vermont often reminded us of Switzerland - especially of Interlaken and the Jungfrau region. The people are friendly, the cities are small and charming, very few people, very non-commercial and stunningly beautiful.
To end the blog here’s some food for thought - In our three days in Vermont we did not spot a single Indian (other than us, of course) or Chinese.
p.s. - Don't forget
to click next to see the pictures on page 2
There are more photos below