Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default The 14 hour & 37 minute roadtrip

    Summer in Massachusetts is fickle. Some years, she holds back and offers fair weather for most of the season, though this is usually associated with less than normal sunlight. Other years, Summer plays nasty and turns the air into a sticky mess. This Summer is shaping up to be the latter, at least near my house. So...

    We decided that -
    1. Since our vacation was disturbed by a pestulant beast
    and
    2. It was going to be hot and humid (again)
    and
    3. We need to get out there more
    - it was a good idea to head North for the day.

    My original plan for this weekend was to eat at at pork BBQ place in New York that I've passed three times now and haven't tried. As we looked at the weather report, however, we decided instead to head up to Vermont. If we had time, we'd stop at the BBQ place, too.

    We left the house at 7:15am, after packing some snacks for the trip and having a small breakfast. About an hour and fifteen minutes later, we were at the Vermont Welcome Center in Guilford. This rest area off of I-91 is a must-stop. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, with a walking path winding through wildflowers and old farm implements, a granite patio overlooking the grounds, and free coffee and pastries (at least on this Sunday). Inside, along with the usual collection of maps and guidebooks, are displays of Vermont crafts and artwork. It seems Vermont is doing the "common item" tour thing, with painter's pallettes. These appear throughout the state, showcasing different artist's interpretations of Vermont life.

    I have noticed Interstate rest areas in many states are becoming more welcoming, but this one really stands out to me. They take great care of this facility, and we are all better off for it.

    I decided I want to get fairly far North this day, perhaps even into Burlington. I hadn't been in a decade. Traffic was almost non-existent at this time of day, and the weather was cooperating as well.

    We turned onto Interstate 89. For anybody who proclaims there is nothing to see on the Interstate, take this ride through Vermont. The scenery is spectacular. And, since the state isn't heavily populated, we had the road mostly to ourselves from White River Junction to the Burlington city limits.

    The Montpelier exit came into view. Hey, we haven't been here yet. Let's stop. A wrong turn brought us to a marvelous entrance to a cemetery. Correcting this, we headed back into town on US-2. The town was still fairly calm when we arrived, about 11:00am. The air was refreshingly crisp, in the high 60's with a light breeze.

    We stopped in at McGillicuddy's Pub for lunch, which was very good and while the price was a little high, it wasn't out of the normal range for such a place. When we emerged from there, the town had woken up considerably. We strolled around a bit, taking in the scenery and shooting some film. Then off again.

    Further up I-89 is Ben & Jerry's, a perfect dessert. No production on Sundays, so we decided against the factory tour and instead just had some ice cream.

    Back on the road, into South Burlington, we stopped at Red Rocks Beach. A wonderful view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks behind greeted us. From what we could hear, most of the visitors were from Quebec. Perhaps they were onto a secret here, because for a Summer day, the beach was surprsingly short of people. Loons were in abundance, fishing and just acting, er, looney, as it were. We headed back to the car, had a snack and took a 20 minute nap. The temperature had snuck up into the 70's, but the breeze was still in evidence and our nap was only disturbed by somebody yelling in French.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Part Two

    South on US-7, it was close to 5:00pm so we decided to head back home. The BBQ would have to wait yet again. Traffic ground to a halt around the scene of a car accident, which was the only real traffic problem we had run into all day.

    South on VTs-103, 100, 30, the sun setting over the mountains. A break at a covered bridge, then back on the road.

    Onto I-91, traffic is getting a little crazy and people are acting reckless, let's make a break for MA-2, this section, I believe, we've never driven at night before. It takes on a whole different look. One town was lit up such that it reminded me of Central Ohio. If I didn't know the environs, I could have sworn I was out there.

    Through the familiar local roads and then home. We parked in the driveway at 9:52pm, 454.8 miles later.

    The only thing keeping this from being a "twenty-hour roadtrip", really, is that we did this on a Sunday and not a Saturday. Vermont tends to be cheaper in the Summer, since the big money up there is skiing (if you doubt this, check the weekly rates for most lodging in July and January). Had we left Saturday morning, we would have been inclined to stay the night and explored more.

    Adding it all up, we spent less than $100, got some nice, fresh air, found a slew of places that we want to explore in the future, and we feel content that we spent a day doing something we Love.

  3. #3

    Default

    wow, sounds like a great little trip! kind of makes me want to sneak up there myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default What a lovely weekend!

    Sounds like a wonderful time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Great trip report Tim!

    Vermont is definitely one of my favourite State, and your post puts us in that easy going mood I love so much about VT. I live just a few miles north of the border so it's a regular weekend destination for me. I never get tired of exploring that wonderful State, there's always a little surprise on top of each hill and at the end of each curve : a nice view, a red barn, animals, an old general store, a peaceful lake, a park, a wild river, etc.

    I decided I want to get fairly far North this day,
    Have you explored northern Vermont yet? There are some very nice areas up there and some great scenic roads too. If you go someday, let me know, I could give you some suggestions and maybe you'd have some for me too!

    Traffic was almost non-existent at this time of day, and the weather was cooperating as well
    In my experience, I never encountered any traffic jam worth considering in the entire State, not even in the cities! It's one of the greatest thing about it.

    I might do the same roadtrip but in reverse next weekend. I want to visit Northampton, do you have any suggestions?

    Cheers!
    Gen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Vt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Have you explored northern Vermont yet? There are some very nice areas up there and some great scenic roads too.
    We have yet to explore the Northeast Kingdom in any detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    I might do the same roadtrip but in reverse next weekend. I want to visit Northampton, do you have any suggestions?
    Northampton, MA? The definition of "college town"!

    I like MA-9 from this point West (East of there it's nice up to the Quabbin area, then it gets congested). Fitzwilly's for eats; East Side Grill is excellent too, but on the weekends it can be packed, and they don't take reservations, it's also a bit pricier. There are a lot of choices on Main St. (MA 9) for shopping and eating, it's really hard to go wrong. I've yet to find a place up there that I DON'T like for food!

    Nearby, Look Park (what a name), the Dinosaur footprints (with that kitsch factor), Skinner State Park with great views of the Connecticut River Valley - accessible by car or hike, Mt. Tom - our uniquely shaped mountain, you're even very close to the Quabbin Reservoir, Historic Deerfield, Yankee Candle, Shelburne Falls and the bridge of flowers, watch the skydivers in Orange (a co-worker jumped last weekend, brave soul!), just for a few within a nearby radius.

    I may be exploring some this weekend, too. If it's not 100+ degrees still by then...

Similar Threads

  1. Roadtrip Report - From the F1 Race to the Knit Shop
    By lhuff in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-29-2007, 07:41 AM
  2. Roadtrip options from NYC
    By in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-28-2007, 07:08 AM
  3. A 7 hour escape from the Big City
    By RoadTripper Brad in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-14-2005, 11:55 PM
  4. Tecopa Hot Springs: 20 Hour RoadTrip
    By Mark Sedenquist in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-05-2005, 09:59 AM
  5. Roadtrip Stats and Costs
    By Robert Schaller in forum RoadTrip Costs and Research
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 06-11-2005, 08:46 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES