Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vermont, New Hampshire and on to New York

Monday:  Fun day. We visited the original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory. It was interesting and the best part was tasting a potential new product currently named Strawberry Bliss. Yum, yum. They also had the flavor graveyard for those that didn’t make it like Peanuts! Popcorn!, Rainforest Crunch, and Aloha Macadamia. They all had appropriate epitaphs. 

Tuesday: We visited the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Yes, the family liked what Hollywood did with Sound of Music. The basic story is true, but there were major differences such as the way they escaped to America was via Italy the day before the boarder was closed. If they had hiked over the Alps, they would have found themselves in Germany, not exactly the place to escape from the Nazis.  They left because they refused to sing Happy Birthday to Hitler. Other differences: They were already world famous, and the 7 children from Georg’s first marriage were in their teens and early 20’s. Maria and the Baron had 2 daughters, and Maria was expecting their 3rd. The third son, Johannes, signed my copy of Maria’s book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.  We really enjoyed touring the grounds after the presentation. Last picture is of their sugar house. I recommend the book.

Wednesday: We drove along the Kancamagus Highway. Lovely as all forests are. The exciting part came on the Discovery trail when a moose chose to walk that same trail in front of us. Every time we got within 30 feet or so, he/she moseyed along ahead. Every time Dan tried to get a profile shot, he/she turned and he only got the backside. Finally, the animal posed nicely for him, then turned and scurried into the brush. We also saw a waterfall, beautiful rapids, and lovely trails.

Thursday: Today we saw the Flume, an amazing gorge forged when softer black basalt, which had filled in cracks in the granite, had eroded much faster than the granite. The cliffs are 90 feet high and vary between 12 and 20 feet wide. They have built a boardwalk and stairs so we were able to hike up it. We didn’t crawl through the fox den, though.  Boulders left by glaciers in the Ice Age were all over the place.

That afternoon we visited Clark’s Trading Post a clever amusement park. Mostly we went to see the bear and acrobatic acts and we weren’t disappointed.

Friday: We drove to Ticonderoga, New York. On the way we visited Sharon, VT, the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. Since we have long stretches without being near a temple, this was truly a spiritual lift. The birdhouse is a replica of the house he was born in. The monument is 38 ½ feet tall to represent his lifespan.

The Wal-Mart where we had planned on staying had a 3 hour parking limit, so we had to move on to Ticonderoga with a bit of trepidation that the new one wouldn’t allow overnight parking either. Then we hit another concern. The signs along highway 73 our GPS chose to our new destination kept mentioning a ferry to New York. Would it be large enough for our RV? Thankfully, both concerns were resolved in our favor.

Saturday: We only had a 1 hour drive to our campground with nothing planned. Dan remembered passing Fort Ticonderoga on the way to Wal-Mart the evening before, so we decided to go there. It was well worth it. They have re-enactments and tours throughout the day. We happened along on the anniversary of a battle where 3,500 French troops defended against 17,000 British. The French lost the fort a year later because they only left 400 troops to defend against 11,000 British. We even saw a very scared fawn.

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