10 and 11 October, 2015
Fall is that time of the year when tears run down your cheeks unbidden, like leaves falling from trees, in memory of those you can only hope to meet again. It as much about the summer gone as is about winter coming. You can still wear a dress, but with boots not open toed sandals. The nights are far from freezing, but the carefree spirit of summer has given way to yearning.
This year we drove down with friends to Vermont for leaf peeping. Vermont is famous for its fall colours, and now we know why. Leaving the Friday evening of a long (Sat-Sun-Mon) weekend is always a bad idea, but we decided to do it nonetheless. In our quest to beat the *GWB toll and traffic, we took the longer route and the Tappan Zee Bridge. It didn’t save us much time, but we did save on GWB’s ridiculously high toll. The other part of our group had their own travel woes and we all reached the motel sometime past mid-night. I don’t recall whose idea it was, but it was decreed that alcohol was needed. The menfolk stepped out in search of a shop. They came back a good while later and informed us that they couldn’t find a shop, but there’s a party going on a few doors down. SM went with them and came back triumphant, with a bottle of bootlegged whiskey and a hard root beer. We finally called it a night in the wee hours of the morning. By the time we woke up and stepped out, the sun was well overhead. We drove along the scenic route 5, all the way up to Jay peak; stopping to take pictures and make memories.
Jay peak has a trolley/sky tram/ski lift that takes riders through and above the foliage, giving them a very unique perspective. Sadly, it was broken at the moment and so were our hearts. The other thing Vermont is famous for is the cheese trail. Patchy network and the sunset hour made it hard to find one close enough to visit before they closed for the day. We did find one though, and we did reach before they closed, but it was unlike anything we had or could have imagined. We were not seated around a heavy wooden table in a warm creamery, sampling different cheeses and learning about them. We were directed to a dark barn, and told to take what we wanted from the refrigerator and leave what we liked in the money jar. The refrigerator also had test tubes of culture; in one deep freezer in the basement, there was a huge chunk of bloody frozen meat. Our first instinct was to grab all we could from the haunted barn, throw all we had in the money jar, and run. Once outside, better sense prevailed. We took smaller quantities that we could finish and went in and put the rest back. Later that night when we found out how good that blue cheese really was, we wished taken some more.
From the barn, we went straight to the bar. Since Trout River Brewery has shut down, we decided to grace the 14 Star Brewing Company with our presence. The 14 Star Brewing Company was playing host to what I think was the museum’s Bavarian festival. They had live music, and pretzels and sausages on the house. Needless to say, we ended the day on high note.
Day 2 was as gorgeous than Day 1 and gorgeous again. Last night’s cold seemed to have brought out even more colours, and the sun was out, working hard at keeping it pleasant. We drove along the I90, taking in the brilliant colours, pausing long enough to pose. Hills were ablaze with colour. Red, orange, rust; pink, plum, purple; green, yellow, gold..and then there was us! So much drama! We drove all the way to Crystal Lake State park. It was closed, but we snuck in anyway and posed some more.
Last on our list was a tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream factory in Stowe. On the way we stopped at Cold Hollow Cider Mill for apple cider donuts and hot apple cider. The donuts were fine, but the cider was a tad too sweet for my taste. We reached Ben and Jerry’s with a few minutes to spare for the last tour, only to find out that the last tour had been booked out for 45 minutes or so. Not wanting to waste the effort of getting there, we stood in line for an hour to eat ice-creams that we could have very well bought at the local grocery store back home.
Home is five hours away, but good company and music from the 1990’s makes the long road short and we make it back in good time.