After our marvelous marathon through Maine, our friends Doug and Diana gifted us with a week at their beautiful farmhouse in southern Vermont! Even though they couldn’t join us, they insisted that we not just driveway surf but make full use of the grand and newly remodeled house and property. No arm twisting required! Although, you may think us crazy, but we continued to sleep in our own home! We have a Sleep Number bed in the rig that we love, and the night air had just the right chill for sleeping. On the few occasions so far when we have not slept in our rig, we both missed our bed!
In fact, while we miss our family and peeps (a LOT), we have found that we miss very few “things” from home. Tom misses workshop space and his prior organizational system for stuff. He hasn’t quite got a handle on what he still has and where to find it under the rig! I miss a bathtub for an occasional soak, and we have both missed the quiet of an insulated home—if both a/c units are running in the rig (which they have been!), it is noisy.
But the farmhouse offered us quiet and space and a tub, plus so much more like a fire pit lounge area by the river, perfect for morning coffee and evening wine and acres of property to explore! Tom had plenty of power and space to spread out and get some projects done on the rig, like installing a digital TV dome antenna. I enjoyed the tub, working on a 1000 piece puzzle, and cooking in their grand kitchen. I have adapted my cooking to our smaller space pretty well, but it is indeed a treat to spread out and use all kinds of pots and pans, knowing that the dishwasher will do the cleanup!
We always enjoy any time that we get to live like locals rather than tourists…you know, shop in the local general store more than once, go to church and to the weekly community farmers market and weekend flea market, and eat out in town. 🙂 We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary there with a fabulous dinner at Anchor Seafood. I had surf, Tom had turf, and we shared of course. A lady at the next table overheard us say that we were from Florida and asked where. We answered, “Most recently Tallahassee, but we’ve lived all over the state.” We chatted a couple more minutes and then asked where they were from; she said, “Homosassa!” How crazy small world it is that in all of Florida, they were from the tiny town where we had lived for 14 years! Then she said, “If you tell me you’re here for my niece’s wedding, I will fall out of my chair!” Nope, no falling necessary. 😉
It was hard to pull ourselves away from the farm, but we took one day to go exploring and drove a big loop through Massachusetts and New Hampshire and back to Vermont. Tom secretly mapped out several stops like a treasure hunt for us and gave me one set of driving directions at a time, fun! The first stop was one of the covered bridges that New England is famous for, so quaint. Next was the Bridge of Flowers which connects Shelburne Falls, MA to Buckland, MA. I had actually been here once years ago with my childhood girlfriend gang. It is a treasure for sure, a historic trolley bridge over the Deerfield River that was constructed and reconstructed into a magnificent garden span. There are thousands of flowers, dozens of varieties, blooming on plants, shrubs, and even trees from April to October. What a beautiful stroll, and there are even a couple of benches for stopping “to smell the roses.” 🙂
Just around the block was the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, a really well done collection of artifacts and information with a working trolley on the grounds, too. Around another block, we learned about Glacial Potholes in a section of old riverbed. The swirling water from receding glaciers thousands of years ago left a smooth and dramatic swirl pattern on the granite and carved out many holes of varying size and depth. This is a really interesting geological sight!
Next on our treasure hunt was Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield, MA. We hiked a mile up to the sandstone observation tower to enjoy a picnic lunch and the panoramic overlook of the city and countryside. The tower is over a century old and so named by a late local poet, and others who followed, who drew inspiration from the scenery, and perhaps isolation, of the tower. We stayed a long while here. 🙂
Then we were off to traverse the southern New Hampshire countryside to see a barn covered in license plates and we also found another covered bridge! We made the loop back into Vermont and stopped on Hogback Mountain for the famous 100-mile-view, fantastic! The sun was setting behind us and we hoped to find a great vista to catch it, but it didn’t work out this time. We always look forward to other chances.
All along our route, we stopped at almost every farm with a produce stand and loaded up on organic everything! We even found one farm that had u-pick raspberries! Heaven for me, I could pick berries all day long! This was one of our best exploring days, thanks to Tom’s creativity, beautiful weather, and no time schedule!
On our final night at the farmhouse, our FSU Seminoles were playing their season opener and we were excited to enjoy the game on Doug and Di’s supersized flat screen! However, about two hours before the game, the electricity went out in the area inexplicably, since the weather was great. To avert this crisis, Tom scrambled a Plan B to hook up our RV generator to their TV…genius! He got all the cords laid and then, of course, the power came back on. Crisis averted, and our Noles won the game in the second half after a typical lousy first half. Gotta love college ball! 🙂
We bid farewell to the farmhouse early the next morning in a misty rain and as we rounded the first turn, there was a rainbow directly ahead; God was beckoning us onward!