Through Vermont, New Hampshire and into Maine

24 Sep

We crossed from New York into Vermont via a bridge over Lake Champlain, just south of the border with Quebec.

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Glorious Autumn sunshine glistened on the water making a picture perfect scene. Our first stop was the Vermont Welcome Centre to collect a wealth of information for our visit. Mount Elmore State Park was our weekend destination and we were pleased to discover that apart from the lake and its small beach area there was a trail to the fire lookout tower at the top of the nearby mountain.

Sunday morning was unfortunately not as bright and crisp as  Saturday had been but as the walk was 1.2miles we thought we should set off early and surely the sun would break through to brighten our day. From our camp site to the trail head was a steady uphill walk of around half a mile through the trees. It was very quiet, only us and another walker just up ahead, everyone else taking a Sunday lie in.

From arriving at the trail head the path began to get a little rougher eventually deteriorating into a rocky scramble which at one point was aided with a man made wooden ladder and steps cut into the smooth rock .

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My mathematician calculator tells me that the first part may have been around 1:10 gradient, this second part 1:1.5 that is pretty steep.

To our dismay even the hour and a half it had taken to rise to the 2,600ft top of the mountain was not long enough for the sun to clear through the clouds. Robert still had enough energy left to climb the tower and view the misty valley below, I sat and recovered, preparing for the descent!

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As I predicted while we walked, by the time we arrived back at the campground the sun had finally arrived, never mind, we did not get too hot walking and we had a lovely afternoon sitting in the sun recovering.

So far we have not been impressed with the quality of cheese we can buy in the US. Our best find was Tillamook Dairy in Oregon,  now a long way back on our travels. We were therefore delighted to here about Cabot Creamery and made a bee line to visit on our way through Vermont.

Award winning Cheddar Cheese is produced from milk provided by a co – operative of farms across the area. We sampled the various varieties watched the film and took a tour. Purchasing butter, cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream from the store to stash in our fridge and enjoy at our leisure over the coming weeks.

Onwards across Vermont we were able to top up our fruit and vegetables at another roadside Market and enjoy the changing colours in the trees of the Green Mountain State as we passed through.

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A brief drive across New Hampshire where the fall colours were not so evident,bought us to Maine and Acadia National Park. My first impression of the Maine coast was that it was quite spoiled by its pandering to popular tourist features. I can see that tourism is a prime earner for the area, it would be nice to see it carried out more sympathetically to the picturesque surroundings. It was a pleasure therefore to be able to find a campsite overlooking a quite unspoiled view of the coast with easy access to the free shuttle buses that tour the National Park area allowing us to roam without taking haRVey on the narrow winding routes that criss cross the peninsula.

Our first foray into the park was to the visitor centre where we watched a film orientating us with the various areas we could visit, then on to Bar Harbor one of the bigger commercial areas with many restaurants, shops and hotels. I was pleasantly surprised to find that though commercial there was also a degree of sophistication to the small town, perhaps due to the fact that many cruise vessels call at the harbour with passengers being ferried to the centre for the day. Three very large vessels were anchored just off shore and the town was busy but had a nice feel to it. We walked around the sea wall, shoreline walk, again being blessed with warm autumn sunshine.

 

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Overnight the weather changed and we were awoken by rain in the early hours. A damp morning showed little prospect of improving when at 1pm we caught the shuttle to the visitor centre. We changed bus to arrive at Sandy Beach, a cliff path from here passes Thunder Hole and carries on for a total of around 2 miles to Otter Point where the bus can be picked up again to continue the Park Loop Road

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The bay is really sandy, a rarity on this rocky coastline. The pine topped cliffs are not high but the rock formations are unusual, huge boulders and weather worn pebbles forming the beach in all other areas.

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The path was easy going with plenty of access points to stand on top of the cliffs to watch the small boats, the sea birds or just gaze out at the ocean.

Thunder Hole is a rocky inlet where the sea has undercut the rocks, at certain points of the tide the water whooshes in and out of the hole causing the noise like thunder. It was thundering a little too much at the beginning of the week and the viewing areas had been closed due to high tides and strong winds. Today we watched gentle lapping of the water back and forth wishing for a happy medium between the two which would have been more exciting.

By the time we arrived at Otter point the afternoon had deteriorated and a fine wet rain was descending. We took the shuttle to Jordon Pond treating ourselves there to an afternoon cup of tea, brownies and ice cream, yum! The tea rooms would have been a lovely spot on a fine day, opening out as they did on to the pond today however the pond disappeared into the mist before my ice cream had time to melt.

The shuttle back to Bar Harbor left almost half an hour wait to connect with the Campground shuttle, just time to pop into a local store for Robert to top up his beer supplies with local brew.

Hopefully the forecast will be correct and tomorrow is ‘another day’!

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2 Responses to “Through Vermont, New Hampshire and into Maine”

  1. Susan September 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed Cabot Creamery- we did too… all the cheese you can eat…who can complain??
    If you get a chance in Acadia, go to Bass Harbor light for sunset…
    Hope you plan on eating a lot of lobster while you’re there!!

  2. Jacquelyn September 27, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and details of your trip! We’re glad you stopped by the Cabot Creamery 🙂
    ~Jacquelyn

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