Day 22 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
Gifford Woods State Park
After a lovely night at Gifford Woods State Park, I spent the morning hiking on a relatively flat trail around the campgrounds through a forest of maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock. I had to rely heavily on the trail markers as the ground was covered with fallen leaves. The path led me across several narrow streams, along a river, and past many moss covered rocks and trees.
While I think I heard a moose near our campsite last night, a loud guttural grunt, I didn’t see any on the walk. I am in Moose Crossing territory and hope to see one from a distance, but I hear they are mean, so I prefer not to meet one up close and personal. Just in case, what is the survival procedure if you meet a moose in the woods? Anyone know?
On the Way to Killington Ski Resort
Kord and I said our goodbyes. I might meet up with him later, but he is off to an interview at the University of Wisconsin while I am headed south on the Green Mountain Highway toward Killington Ski Resort. I’ve always heard so much about it, that I just wanted to take a quick jaunt by the area. It seemed like the local businesses were having a hay sculpture competition.
As I drove up the mountain, the side of the road was peppered with different animals made out of hay bales – teddy bears, dairy cows, a moose, a duck, just to name a few. Some of the “sculptures” were quite creative. In addition to the manmade scenery, nature’s scenery of fall colors and awing sky made this drive quite pleasing.
Plymouth Notch Historic District
From Killington, I eventually headed south on the Green Mountain Highway to Plymouth. At first I took a wrong turn which is baffling given there is hardly more than one scenic road from which to choose. I used to think I was good at directions. Ultimately, I made it to Plymouth. The entire village, home to Calvin Coolidge, has been designated the Plymouth Notch Historic District. The District encompasses the home of Calvin Coolidge, the community church, a cheese factory, the general store, and a one-room school house.
Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 and was the 30th president of the United States of America. He was sworn into office while on vacation at his boyhood home by his father, a notary, on August 3, 1923 after the unexpected death of President Warren Harding.
After visiting Plymouth Notch, I passed through Ludlow on my way to Weston, where I tried finding the Weston Priory where Benedictine monks sing songs that they have composed. With the goal to either meet someone new every day or to learn something new every day, spending time with monks would definitely top the list. I never found them, so I kept going to Jamaica State Park. I hoped to hike to Hamilton Falls (me and my waterfalls), but the ranger informed me it was six miles round trip. My old mutts would never make it that far, so I detoured to Townshend State Park.
Townshend State Park
Townshend State Park was closed, but I could still enjoy its main attractions from the road: the Townshend Dam and the Scott Covered Bridge. Atop the Townshend Dam, I felt as if I were miles above the river, crossing a deep gorge. It was slightly nerve wracking to look to each side. A mile or two further up the road, the Scott Covered Bridge, the longest wooden span in Vermont, stretched the West River.
The bridge, 277 feet long, was built in 1870 and consists of two king post trusses and a 166 foot town lattice truss. The sign above the entrance to the bridge reads, “Speed Limit, Horses at a Walk, Motor Vehicles, 10 Mile Per Hr.”
Town of Wilmington
It was getting cold and a little rainy, so pulled into camp at Molly Stark State Park a little early. The dogs and I went for a brief hike to stretch our legs, but plan to conquer whole 1.7 mile trail in the morning. After I claimed my campsite, I toured the small, nearby Town of Wilmington. I walked both streets that crossed at the single red light and dropped into the Pub as it advertised free wi-fi.
I blogged a few minutes when I met Sully. He is a chef at an Inn outside of town. Shortly thereafter, I met Greg and Anna. Greg, from Vermont, is a chef who went to culinary school in Denver, and Anna, originally from Taos, majored in Resort Management in college in Durango, Colorado. Anna now works with reservations for a nearby ski resort. Uniquely, Greg, at one time worked at the Char House in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I know my brother and sister-in-law, having lived in Steamboat for at least 15 year, had to have eaten there while Greg was the cook!
After a game of pool, a local beer (Otter Creek Copper Ale), the hot wings special (25 cents a wing), and an enjoyable time with Sully, Anna, and Greg, I headed back to camp to finish blogging for the night. It’s tough to keep up with daily blogs and have a social life, so I hope my readers are enjoying! Overall, it was a nice day on Green Mountain Highway. I’m off to Massachusetts tomorrow. ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
Other Articles About Vermont You May Like
- Day 18 – Lake Champlain Loop
- Day 19 – Lake Champlain Loop – Part 2
- Day 20 – Lake Champlain Loop and the Adirondacks
- Day 21 – Green Mountain Highway
- Day 24 – Vermont’s Quiet Corner
Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop. Each card has a travel story associated with it. 20% of proceeds are donated to charity.