Day 22 – Green Mountain Highway Part 2

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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?

gifford woods state park in the green mountains

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.

teddy bear hay bale sculpture near Killington, Vermont

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.

calvin coolidge boyhood home in the green mountains
Calvin Coolidge Born Here

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.”

Scott Covered bridge in the Green Mountains

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


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.

photographic note card, colorful canoes in vermont
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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

13 thoughts on “Day 22 – Green Mountain Highway Part 2

  1. I can’t speak for anyone else but I’m so glad your doing your post. I love reading them and hearing all your informaton on the towns and the history and I love the pics of the fall colors (we prob wont have much in Louisville as we have had so little rain and such hot temps). So, keep up the work I’m loving it 😀

  2. I haven’t missed a day of your blog! I’m capitvated and definetly living vicarously through you and your travels. But stop with the guilt and keep enjoying ALL you are doing! You are missed at work and by several of your clients!

    1. Raised catholic. Can’t help it! Having fun. Meeting interesting people. Love being with my dogs. Especially scout in her last months. Hi to all clients! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad people are enjoying it. I’m learning to write better each day I think. And it seems like I’m always experiencing something new. Expanding my horizons.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Beth, Kris and I look forward to your posts every day, like so many others do. On the days when your connectivity is scarce, we wait and wait… But you’ve done an excellent job of resolving that pretty quick, so the next day it is fun to have several to read. While I know all of us want as much as you can give, I’m pretty certain that all of us do not want you missing any of these experiences, just to update the blog for the night. Stay out, enjoy this time and your adventures… it will just give you more to write about in the future (or during the rain). Take care, we all miss you and with this, we think of you and your pups every day. Bill.

  4. Scott Covered Bridge is so cool looking! But then, I really like them. It seems as though this one would be fairly dark inside. Was it?

    How was the pool game?

    Keep on blogging…..I love following along on your travels. Your blogs are very interesting and insightful,

    xo’s M

  5. I feel as if I am with you sometimes, especially with the pictures you attach.
    I had a friend here in Mexico visiting from Vermont, an artist and prof at a Vermont university; however, she is on a sabbatical because her sister is dieing of cancer… or I would have referred you to her.
    It is cloudy and cold here in the mountains of Mexico so you can compare your weather.
    Keep up the good work… I, as others, wouldn’t miss your blogs for the world!!!!

  6. Hi Beth, I love your blog. I find myself wondering about your travels everyday and looking forward to reading it when it pops up on my computer. I’ve never enjoyed history so much. As others have said though, please enjoy yourself to the fullest. Darlene

  7. Love your blogs and read them everyday!
    Ah moose, we have them here too. Most people say keep your dogs on a leash in moose country, because they hate dogs and will become aggressive towards them. I’ve also read that they do not see well, so trees can be your “friends” during an encounter. Hope you get to see one from a distance!

    1. I was thinking I was supposed to hide behind a tree! Of course I let my dogs off the leash for the first time, so glad I didn’t encounter a moose today.

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