I love Vermont. Beautiful scenery, cool vibe, most craft breweries per capita, delicious chocolate, chill people, and all the cheese!!! It was great to visit again and stop by some repeat spots, check out some new places, visit with family, and consume all the yumminess.

After riding out a big storm in a nice tree-less parking lot in New Hampshire by the border, I spent the morning touring the Simon Pearce shop, which was a nice rainy day spot to watch the glassblowing in action, have some delicious food (cheese soup and quiche put me in delightful dairy overload food coma), and watch the hydropower setup. Stopped by the Quechee Gorge, too, which was pretty but not quite a must-see, sorry Trip Advisor.

In Burlington I got to stay with my cousin Katy, which was great because I never really got to know a lot this branch of my family particularly well, so having this chance to reconnect with people has been wonderful. Katy’s house is the coolest, too, with bright colors, touches from her many travels and experiences, and by chance a rock climbing wall porch and tree house overlooking the garden. She also hooked me up with a sweet tour of a nearby farm and education center.

Shelburne Farms has over a thousand acres of land with trails, beautiful views of the lake, stone buildings, a working farm with a dairy, and a hotel and restaurant which utilizes the farm gardens and animal products. They also host a variety of educational programs for school groups, educators, summer programs, and preschool classes focusing on nature education. It was interesting to see the staff at work setting up for a workshop with their extensive materials and curriculum.

Outside Burlington I got to see the world’s tallest filing cabinet- why this exists, I couldn’t say, but pretty fun. Checked off some Vermont brewery stops- my favorite was Hill Farmstead, cleared out samples at the Cabot shop, and took in the views of the Stowe area.

I had a nice easy walk through a marshy stream area with lots of beaver activity and dams in the works, and pretty waterfalls. The day was finally clear after a few cloudy post-storm days, and the morning sunlight made the leaves glow like magic. Further south found a few nice spots in the Green Mountains to sleep, one near a lake on the Appalachian Trail which I walked out to and got to see one of the huts, which was pretty cool. As usual, I couldn’t leave Vermont without a stop at the Vermont Country Store. I love the smell of that place, like a cedar closet almost. It’s full of a little of everything, and I ate all the dip, cheese, candy, cracker, cookie, spread, and salsa samples my belly could hold. Yum!

I may have to come back again sometime in the midst of winter mess to see if I could hack it, but I do love this place.

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