|View from Dog Mountain near St. Johnsbury|
Dianne and I agreed that the drive from North Conway, New Hampshire to Randolph, Vermont was the most scenic of this summer's trip.
Our first impression of Vermont was of its greenness. All things, including the highway signs were green. (The police cars too -- D.)
The second thing that we noticed was the refreshing absence of billboards. Informational signs were there, but advertisements were absent. The third thing that we noticed was that we had left the busyness of New York, Maine, and New Hampshire behind. Vermont seemed very laid back and calm. Quite nice, actually.
|Scene from a very quiet welcome center|
Dianne achieved a really cool milestone during our stop at the Vermont Welcome Center. I will let her explain.
When I was an 11-year-old kid, I cut this small map out of a book that I had. Each time I entered a new-to-me state, I colored it in. When we entered Vermont, I finally got to complete this "project" that was 57 years in the making!
The frenetic sounds of families having fun in our New Hampshire campground have been replaced by serenity, semi-seclusion and scenery. We will be at the Lake Champagne (not Champlain) RV Resort for seven nights.
Driving to our full-hookup, pull-through campsite was a new experience. We drove down a grassy hill to our site over the grass. The ground cover in every direction (including our parking spot) was green, green grass --- no dirt, no sand, no hard surface --- just grass.
|The SUV is actually backed up to the rear of the Airstream. After hooking up I pulled around and backed down the hill.|
The pictures depict a feeling that we were all alone. Actually, there were several RVs here. The spacious feel was due to the acreage between the rows and the largeness of the sites themselves. The picture below shows the uphill distance between our row and the row above.
The next few photos were all taken from our site.
|Happy Hour View|
|A small lake (Lake Champagne) was very visible from our site.|
|Imagine what this row of maple trees look like in the fall.|
We had to move everything that was on the floor outside to dry. Dianne mopped the floor while I did the carrying. We now have such a clean floor :-). Note to self --- never turn on the water at the spigot before assuring that the faucet is OFF!
It is funny now. It was not funny at the time.
I decided to lighten the mood a bit and surprise Dianne by installing her favorite festive camping lights.
These are the views from Dianne's bed.
|Dianne's favorite tiki lights|
|The dog paw print lights that I bought for Dianne in North Carolina were overhead.|
Long before we arrived in Vermont, we knew that a visit to Dog Mountain, outside of St. Johnsbury, would be on the agenda. It was an hour drive from our campground, but for us, well worth it.
Vermont native and artist, Stephen Huneck, was a lover of dogs. He was known for his humorous wood cut prints of dogs. During his life he erected a dog chapel and playground for dogs at the top of a Vermont mountain. The Dog Chapel and Huneck's Gallery sit in the center of Dog Mountain.
Dogs are welcome everywhere on the property. The four of us (including Bandido and Poquita) traipsed over to the Gallery first. We were greeted at the door by the coolest pit bull I have ever seen. Her demeanor was so low key that Bandido and Poquita treated her like an old friend.
Stephen Huneck's art work was displayed throughout the area. Sales of the artwork help with the maintenance of Dog Mountain. Weekend concerts are also held to raise maintenance funds. Dianne did her share by buying a t-shirt, some note cards, some gifts, and a calendar.
I now have a new pillow that fits the back of my neck perfectly.
We need a toy box like this for our casita.
While I carried our purchases to the SUV, Dianne headed to the Dog Chapel. Huneck's vision for the chapel was a place where dog owners could remember their departed friends.
|I love the welcome sign!|
A stained glass window was the center of the alter. Be sure to notice the dogs holding up the pews.
Huneck hoped that people would leave remembrances of their dogs on the walls. Little did he know that ladders were required as every square inch of the walls was covered. For dog lovers this is quite moving. Dianne wrote a remembrance of our recently departed Tequila in the registry.
Huneck created stained glass windows for the chapel that depict his artwork.
My favorite shows a dog swimming after a ball. It is entitled "play". The lab in the window does not look like Bandido, but the theme certainly reminds me of my dog.
After our visiting the Dog Chapel we wandered outside to a picnic table under the shade of a low-hanging limb.
All dogs are free to roam the property, off leash. Huneck's art work is displayed around every corner. The pond in the photo below is one of two that are provided so that dogs can swim and fetch.
|All dogs go to heaven -- D.|
Before leaving, the four of us got some exercise on one of the hiking trails. The trail we chose rose uphill for quite a distance before entering the woods. There was more to it than I expected, as we hopped on rocks to cross a small stream. We worked up a sweat.
We thoroughly loved our time at this amazing place. Any dog lover would be moved by it.
A few raindrops beckoned that we move on. Our next stop was not visually enticing, but it did tempt our tastebuds.
Cabot cheese is sold throughout the country. We actually had some at our picnic lunch that day. The Cabot Creamery in the small town of Cabot (what else) provides free samples of all its cheeses. My favorite was the habanero, but my stomach would object. Dianne and I took turns watching the dogs. Dianne came out with four bricks of cheese. I am feeling a little hungry right now.
We ended the day back at our bucolic campsite with a visual treat from mother nature.
Tomorrow we will eat some iconic ice cream!
Dianne's Teensy-Weensy Trailer Tip:
As promised, this entry shows Roger's "man cave" at the rear of the trailer:
The wall next to his bed was prime real estate for hanging shelves and phone holders. He has two USB ports, each holding two sockets, so he can charge his iPhone and Kindle by just reaching over. There's space for the tv remote, his glasses, book light, wallet, and whatever else he decides to stash there, all at arm's reach.
At the foot of his bed is the space he calls his "foot locker." The bed was designed for tall people, evidently, because there is all kinds of usable space there. On the left of the screen in the photo below, the white ultra-leather item lifts up to reveal storage. There is also one at the head of the bed. We use the one at the head of the bed as a clothes hamper, and the one at the foot of the bed for an extra set of towels and sheets -- a mini linen closet.
There is also room for two storage bins with pull-out drawers, one for him and one for me, that holds extra clothes. A battery-operated fan comes in handy when we don't want to run the overhead exhaust fan or the air conditioner.
Roger keeps his computer in the "foot locker" and charges it using a wall outlet at the foot of his bed. We always put a hard tray under the computer when charging it so that it's not on top of soft bedding if it gets hot.
The pet picture of the day shows how relaxing Bandido and Poquita also find this campground: