Down at the dockside for 9:30 this morning to catch the first Lake Champlain tour boat. It was quite a grey and cool start to the day as well so we were more wrapped up than we’ve been all holiday so far when we boarded the Spirit of Ethan Allen III – alas we were joined by a couple of coach parties of American geriatrics. Sigh; there’s nothing more depressing than a load of over-cheerful Yankee wrinklies first thing in the morning. When they started a sing-song on the middle deck I was close to testing the man overboard drill.
Anyway, the boat circled our part of the lake for an hour or so (it’s a seriously big lake) all the while with a running commentary about the history and background of the lakes, which at least shut the wrinklies up.
After a cup of coffee/chocolate on shore we hopped in the car with the plan of doing a tour of northern Vermont and the green mountains. No sat nav crutch for us today; instead proper maps and reading road signs for a 100-mile loop through prime Fall foliage country on back roads.
Free of the Burlington traffic on the VT-15 we headed for Cambridge and it was just outside Cambridge that we spotted our first covered bridge. There’s no signs for them and they are usually down side roads off the main road, so you have to have your wits about you and keep looking towards the river, which the main road parallels. You also have to hope theres somewhere to stop and look. North of Cambridge Junction on the VT-109 they came in quick succession, too many to stop for, and all the while with a backdrop of fabulous reds and yellows on the hills behind. After a while it becomes almost too much to take in, the colours are actually everywhere you look.
Mid-afternoon we stopped for a drink in an arty store in a small town called Enosburg Falls. It was like so many other small towns we’ve seen so far – most of the shops on the main street are either closed or thrift shops. It’s pretty obvious that there isn’t a deal of money about out here in the countryside. Also it’s strange to see signs for Canada and realise that the border with Quebec is just 10 miles away from here and that Montreal is not much more than an hour further than that.
From her we dropped out of the mountains back towards Lake Champlain and into farmland, with the colours falling away behind. Working on a tip-off (curses you Enosburg Falls coffee shop owner) we stopped a little further down the road in the larger town of St Albans, and sure enough next to the park there it was… the Forever Bloom Quilt Shop. Just before they closed over and hour later we headed back to the car and turned south once more for Burlington, a short blast down the I-89.