Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Vermont with Mom and Phyllis - part 2

Mom, Phyllis, and I continued our journey through middle Vermont, heading next to the Calvin Coolidge historic site.  I didn't know this was here!  Heck, I didn't know Silent Cal was from Vermont.  Growing up in the northern part of the state, all I knew was Chester A. Arthur.  John says Vermont schools should teach state history every year like they do in Texas.

President Coolidge's home site is a great place to visit and wander around - and it's still a small working town, complete with a cheese factory.  Lots of artifacts and history to discover.

Here we are starting our tour at the general store:


The street through town, past the church and the house where he grew up:


A garden, with a replica of the whirlybird that Cal's son had - the original still exists!  It is in storage to keep it from weathering any more:


Transportation of the times (it needs a Morgan Horse to pull it):


The room where President Coolidge was sworn in by his father after Warren G. Harding died in 1923:


Some excellent cheese to take home, the best kind of souvenir!


Examining the old postal box system:


And the new ones downstairs, not a lot different:


Where the president worked while he was at the farm on break from the White House:


Thanks Mom, for suggesting we come here!


Old farm tools - now these methods have changed a bit over the years:


Two former postal employees with a US Mail carriage:


Across the street, the simple graves of the president and his family - another dead president we just happened to visit (I really should start a list):


We drove around the back roads of Reading, learned how to pronounce it ("red-ing", like the Monopoly railroad), didn't see any signs of a real town, and ended up in Woodstock for the afternoon.  Another excellent place to spend some time.

I sent this photo to John:


Requisite covered bridge picture:


Later in the day we explored the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller historic park trails.  Mom and Phyllis walked up to Pogue Pond and I went for a run.  Love the carriage roads.  Here's a view from the top of the hill:


Looking back down at Woodstock; ah the lovely green hills of Vermont:


Our final stop on the way home = Joseph Smith's birthplace.  It was certainly an interesting variety today!  The site is quite lovely (and no, I didn't know this was here either):


An impressive obelisk:


Stones marking the original house where Joseph Smith was born:


For my last day "on the job" we drove to Barre to see the Hope Cemetery, always a favorite.  Many granite gravestones are carved into intricate and amazing designs, very creative.


This is one of our favorites:


We spent some time trying to understand these pyramids:


Mom figured out to move the buttons aside on the instruction post.  There are QR codes underneath!  They are faded and I didn't try to read them with my phone, but it's not something you see every day in a cemetery.


I'm amazed that someone tackled the carving of a perfectly round soccer ball:


Pretty engraving:


Another favorite:


Very nice:


Back in the town of Barre to visit another granite carving, this one of Robert Burns (Phyllis can quote some of his books, also amazing):


From Burns to the Bern:


We happened to visit the Vermont Historical Society Museum on a day when all the state parks and facilities were free, nice!  Here's the photo I like the best - balance is the key to many things:


What a fun visit!  Thank you Mom for the idea to come to Vermont for a few days.  It was great spending time with you two, loved it all a lot  :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Vermont with Mom and Phyllis - part 1

Mom's friend Phyllis came to visit her from Wisconsin last week, and Mom asked if I might be available to fly up there to help drive them around Vermont.  My first chauffeur gig!  It was fun, lots of good talking and sightseeing and some excellent places to run.

Middlebury is a great town to wander around.  We stayed one night, and for once I wasn't tired/wet from running in the mountains so I could focus on seeing what was there.

This reminded Mom and Phyllis of Laugh-In, and it certainly made us laugh!


View from the chair:


A more unobstructed view of the pretty waterfall:


Checking out the solar car charging station (including a Tesla charger):


From the top of the waterfall, such a lovely river running through town:


A reference to the phrase "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle":


An early female educator:


Fun sign in a store window:


A rather unusual dog sculpture:


John Deere worked around here, not surprising.  Phyllis said he has a lot of influence in Wisconsin too.


Phyllis is super artistic - she takes photos and turns them into amazing paintings.


The next morning I got to see some of the Middlebury College campus while running around the streets and paths - very pretty (but no camera).  Middlebury was an excellent place for a first stop.

Next stop = the Morgan Horse Farm, yay!

Just as we arrived, this happened (videos and a couple photos courtesy of Phyllis):



That was Zephyr, hello Zephyr!  He is being raffled off, so Mom might win a horse (?!).

One of the other recently-born foals:


A statue of Figure, the very first Morgan Horse:


A horse getting ready for some harness practice:


We were lucky to get to watch this - happily there were so many things going on at the farm today:


Outside watching the horse with its high-stepping hooves:




Another one getting a workout in the barn:


Lots of brushing and grooming (lots of work for the interns and people working there!):


Hello, sweetheart!


What a beautiful place, and a lovely day to visit:


Next we drove up the hill to take a walk on the Robert Frost trail, always a wonderful, peaceful place:


Fitting poems along the way:



"The Road Not Taken", posted where the trail splits, of course:


Ah, it's good to be back in the Green Mountains:


Texas Falls, a neat little waterfall, although not nearly large enough to live up to its name:


Checking out the interesting rock formations and narrow gorge:



Quite the stairway that stops at the edge of a cliff (I think there used to be a bridge):


Just lovely:


Our stop for the night is one of my favorites - the Inn at Long Trail, thank you Mom!


Scrabble version of the Long Trail:


A fitting close to this post - a shamrock on Phyllis's Guinness (thank you to the fun bartender who showed us later how he did that):


Good night!