Sunday, 30 September 2012

Autumn in New England: Part 3

Blueberry Inn
 A hearty breakfast at the Churchill House Inn started the day, with cottage cheese pancakes and maple syrup being the high point. What else will be remembered about our stay? Doors that wouldn't shut, shower taps that were a puzzle to make work and the welcome of mine host's Russian wife (as warm as a Siberian winter at the start but thawing to spring over breakfast - we never quite got to summer!). But our bed was extremely comfortable, the room was warm and the food was excellent (the chocolate cake was particularly notable).

After breakfast we met with our guide for the week (Mary-Lou) and took stock of our options for the day. The weather forecast was not good: in fact it was raining as we met. We decided that we'd spend the morning being tourists and then, if the afternoon weather was better, we'd take a walk. And this is what we did:

1. A brief visit to an iron furnace from the mid-1800s. Given the number of iron mining artefacts we've seen on Dartmoor, it was fascinating to be able to make comparisons with what was going on in the UK at around the same time.
2.  Short visit to Brandon (charming little down with lots of interesting buildings in the vernacular style).
3.  Short visit to Middlebury (good farmers' market with some excellent produce and friendly traders, cooperative market store with an impressive range of foods and a picnic lunch in the town centre).
4. Thence a 4 mile walk in the woods of the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury).
5. And throughout all this we had an expert commentary from our guide. She really does know this part of the world.

From there, with Carl in the driver's seat, we drove to our next overnight stop, the Blueberry Inn at (or near) Ripton. Another good inn with yet another over indulgent meal! And so, dear reader, to bed.

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