Thursday, September 14, 2023 - Today, we drove for four hours from Lake George to the Maplewoods Campground near Johnson, Vermont. The day was a beautiful one with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 60s. Lots of back roads (county roads) on this trip, but the quality of the roads was fine. Only one stop for a potty break.
Talking to a camping neighbor, we found out that there had been a pretty bad flood in the town of Johnson recently. Apparently, the area around Johnson received over seven inches of rain in the course of one day. Many of the buildings in Johnson were flooded up to five feet in the buildings while the main grocery store in town had water up to seven feet in the store. The entire store was inundated. We drove to North Hyde Park where Lisa's mother lived at one time. We also drove to Johnson to see what the damage had been from the flood. Clearly, there had been considerable damage to the buildings. Many are still vacant and many have on-going work.
Friday, September 15, 2023 - We took a bike ride of 32 miles on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail from Hyde to a small town named Wolcott where the trail is blocked due to damage to two bridges during the July flood. This is a very nice trail with a firm gravel surface and what seems to be chip seal paving. This is an excellent trail with beautiful views of the Lamoille River and surrounding country.
Saturday, September 16, 2023 - Today we worked on the RV to get ready for our guests; Bob and Charlotte Capp on Monday. We asked Dawn Lefevre, Lisa's cousin, if we could store our kayaks and bikes at her house. She agreed and we began hauling stuff to her house. Dawn had cleared our a small storage shed for our bins and we put our kayaks and bikes under a large tarp next to the shed. We put bars of Irish Spring soap and dryer softener sheets under the tarp to repel small animals. We will be back in three weeks to collect our "stuff" before we move south to the Washington DC area. It took us two loads to take our stuff to Dawn's house.
Sunday, September 17, 2023 - This was a very nice day, so we decided to go for a bike ride on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. This time, we would drive to Johnson and begin our ride there. We parked on a dirt road near the bike path and road northwest on the trail. The trail had been damaged during the July flood, but repairs had been made and we could ride in this direction for 35 miles. The trail is chip seal and gravel in places. The traction is excellent and it is a very easy trail to ride. We ended up going 21 miles out and then 21 miles back for a total of 42 miles for the ride. We went to a town called East Fairfield where we found a small gas station where we could buy some junk food and have a little picnic snack stop. After our "picnic," we began the trip back to Johnson. It is a little more uphill this way, but the grades do not exceed three percent; pretty easy. After the ride, we took our bikes to Dawn's house and put them into storage. WE saw Dawn and her friend who were taking the honey out of two bee hives on the property. This is Dawn's hobby of keeping and raising bees. I managed to get stung just below my right eye, but luckily, I am not allergic to bee stings. We then returned to the RV to relax and have some dinner.
Monday, September 18, 2023 - Today we prepped the guest room for company as Bob and Charlotte Capp are on their way to Johnson from Cooperstown, New York. We expect them to arrive at near 3:00 pm. It is a rainy, dreary day, so this made it nice to stay inside and get things done in the RV. Bob and Charlotte arrived just after 3L00 and it was great to see them. We talked and visited for a couple hours to get back up to speed on what each other had been doing over the last several months. We then had a nice dinner that Lisa prepared and talked some more. We decided to do some local sight-seeing on the next day and then to go for a bike ride on the next day.
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 - Today, we got moving around 10:00 am and had breakfast. We then drove to Smuggler's Notch by way of Johnson, Vermont. Smuggler's Notch is a mountain pass that is very narrow and you can drive a car on the road there, but a semi trailer cannot make it through. It is a rainy day today, so we cannot see too far off into the distance. Historically, goods were smuggled into the United States via this pass during the War of 1812. In the early 1900s, during prohibition, alcohol was smuggled into the United States through this pass. Now it is a tourist location to visit and there is also a ski slope in the area with a gondola.
This drive was a loop starting at our trailer and then going to Smuggler's Notch and then on to the tourist town of Stowe to check out some of the shops downtown. After shopping for a while, we drove to the Cold Mountain Cider Mill for donuts and hot apple cider. The donuts, though small, are very good. We enjoyed the donuts, bought some gifts, and relaxed for a while on their covered deck. After the Cider Mill, we drove to Cabot's Creamery to purchase some cheese. They make some excellent cheeses and I bought a very sharp cheddar cheese along with some cheese sticks of the same cheddar. We then drove over to the Von Trapp Family Lodge. We went into the adventure center, but we decided that it was not in our best interest to pay for the entry fee to the lodge. It was raining and we would not be able to see much of the grounds. After departing the Von Trapp Family Lodge, we drove back to Stowe and on to the RV near Johnson.
We made reservations for dinner at a nice restaurant in Morrisville tonight. We are taking Dawn Lafevre, Lisa's cousin, and her mother, Clara, to dinner. They are stowing our gear at their home while we travel and this is just one way that we can pay them back.