As you know, we’ve been working hard on the Bott Lott all summer long. Talking to some friends of ours we found out they were heading to Vermont, a mere 6.5 hour drive from us, to explore the area and since Vermont is a state we had not seen as of yet and we had not seen our friends in a little while, we decided to take 12 days and hang out and explore right along with them.
First of all, our friends found Abel Mountain Campground in Braintree, Vermont. It is located right on a small river and centrally located which therefore made a perfect base camp for our day trips around Vermont. Run by a very nice family, they have very large sites, easily accommodating a big rig. Their sites are huge! You really are not on top of your neighbors here. There were however some downfalls that was more or less really Vermont related. They have some lovely sites by the river however, we could not get AT&T nor Verizon cell phones to work down by the waterside even in the WeBoost Sleek booster. No satellite tv either as were were too close to the mountain. Their Wi-Fi was ok when we were able to connect but that was spotty. David did try to help them and was able to see it was a combination of Comcast having issues on and off and a bad Wi-Fi access point or two. (The park owner were great and contacted there Wi-Fi “guy” and relayed his information. So we hope the Wi-Fi guy will be able to help them.)
So, we ended up moving our sites up on a hilltop area (which was a little steep climb for a big rig but doable) and we were able to get both AT&T and Verizon working and as a bonus, we were able to get satellite tv up there. LOL, though not sure how. We must have been just crossing over the tip of the mountain. As you can see from the above pictures, our satellite dish is pointing pretty much sideways. It really looked like it was hitting the mountain. Abel Mountain Campground sits between two mountains, therefore, cell service and satellite tv can be tricky. But we know the secret now is to be on the hilltop and also away from the tree line. Once we were set up on the hilltop we were mostly good to go. Just don’t move too far away from the booster when on a call. (Hint…leave phone in the booster and use your bluetooth headset.)
Here’s a video that David did of Abel Mountain Campground. You can really see the size of these sites well.
Side note: After exploring Vermont, we’ve discovered that cell service is spotty everywhere. You see, Vermont is very mountainous. Not the typical out west size mountains, but very hilly in it’s own right. So depending on where you are, you may not have service. Even going down the highway with your phone in a booster. So keep that in mind when looking to go to Vermont.
We had 12 days to explore this countryside. Vermont is very beautiful no matter what time of year you may go. I can totally see why people would be drawn to the area in the fall for leaf peeping season. That would be incredible. We found that this time of year things were not as crowded though.
I had some great days of exploring and shopping with my girlfriend and some days the boys joined us. Because let’s face it, what guy is going to want to go to Basketville? I apologize if that sounds fun to you but to our husband’s, they were more than happy to let us go there by ourselves and leave them to fend for themselves that day.
They were more than happy to part-take in the wine that we brought back from said store however. Yes, Vermont has wineries. This I did not know as I typically don’t think of Vermont as “wine country”. Some of their wines are the typical grape based but others are fruit based and ohhh sooo yummy. Let’s just say that our basement area of our motor home is pretty packed now and I’ll leave it at that ;)
Whats the wine you may ask other than yummy? It is a little place called Putney Mountain Winery and they produce fruit based wines from cranberries, rhubarb, etc.. There is one wine called “Cassis” that is more of a dessert wine that comes in small bottles and is, well, really, really good. The downside, they do not ship and they also produce small quantities. Thus the amount we took back with us. (Let’s just say…by case full after case full.)
Another Vermont staple is the Vermont Country Store. You may remember your mother receiving these catalogs when you were a kid or maybe you still receive them. They were and still are very popular. There are a few locations to choose from. We ended up going to the Weston store as that was on our route after Basketville. The Weston store was a good choice. It was huge! We also planned ahead as it was lunchtime and the Weston location has Mildred’s Dairy Bar. All I have to say is…YUM! This was a great lunch stop. Great grass fed burgers and hand cut fries. Oh my! My girlfriend and I gave this a definite two thumbs up. Oh…and they have really good ice cream too. Not that I would know or anything. Wink wink. Too bad the boys didn’t want to come with us this day. They would have had a great lunch.
No trip to Vermont is complete without going to visit some sugarhouses. What is a sugarhouse you say? Well, it’s a building where maple syrup is produced.
Vermont is the #1 producer of maple syrup in the Unites States. Although maple syrup is not tapped and produced until the late winter and early springtime, you can visit these sugarhouses year round.
I highly recommend that you do. Not only do you learn about the process of producing maple syrup but you also get to taste samples.
Fun Fact: There are 4 distinct classes or grades of maple syrup. Golden Color, Amber Color, Dark Color and Very Dark Color. Some are better for baking and others are better for pancakes and waffles and such. Who knew?! Well I sure didn’t.
In our sugarhouse adventures, we went to three different places. In the taste testing of the maple syrup from each place, it was amazing to me the differences. I never really knew there was such a distinctive difference in flavor. One sugarhouse, Morse Farm, is said to be the oldest sugarhouse around. They bring 200 years experience to the table. Their maple syrup tasted nuttier to me. Not my favorite.
The next was Bragg Farm. They bring 8 generations of producers of this golden goodness. Their syrup had more of a buttery flavor. This is what, I feel, tastes best on pancakes and waffles. Yum! Of course we ended up buying some syrup from Bragg Farm.
Our last visit was to Sugarbush Farms. Located on 550 acres in mid-southern Vermont, they also produce of their own cheese (as many farms in Vermont do). In fact they were the first farm in Vermont to package their cheese in wax for easier transportation without needing refrigeration. The boys were with us on this trip and somehow we ended up buying more syrup and yes, some cheese as well. Humm…I wonder how that happened.
In hopes of not making this post too long (too late, sorry), I am breaking it up into two different posts. So this will be where I end our Vermont adventure for now.
You know the saying…
…Always leave them wanting more.
In this case, I hope you are wanting pancakes and have some great maple syrup to go with them.
I know I certainly do!
Wow, Lets see, pancake and waffle supper followed by wine,cheese and crackers at the fireside. Am I close, Brenda and David
While wrapped in a Vermont Flannel Company blanket but that will be in part two….Shhhh.
Sounds like a fun place to visit. We’ve been through Vermont but camped in New Hampshire at Mollidgewock State Park at one of their remote sites! It was a beautiful location and very private. We had our tent trailer at the time, so it was truly camping. At night we would go for “Moose Drives” as we were only miles from the Candian Border. We would see many each night. It is AMAZING how big they really are!! My kids are all adults now and they have a vivid memory of that!
We are in Oklahoma City visiting our son and 2 grandkids (ages 5 & 7) right now and will probably be here another couple weeks before we move on. Plus I had unexpected knee surgery 2 weeks ago here! Was lucky enough to find an outstanding doctor and after only 15 days I have almost no pain! Can’t enjoy the sites if I can’t walk!!
Have you seen any moose in Vermont?
Love hearing about your adventures. We will make a point to head northeast once we visit family in Washington state and California.
Thanks for the updates.
Jeff & Susan Gibbs
Alas we did not see any moose on this trip. Our friends however continued there trek into Maine while we headed back to Southwoods RV Resort in NY, and they did eventually see moose.
Went Vermont several years ago, loved the country store.Love your blog especially your video’s. God bless and safe travels. Bob in Md
As a native Vermonter I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed my home state! We actually just arrived back here for a visit after three years away and one of the first things I noticed was the lack of cell service – I did not miss that! Glad that you hit up some sugar houses. We had a small one in our back yard when I was growing up and there was nothing like spending a cold March day watching the sap boil. Can’t wait to read part two and hear what else you did!
Great video and blog entry, guys! Ana and I hope to make it to Vermont one day as well. It’s quite a ways away from San Diego so it’s going to be a bucket list item for us :-)
My husband and I want to go full-time but selling our home is standing in the way. Currently a Bed and breakfast. http://www.georgiaredbarn.com. The day after closing we are on the road full time.
I wanted to ask you one thing… When you were at Tiffin were there any other options besides carpet? We have 4 tiny babies with 4 legs and we hate carpet.
Sandra and Lynn
Hi…The carpet is on the slide out and there is not really a lot of it. Seeing the underside of the slide it exposed to outside vs having the cargo bay under it, it will be colder and the carpet helps with this when sitting at the table. If it were say hardwood, I fear it may be too cold in the winter months and the colder nights. But no, there is no option for this.
I spent the second half of last summer volunteering at Quechee State Park, after Escapade ended. On days off, I explored Vermont, and I totally love the state. It was great reading your descriptions and the only place I didn’t see was the Von Trapp place. Another observation about Vermont is the lack of billboards and obnoxious signage. This increases the wow factor of Vermont’s beauty. I really noticed the difference when driving in the neighboring states.
By the way, my home area is the Dakotas, so the curvy, forested mountain roads were a daily adventure and I was grateful for the GPS!
Hi Deb. Yes, we really enjoyed exploring Vermont as well. As far as not seeing any post on the Von Trapp place, we did explore that area in part two of our Vermont trip. Safe travels!