Whoo Hoo is right. I’ve been here now for over a week although this post is only going to cover my first 4 days. There has been a lot of rain but still enough time to get out and do things and best of all the temperatures have been fantastic. 50’s at night and in the 70’s during the day. So fine!!
David and I mostly stayed in State Parks, Federal Parks and COE parks rather than private campgrounds. Those places only allow a two week stay. And that’s what I still do most of the time. Lately reservations have gotten pretty difficult – actually they have gotten nearly impossible. So I’m doing something that we did a bit in the past.During summers near Acadia and Great Smokey Mountains National Parks, we would stay for a month or in two cases two months in one place at private campgrounds. This summer I have one month reserved at two different campgrounds in two different sections of the state of Vermont. For July I’m in what the locals call The Northeast Kingdom. I’m staying at Moose River Campground in St. Johnsbury Vermont.
In private campgrounds, the sites are closer together than in nearly all state or federal facilities. You can see that above.
But these sites are all on the Moose River.
How’s this for water front property?
I can sit in my chair and listen to the river and watch the ducks get swept on down. Though they sometimes get out to munch on the grass in the campground.
National Parks have many great nature and environmental programs and hikes. Some state parks do too. Private parks tend to have things like pickle ball, bingo and in this case a weekly ice cream truck. It comes around in a golf cart with music like the good humor man and they give out the ice cream treat of your choice – all free. It’s too funny. Take a look at the video.
There have also been several bonfires since I’ve been here. They blaze brightly and I can see them from my front window into the dark which doesn’t happen until nearly 9pm here.
On Saturday mornings from 9 to 1:00, there is a Farmer’s Market in St. Johnsbury so I drove in to check it out. It was small but there was a nice variety of foods and baked goods, maple syrup of course, cheese and more.
I picked up tomatoes and kale here.
And a coconut macaroon here.
From there I walked over to the Main Street and stopped at the bookstore. Those of you who have been with me a while know that I always stop in libraries and independent book stores. I’m a bibliophile and don’t wish to be cured.
I love that there is no Barnes & Noble or other big box book stores in town or anywhere nearby. They don’t even have chairs in many of them any more.
I took a seat and spent a pleasant 30 minutes or so looking through the Vermont books. I was looking for some on Covered Bridges and Waterfalls.
They had a section devoted to outdoor Vermont and I found a book on Covered Bridges but nothing on waterfalls. Yes I could have gotten it less expensively on Amazon but that wouldn’t help this small town avoid the decline that I saw in the once thriving Castleton-on-Hudson N.Y. Despite what too many people think and say, it isn’t all about money.
Back to the campground for afternoon Bingo. We played 9 rounds at $1.00 a game. If you won, you got half the pot and the other half went to the local animal shelter. Today was my lucky day, I won THREE games which turned out to mean that I paid for all my games and had some money to take home. I like bingo! In the picture I’m the one in the back who looks bleached out by the sun.
At 5:00 the pot luck started and everyone including me ate WAY too much. They had cooked delicious roast beef in huge outdoor cookers all afternoon and we were smelling it during bingo.
Not sure where the rules came from but the owner of the campground said we had to wear gloves and masks in the food line but not at our tables if we didn’t want to. Which no one did.
It rained during bingo and the potluck which didn’t matter since both were under the pavilion. I thought this doggie outfit was a raincoat but then it didn’t make sense if his back was exposed. Anyway I though it was interesting.
I celebrated the 4th of July by going on a tour of 6 covered bridges. Vermont has over 100 but I doubt more than a third of them are within 75 miles of me. I mapped it out so I could go in a circle from one to the other.
The first one was the only Railroad bridge. Fisher Bridge was built in 1908 but is not in use any more. It’s still located in its original spot. You pull off the road into a small parking lot and walk the path up to the bridge.
Pieces of track still lead in and through the bridge. I know it’s tall enough and it might also be wide enough for Winnona to go through.
Looking through and out the end of the bridge.
I drove on to Powerhouse bridge, built in 1872, and was in for a neat surprise.
As you can see, this bridge is still in use. Fine for Ruby but at 8’ 9” tall not so fine for most RVs
The view out the window shows the lovely Gihon River here in Johnson Village Vermont and some very nice cascades out the opposite window.
Once you go through the bridge, there is a pull out where a few cars can park.
I did and found there was a little picnic area.
Further investigation led to these stairs.
And at the bottom. . .
Needless to say I sat down and stayed for a while. I hated to leave but I wasn’t even half way through my bridge tour.
River Road Bridge was built in 1910. It too is still in use.
Ruby and I drive through on our way to Scribner Bridge.
Scribner Bridge is on Rocky Road and boy is it. The road to the bridge turns off in front of a severely neglected house and barn. Such a shame since the view of a covered bridge out your front window would be great. Though the bridge is still in its original location also over the Gihon River, you can no longer drive through it.
The views of the river from in side the bridge are lovely with little eddies right next to the bridge.
This is the view out the opposite side window.
Coming back through the bridge you can see the sad old farm house.
A profusion of beautiful day lilies was in front of the old house.
On I go.
Built in 1881, this bridge is called The Lord’s Creek Bridge but it goes over the Black River. Perhaps that’s because in 1958 Dairy Farmer Joseph Leblond moved the bridge to his farm where he isn’t taking very good care of it. I guess the county or state didn’t value covered bridges back then and if they wanted to build an updated bridge they just wanted to get rid of the old one.
Looking out to the water something moving caught my eye.
Turned out to be a family of Common Mergansers.
They look dark in the above picture. It was great to watch them wheel around in the moving water.
My last bridge for the day was Orne Bridge. It was built in 1879 but destroyed by arson on Halloween 1997 and rebuilt 1999-2000. What a terrible thing. I hope the person responsible was adequately punished. Hung up by his thumbs? Put to work on covered bridge maintenance every week-end for a year. I am glad to know that whoever the powers that be, they valued the bridge enough to rebuild it.
One side of the bridge has large windows and the other does not. I didn’t think to check to see if this was the south side and the one with smaller windows higher up was on the north. That would be smart for protecting in winter and allowing at least some sun in summer.
Ruby and I drove into the bridge from this curve in the road.
This was the view we had coming through. The road is dirt on both sides. See the small windows opposite the large ones.
The view from the bridge of the Black River was lovely. Wildflowers lined the bank.
It was interesting that all the bridges were so different. I have more to see and wonder if I’ll be able to remember these well enough to compare with future ones.
It’s been a great first 4 days in Vermont. But this is the only Moose I’ve seen and he’s in the Campground all the time..