Saturday, October 16, 2021

Wandering Around in Vermont

August 9, 2021                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Camping on the Battenkill                          The Trail to Lake Paran Take Two
Arlington Vermont                                       The Bridges of Bennington County

One of the things I love about being on the road is that there is always something new to do every day.  Some days, like today, surprises show up.

IMG_9055First off I wanted to check out Bullhead Pond to see if it was a potential kayak spot since it is only about 12 miles north just beyond Manchester.

I was amazed to get this shot of an overhead fisherman.

I determined that Bullhead was very small but had an easy put in so I would return one morning for a quiet paddle.  From there I headed further north to Lake St Catherine’s State Park another 26 miles to Poultney Vermont.

Lake Saint Catherine’s is, the opposite of Bullhead, it’s a very big lake – 852 acres.  The 117 acre state park is on one end and there are private homes all along further down.  It’s definitely large enough for interesting kayaking.  I didn’t see any power boats today but there must be on week ends at least.

I was surprised to find so few people here today but it was early yet.

I took the trail from the beach area to the 50 site campground.





At one end of the campground is a very adequate boat launch but they do not allow parking in the lot so I’m not sure what folks with large boats and trailers do even if they are staying in the campground.

I’d have to drive the kayak here, drop it off, drive the car back to the main lot and then walk back here.  Could be done.

Notice the small white building on the far side shore of the lake.

It appears to be a very interesting private home.  For sure I’ll come back and kayak here and check it out from the water.


Walking around the campground I found several lovely sites large enough for Winnona.  The problem would be figuring out how to get here without going through the multiple round abouts in Manchester.  I could do it, but I’d rather not.  And of course there are no hook ups here.


Back at the beach, more people had shown up.  I got my beach chair and, down by the water, ate the lunch I’d packed.  I then asked about launching the kayak on the beach and was told that would be fine.  It would be a bit of trouble to get it from the parking lot to the shore but it’s doable and easier than the boat launch.   I’m looking forward to returning.


On my trip back, I drove through the small village of Wells and it was so cute and so Vermont that I stopped and took these pictures.

The Wells United Methodist Church has what looks like a golden dome.  Pretty fancy

Unfortunately for me the little town library was closed at 1pm today.

IMG_9081 Wells Library

Another picturesque church was Wells Episcopal. I noticed that both are simply nearly identical small buildings of approximately the same size and shape but differently ornamented.  And always white.

Luckily every village has a country store.  That’s no longer true in Virginia.  Many of the wonderful small country stores have been forced to close.  Notice the extended entry to keep the cold winter weather out before entering the real door to the store.


Driving down Route 30 back toward Manchester I passed this large pristine road heading into the hills and thought, what a great picture of Vermont.


What I didn’t know until I looked at the pictures was that a heart had been mowed into the field. 


Isn’t it sweet?  I just never know what I’m going to find.  I wonder if down the road is a wedding venue.  If there was a sign, I didn’t take a photograph of it and this far removed can’t remember.  A serious problem when I get so far behind on my posts.

IMG_9124Driving down Route 30 just south of Dorset I found another surprise.  I saw a large parking lot which I thought might belong to a park, maybe hiking trails. 

So I pulled in and found there was a gatekeeper charging $15 to park for the day to visit the Dorset Quarry.  The attendant, Gary, was kind enough to let me pull in and look around at no charge.  I learned from the sign he’s pointing to that between 1785 and 1926 more than two dozen quarries in South and East Dorset produced more than 15 million cubic feet of marble from the Shelbourne Marble Formation and employed as many as 300. 

I climbed the small hill to take a look.


What a surprise.  I was amazed at the size of the blocks.  A water playground.




IMG_9117This quarry is recognized as the first marble quarry in the United States.  At first the quarries on the slopes of Dorset Mountain provided small blocks for lintels, hearths, doorsills and headstones but by 1839 they were supplying larger blocks used in the construction of buildings such as the New York Public Library, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Harvard Medical School.  Demand for marble decreased in the early 20th century and Dorset quarries ceased operation in 1920.  The quarry has been a popular swimming hole since 1922.

Based on the screams from those jumping in when they hit the water, it is VERY COLD!  I noticed that few people stayed in the water very long, but I’m betting the marble heats up nicely in the sun so they can warm up.


Really looks like fun doesn’t it?


IMG_9118Gary told me the quarry has gone through many owners and had been left overgrown, gated and in serious disrepair until recently when the new owner cleaned it up and reopened it.  No small task or expense according to Gary.

Clearly folks are having a great time.  At first I thought the $15 was mighty high and it is for a solo person like me but others can bring a car full of people and spend the day as many were doing.    What great fun and a great spot for families and teens during the summer.

IMG_9125On my way back through Manchester I stopped at Nature’s Market to pick up a few things not available in the regular grocery store especially some vegan sour cream for Pam’s Mushroom Stroganoff which I love.  I was thrilled to find that unlike everywhere else I’d been, they had it.

I’m not a wine drinker but they had what looked to me like a huge inventory of organic wines.


Last stop of the afternoon was at Cold Cow Creamery where I paid what I thought was the outrageous sum of $7.50 for two scoops of ice cream.  They were doing a brisk business on this mid 80’s afternoon.  High temps for Vermont and again today VERY HUMID.



I thought this would be my first and only stop at Cold Cow Creamery until I saw this sign.


As I left this Oldsmobile Toronado pulled in.  What a color!  That can’t be an original color. Can it?  If you are a car buff, and know the answer, let me know.   David would have loved this so I took its picture and post it here in his honor and for you Roger.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, what I love about being on the road is all the things I see and experience both expected and unexpected.  Though I really miss having someone to share it all with which is one of the reasons I so appreciate your comments.


  1. Very Educational. Enjoyed your pics.

  2. One extreme to another. The parking is dumb at Lake St Catherine’s for launching. House looks like a lighthouse. That's different. The whole area is so cute and downhome looking. Love the mowed heart. Glad you got to see the quarry briefly at no charge. I'll bet that water goes deep and thus so cold. Bonus on top of ice cream was finding a lobster roll. Hope you returned for that. I love how you find these off the beaten path places.

    1. Finding the off-the-beaten-path things is what I love the most. I thought that house looked like a lighthouse as well and can't imagine climbing all those stairs that it must take. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I am agog at the prices on ice cream that I have been seeing. Have always been a lukewarm fan of ice cream, so it doesn't affecting me much, but golly . . .

    My husband had been a Talenti fan for many years, but very tasty Tillamook ice cream is frequently on sale for less than $3. for a 1.5-quart sized container.

    1. Agog is exactly right about the prices Judilyn. I thought that about Ben & Jerry's when I was there too. Unfortunately I am a serious ice cream lover.

  4. So pretty and green - bet it's full of many colors now. Those churches do look like the same building with different hats! Maybe it's the marble but that water really looks cold, even in August. Such a great place to spruce up for the local families to enjoy. I love small country stores, my favorite is in Cabot, VT!

    1. The water really was cold Jodee. I could tell by the looks on the faces of people when they got in.

  5. Always something interesting to see. Yikes, Ice cream sure is expensive. Swimming quarry looked like fun. Just reminds me, I don't jump off stuff little that anymore.

    1. I thought the Quarry looked like fun too and might well have jumped if I were dressed for it but it looked so cold I don't think I could have.

  6. It is a Very! Small world. Alan and Jeanne own that property and Alan mowed that heart into his field to surprise Jeanne on their wedding day. Today, the 15th is their anniversary. I'll send you a picture

    1. Small world is right Sue. I'm amazed that you actually knew the place and the guy who mowed the heart and even more that today is their 15th anniversary. She sounds like a lucky girl.

    2. no, married in 2014. so that makes it their 6th. but still a fairy tale, for sure.

  7. Love the green of New England. CA is so dry and brown, at least here in Central coast. Glad Sue knew the story of the heart, definitely a small world!

    1. Everyone from the West loves the green of New England Laurie. And the New Englanders all wish they could send some of the rain to you.

  8. I remember stopping at that little store near Manchester in 2005 when my daughter and I were returning to Canada. It was probably the only place where we could find nice vegan offerings.

    1. How wonderful that you have actually been in that great little store. I should have stopped and gone in but then I might not have been able to see the other things I saw a later in the day.

  9. I've often thought exactly what you said, Sherry—what I love most about being on the road are the unexpected joys that every day brings. I have to be more conscious at home to stay 'awake' to the joys of everyday life. The heart in the grass you discovered is so sweet.

    1. I thought the heart was so sweet too Laurel and loved when Sue told me the story. It does seem a little harder to 'stay awake' in a place you are very familiar with.

  10. Love the photo of the bird! What kind is it? The buildings (churches) look so pristine- all white. That one house looks like a castle. I would love to see what it looks like inside AND they have a fabulous view of the water. No jumping off high spots for me, thank you. The icecream is expensive. I got one scoop of chocolate raspberry at the beach and it was over $6.00. If you want to make money at the beach, sell ice cream or tee shirts. So did you come back for the lobster roll? Given the size of those marble blocks, were they long enough to make kitchen counter? I can't imagine how expensive it would have been to transport enough marble to build a building. Love the heart in the field. I remember when David mowed a labyrinth for you. xxxooo

    1. It's hard for me to know for sure from underneath Pam but I think it's a red shouldered hawk. Maybe a better birder will comment. Those blocks were plenty long enough for kitchen counters. What a wonderful memory of the labyrinth David mowed in the lower field. Thank you for it.

  11. Didn't know there was lobster roll ice cream. I have to try that and the patty melt ice cream too. :cD

    1. I thought that was also interesting Paul given that their overwhelming business was ice cream.

  12. I missed this one! Neat post. You saw so many neat things. The heart is a sweet story. So good of Pam to remember the labyrinth Dad mowed and o interesting that Sue knew who mowed the heart. Wow! Glad you got to see the quarry for free. Made up for that expensive, but yummy looking ice cream.

  13. I am catching up. These churches are beautiful and that is a quarry where I might actually swim. It was very well done.


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