Monday, September 4, 2023

Mary Visits from Virginia

August 17-19, 2023                                                Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground    Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller National Historic Park
St Johnsbury Vermont                              Food and Fun in Early August

My friend Mary braved multiple setbacks to fly up from Virginia to visit me in Vermont.  Unfortunately for her, the rain didn’t take the break I was hoping for during her visit.  But it wasn’t all rained out.  We just had to work around it. 



Mary had a list of things she’d wanted to do and we tried to squeeze as many as we could into her 5 day visit.

On Thursday August 17, we drove south to see Queechee Gorge.  I had written about this when I was in Vermont previously.  The Gorge is sadly only visible from a bridge over the river on a heavily traveled road.

I’m assuming that because of some foolish people jumping, the chain link fence was put up and partially over the road on both sides.

But since my last visit they had cut some “camera holes” into it so you could take pictures of what we wished we could see unimpeded.


The Gorge is definitely beautiful and I so wished there were another more wild way to view it.  These are the views the fence camera holes provided with the ever present dark rain clouds threatening.



I had hoped we would be able to take the trail down into the gorge as I had done previously.  But these pictures in the Visitor’s Center showed us why the trail was closed.  It sustained severe damage from the June flooding.


We continued on into Woodstock stopping at the tiny nearly impossible to find and totally unhelpful visitors center.  We could find no where to park so we could walk around the town without paying $2 an hour which seemed completely UNtourist friendly and even more so to the folks who live in the town itself. 

So we drove to the Billings Farm parking lot and stopped in to see the film I mentioned in my previous post (link above).  It was as good the second time and Mary enjoyed it.

From there we walked into Woodstock.  It was a very lovely walk down the little streets but unfortunately we had chosen a restaurant billed as “the favorite of the locals” for lunch  Unfortunately because it was impossible to get to without walking on a narrow busy road with no sidewalks. 

I had earlier invited my friend Jody, who lives nearby, to join us for lunch so he was at the restaurant at the point we realized we were going to need a ride.  He supplied it, we had a mediocre meal and Jody returned us to my car.  Thanks SO much for rescuing us.

Once at the car we drove back into Woodstock and parked legally or illegally on the street to check out a few of the stores Mary wanted to visit.  Still raining.   No pictures of this portion of our day.


On Friday, we woke up to rain so we decided to drive to some covered bridges.  We could jump in and out of the car to see them.



The view of the water below was lovely though only visible if you were walking through.


We later found that the 5 bridges in the Lyndonville area are all of the same style.


The wood working inside was quite intricate.


Another lovely view.   This bridge has a trail leading into the town from it but the rain discouraged us from any hiking.



We went back to St Johnsbury and picked up a town walking map just in case we should have a couple of dry hours here in which to use it.   We did stop into the Athenaeum so Mary could see the beautiful library.

We were able to go up to Dog Mountain and visit the chapel and the gift shop but it was too wet to do any hiking.



Mary is a big time movie aficionado so we decided that the thing to do on a rainy late afternoon was to go to the movies.   I’d already seen Oppenheimer so we opted for Barbie.   What WERE we thinking?   Let’s just say we were not fans though I must say I did laugh at some seriously outrageous parts and  I cheered on the anti Barbie daughter’s lines.   Not sure Mary even cracked a smile.  Neither of us understands why it is so highly reviewed.   Have you seen it?  What did you think?

Milk House

We had popcorn at the theater (the best part of the movie) and ice cream at the Milk House afterwards and called it dinner.   That’s one of the best things about being “Grown Up” particularly if you have no one for whom you have to set an example of good nutrition.


Saturday was a chilly Drizzly day with a high of only 66.  We started out the day with a trip to the farmer’s market for the famous Cinnamon Rolls with Raspberry Cream Cheese icing which we brought home and called breakfast.

Despite the off again on again drizzle, we drove up to Lake Willoughby, a beautiful Glacial Lake .   It is the deepest lake in Vermont exceeding 300 feet.   The lake is spring rather than river fed and therefore much clearer than most lakes. 


The lake was not showing itself to greatest advantage under the dark threatening skies.


We were lucky enough to run into this scuba diving couple just getting their gear on to go into Lake Willoughby.

They are professionals and have been diving in this extremely cold glacial lake many times.   They told us they have seen glacial rocks as big as houses.   Their wet suits were so intricate that no water at all could get in between the sleeves and the gloves.  I wonder now what they did about their faces.


They put tanks down on the shore and carried two on their backs when they climbed down.  I wish we could have been there when they resurfaced.  But that would be hours from now.


From there we set off to hike the South Lake Loop Trail of 2.1 miles.



I wonder what it is about this sign that they didn’t see??


Lake Willoughby is often described as “a glacial gash between two fjord-like mountains in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.”  Sounds beautiful and it is.  I took these two pictures on our hike today.



This is what we would have seen on a sunny day.

Lake Willoughby (East Burke) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

But, you can’t control the weather.


When we arrived back, I headed over to Bingo.   Mary declined in favor of fixing herself a late lunch sandwich. 


Happy Happy, I won one of the “special” games and got a box of Pancake Mix (which only takes water!) and a bottle of Maple Syrup from St. Johnsbury’s Maple Grove Farm.


We have more adventures coming up when we visit Stowe, Ben and Jerry’s and The Flume.


  1. How nice of you to show Mary around Vermont. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate, but it looks like you had a lovely time!

    1. We did have a good time Laurie. It was fun to take her to places I have been.

  2. Love all those trusses on the covered bridges, there is so much complexity and so may different kinds. I also wish you would send me one of the cinnamon rolls in the next half hour or so, beam it here. I am hungry! Not a good time to look at THAT photo. Isn't it frustrating when a well reviewed restaurant turns out to be meh?! And, I went to see Barbie with my daughter after many friends said it wasn't what you might expect. I loved it, Deb loved it, and we even got teary at a few of the mother daughter comments. We both LOVED the long monologue by that dark haired actress. We loved the subversive references to the complexity of being a woman in this world, and the difficulty of being a man and trying to figur out your place in the world as it is now. It spoke to Deb to the mother of a son who is 40 and kinda lost. It spoke to me as the mother of daughters who have surpassed me in so many ways, as it should be. And. I loved the dancing and the costumes and the wild and crazy colors. It was a great escape for both of us on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I am sorry you didn't see it the same way. It wasn't at all politically correct, but it was fun and artistic and a good movie. It was entertaining without being like all those stupid comic book movies that I refuse to go see. Yes, Mo and I also saw Oppenheimer, and it was entertaining in a completely different way. So, there you have it. You asked for an opinion and you got it. LOL

    1. Really loved your opinion Sue and I can see a lot of validity in much of it. Perhaps I have just always had such a negative attitude toward Barbie and felt the movie may have tried to do too much. Though it was laugh out loud funny at points. So grateful that you put such a detailed comment. Can't thank you enough.

  3. Enjoyed the pics of the Gorge. Hope all is well.

    1. Great to see you in the comments Chris. All is pretty well with me and I hope with you too.

  4. Wow, quite the photos and story here Sherry...I appreciate the camera hole-in-the-wall the fence, quite a scenery of the gorgeous.
    Absolutely L❤️VE the covered bridges too, and the signs and the dogs at the chapel are hilarious.
    Now, the fjord, WOWSERS!! That is such an awesome sight, both as you seen it and in sunlight!!!
    Can't exactly be surprised with the campers at this point, not sure much surprises me at all in this day and age, unfortunately...
    And I can NEVER have too much maple syrup, miss cooking it up on the property.
    Thanks again for taking us on your journey, have a blessed holiday!

    1. Scenery of the "gorge" obviously, despite what spell check thought...

    2. Thanks for your wonderful comment shane. You don't have to do a correction. I know what you meant.

  5. What a great tour guide you are!! Despite the weather you’ve fit in many adventures. I’ve not see Barbie but everyone that has , truly loves it .I’m anxious to hear about Stowe

    1. That's a wonderful compliment Jackie thank you so much.

  6. There is no way I was going to see Barbie, but now that I read Sue's comment I think I have to see it, LOL!!! But we will probably wait until it comes to Netflix or Amazon or whatever.
    How fun that your good friend Mary came to see you! Despite the less than perfect weather, it sounds like you had a great time together. And it sounds like you both have the same idea of fun indulgences for meals so there's no judgement or anyone whining about not enough vegetable, haha!!

    1. I too have an anti Barbie attitude so maybe I didn't give it a fair shake. I think mostly neither one of us wanted to cook or we were too tired and too hungry.

  7. Be glad you’re on the road today (Tuesday). There is a Heat Advisory with temperatures in the upper 90s. Along with the accompanying humidity, “… can be dangerous to your health”.

    I removed my window A/C unit last week - obviously too soon. Based on the forecast, I’ll be reinstalling this morning.

    Glad you called me while stuck in Woodstock. Happy to help. You’ve motivated me to look into Ubering…..!

    Safe driving and enjoy Florida while there. It’ll be interesting with all the climate changes.

    1. I'm assuming that rather than Jidy this is from Jody. 😁
      Uber might definitely be a money making opportunity for you But not sure Sparky could come along. Florida is a ways down the road at this point. More hurricanes and there may not be a Florida to go to.

  8. Nope, no Barbie movie for me. At least you had popcorn to soften the lousy story in the film. How in the world this movie has made so much money is beyond me. Somebody is laughing all the way to the bank, without my money of course! :cD

    1. There seem to be 2 sides to this Barbie story and it's like the republicans and the democrats. You hated or you love it. If I hadn't disliked it so much I might see it again just to try to look at it through Sue's eyes.

  9. I won't see Barbie, but Matthew's cousin saw it and loved it. Thought it was hilarious and entertaining. Different strokes for different folks. Pretty Gorge. You definitely showed Mary a good time n Vermont despite the rain!


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