Oh my the leaves are EARLY this year! It's been a year since I posted this, but the info still holds true. Have fun and be careful! KC
HURRY HURRY HURRY!!! Only DAYS left of the spectacular Fall Foliage season!
Here is a tour route that is pleasant all year long...
Crapola...a combination of a very rainy summer and a sharp cold early fall, has caused an early turn of the foliage this year. Time is running out for the best views!
BENNINGTON TO BRATTLEBORO ROUTE 9
(MOLLY STARK BYWAY)
Take a RIGHT out of 1896 HOUSE Driveway (Route 7 NORTH) and stay on this road until you get to the Williamstown rotary. Take 7 NORTH which is a left turn at the end of the rotary.
Follow this road into Vermont, which is only a few minutes away. The Racetrack in Pownal has beautiful mountain ranges around it. There are County Fairs, Car Shows and other events held here during the rest of the year.There are fun little shops to browse in, like the Pownal View Barn and Vermont Furniture Shop.
Artworks Gallery has a lot of interesting (neato!) art pieces and original works, many created from recycled trash! Check out their record album clocks and bowls and those really funny metal statues of cartoonish demons. I love their ice cream stand too. Only a handful of flavors, but so 'delish! Their fab ice cream is made in small batches in someone's house, so is really rich! There's a great farm up a little further on the left. Get that pumpkin or Indian Corn bunch for the front door.
Really cool inexpensive ghords ...some very nobby-creepy ones too! I love the stacked pumpkins in their patch across the street. You have to stop at The APPLE BARN...
They have oodles of cool apple products, pumpkins, homemade breads, fudge, candy,
maple and honey products, wine ...and bags of apples of course. Homemade-Canned vegetables and jams too.
Gosh what a bakery! I always get 2 apple cider donuts (perfect food!) when I stop in. If you are there when there's a FRESH batch straight from the oven still warm, it is REALLY heavenly!
I love their funny assortment of refrigerator magnets and mugs, and they have t-shirts and stuffed toys too.
Get your pic taken over at the funny face bear cart, or hang with a scarecrow.
Look for the ROBO-MOOSE Statue in front of the car repair garage on the right as you get into Bennington.
There is a Moose painting project in Bennington...(to be auctioned in late October). It is fun to see how creative people got with a plain white moose statue. There are males, females and babies, all painted quite uniquely and scattered all around town in front of various stores & businesses.
Downtown Bennington is a great "walk-about" place. Full of restaurants, artsy shops and is as close to a "city" as you get" 'round these parts " for those that need an urban "fix".
Love the street art bears and other creatures I discovered. Hey, gas is real cheap up here! Take a RIGHT here art the first stoplight, which is ROUTE 9 EAST.
Follow this road for 48 miles...Route 9 is also called THE MOLLY STARK BYWAY.
Who is Molly Stark? Well, she is actually Elizabeth Paige and was born and raised in New Hampshire in the 1700's. She married General John Stark who nicknamed her MOLLY. They had 11 children. (no wonder she looks so weary!). Molly never actually visited the byway area they named after her. She remained in New Hampshire her whole life. What is the Vermont connection then, and why is her name everywhere up here?...
Her husband, General John Stark (see what 11 children did to him?!) led an army of soldiers and farmers at the famous BATTLE OF BENNINGTON (VERMONT) during the Revolutionary War. His battle cry about making sure they destroy the Tories or his wife Molly will wind up a widow is one of his many inspiring rally speeches.
General Stark was one of the greatest American heroes of the Revolutionary War. ANOTHER famous speech included the term LIVE FREE OR DIE and was adopted as the New Hampshire State slogan in 1945. Why MOLLY is so celebrated is because wounded soldiers from that battle (and battles in other parts of Vermont and NH) needed a hospital. Molly turned her own house (with all those kids!) into a makeshift hospital and she helped care for the wounded soldiers.
She is much beloved in New Hampshire. Her face is shown on the signs you see for ROUTE 9.
Molly Stark never took up arms or fought in battle, even though there is a cannon monument in her honor and a statue depicts her with a baby and a rifle. She was just a kind hearted woman who helped soldiers. There are parks and places named for her all across Vermont and New Hampshire. (Why didn't they make a fuss over General Stark?!) Along Vermont's Route 9, there are 8 historical marker obleisks containing local town info. You will see signs for the markers on the road.
The roads are well maintained here. WOW!
Just past the town of Bennington, you follow a pleasant scenic road over a bridge
and you pass by brooks and streams,
and meadows, until you get to the GREEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST.
There is a Green Bridge that connects Route 9 to Medburyville and I took a short side trip to check out an antique shop at the end of the road
and found these wonderous sites.
This house sat in interesting lighting. It rained all day! Yes, all of these photos were taken in the rain!
Vermonters have an odd sense of humor. "Real" locals are sure funny folks!
Heading back up ROUTE 9 EAST, we come to WILMINGTON, VT, one of the cutest towns on the road. The main street is lined with shops and snack places, or have a nice lunch.
Stop and shop at the outlets nearby.
One of the great highlights of this road is HOGBACK MOUNTAIN OVERLOOK (and STORE). It also houses and ajoins THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM.
Outstanding views from their porch, even in the rain! Sensational foods, gifts and tourist stuff in their store.
Stop inside for a really pleasant shopping experience. Cheese,(in all the Cabot colors!), all kinds of maple stuff,(including maple tea!)
funny cards, and enough candy and fudge to create future Type II diabetics of all of us.
Great T-Shirts (I got one!) and a million fridge magnets and mugs.
There was a huge assortment of jigsaw puzzles. Really interesting games and mind teasers. Wine too! The owner is super friendly and the staff will be glad to give you directions,even if only to the bathroom!
If you have some time, go see the MUSEUM which starts downstairs with cases of stuffed real animals and travels all the way outside and into a neighboring building that houses live critters. Lordy sakes, Taxidermy is sure alive and well in Vermont! MARLBORO VT is sure a pretty place!
Back on the road, the scenery is heady. This farmer parked his tractor so I could photograph him.
Watch out for rock ledge chips falling down onto the edge of the street.
There are some more super little stop n shop places, like THE VERMONT MAPLE MUSEUM & STORE. I did not see a "museum", and there was not a door leading to one inside, but the store is pretty cool.
Homemade jams and canned goods, and candy. Baskets and yard flags too. Knick-knacky things like a kazillion VERY retro dog statues (of every breed). The lady who runs it knows her dogs and will speak up if you say a dog fact incorrectly. She has rare Euro and Russian statues (in a glass case) as well as USA ones (priced from $5to $40). There are tons of maple syrup and by-products in various vessels, and loads of tourist items.
I got some of this maple popcorn. Yummy! Back on to Route 9, I passed some gorgeous hillsides and views.
Came upon this covered bridge called THE CREAMERY BRIDGE. Construction going on all over the place around it, but I managed to walk inside and take photos from the windows.
It started geting dark at this point, so I missed getting you photos of Cortland Hills Orchards, which is a great family place to go for picking and for goodies in the farm shop.
Now into Brattleboro the town, there are a bunch of options for you. Dining, Shopping, Museums, Theater...
Stopped at the Chelsea Royal Diner for dinner, which is always a pleasant experience. Great food and super locale. Ice cream outside at the attached Creamery. YUM!
A short ride down route 91 SOUTH brought me to Route 2 WEST and back home to the 1896 House (see my blog on Route 2 West- THE MOHAWK TRAIL).
Questions or Comments? Apparently the blogger comment function is not working correctly. Please e-mail me at : Celebrate@1896House.com