Burlington and Smugglers Notch

After thunderstorms overnight we woke up to steady rain ; something we have infrequently seen. With hurricane Arthur on its way along the east coast we were at least going to be driving away from the severe weather. Our route to Burlington ,Vermont , took us through the white mountains on the opposite(west) side of Mt Washington . The scenery continues pretty much the same with green covered hills, and as we crossed into Vermont the slogan on the number plates states just that – Green Hill State. As we came up to the capital , Montpelier , we through it before we knew it – gps always takes you on the quickest route- though not surprising seeing the population is only 8000 people . We turned off the freeway toward a town called Middlesex, and happened on a cafe with a very crowded parking area ; guess we happened on the best cafe in town . After a brief bite we continued toward our destination of Burlington , which is the biggest town in Vermont with a population around 40000 ,and sits midway up Lake Champlain which is around 120 miles long . Arriving a bit early for our accommodation we went into town and walked around the mall area which was busy for a weekday as it was the 4th July . Lily spent a fortune on clothes and we went back and checked in to the Days Inn . Later we walked along the shared path at the lakefront and went back to the mall for large bowls of Asian soup.
At breakfast in the morning we met an older couple with their granddaughter travelling from Canada . They gave us some tips on where we might like to visit . First we drove toward Smuggler’s notch – now if this area seems a bit pro UK/France I guess the history of this place explains it . In 1803 the new nation USA placed an embargo on people trading with Britain and France . For the people in this area this a bit of a hardship so goods were smuggled to and from Canada, in the 1920’s during prohibition , alcohol was smuggled across the border , finally during the depression Roosevelt created jobs for men to build the road through it.  Our first stop was at a store selling Maple goods – this being a big area for the production of Maple syrup . As we drove further toward Smuggler’s notch the road narrows and becomes very winding . We didn’t get to the cave and visitors area as there were so many cars parked along the road. Finally we parked in a picnic area and went for a hike – which didn’t  disappoint – climbing 1500ft in 3 miles with awesome views of the notch.
Following this we found our original target – the Von Trapp Family Lodge . So you can walk into the lodge and even have afternoon tea and walk the grounds for free. There has been a few extensions and several villas built . Seems the hills are alive with the sound of the cash register. Tomorrow we cross the border(the Lake) into New York State to Lake Placid .  

One comment

  1. Mum says:

    Love that comment ‘the hills are alive with the sound of the cash register’, you are certainly taking in a lot of the history of the places you are visiting.

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