After our time at Escapade we opted to travel to Saint Johnsbury (often called Saint J. by the locals) in Vermont near the New Hampshire border, prior to heading to Maine. We stayed at a private adult only campground with full hookups, great free wi-fi, and cable hook-up. It is kinda interesting to stay at a private campground after so many state parks and COEs.
Moose River Campground
is a small peaceful campground with only 30 short-term sites, 7 seasonal (or long-term) sites, 1 RV rental, 1 cabin, and has a lot of weekend planned activities. While we were there they had a craft show, a frozen t-shirt contest, and a social at a huge bonfire. We didn’t go to the frozen t-shirt contest so we aren’t really sure what that was all about.
Our RV site was right on Moose River. The river was shallow so Don couldn’t get out his paddle board but a local told him the fishing on the river is great. We sat next to our RV, watched the fish swim, and heard the music of the running river – very peaceful and just what we needed after a week at Escapade. We also had a visitor throughout our stay at the campground, a Canadian goose. He always seemed to be standing in the water behind our site. The campground owners said he was part of a pair and that the female was nearby on a nest. However, we enjoyed his company and he didn’t seem to be concerned about our presence. At one point he even walked up and looked in the RV, guess we had been inside too long.
We found out that a lot of the people at this campground had also come from the Escapee rally. As a matter of fact, two couples that we met are also on their way to the same private campground we are going to in Maine (small world) and we are looking forward to getting to know them better.
Vermont Covered Bridges
We really like touring covered bridges and Vermont has 100+ of them. I don’t think we’ll get to see them all but here are a few to enjoy:
Randall Bridge (a.k.a. The Old Burrington)
Lyndon, VT 05851
Built in 1867, this 68 ft Queenpost bridge has an unusual open construction, making it easy to see the truss structure inside the bridge. (A Queenpost bridge has two uprights, placed about one-third of the way from each end of the truss.)
Sanborn Bridge (a.k.a. Centre)
Junction of Route 5, 122, 114
Lyndon, VT 05851
Built in 1869, this 120 ft bridge was designed by Peter Paddleford. It is currently being restored.
Miller’s Run Bridge
Lyndon, VT 05851
Built in 1878 and totally reconstructed in 1995 using the original Queenpost trusses.
Schoolhouse Bridge (a.k.a Chase)
South Wheelock Road
Lyndon, VT 05851
Built in 1879, the Schoolhouse bridge replaced a much criticized uncovered bridge.
The Cabot Creamery Tour
Cabot Creamery is a small co-op of about 1,300 New England farmers that makes cheese and other dairy products that are sold in all 50 states. It is located in the small town of Cabot, Vermont. Since 1919, Cabot Creamery dairy farmers have provided the milk that’s required for making Cabot cheese and actually own the company.
We went on a guided factory tour. Our tour was informative and left us with an appreciation for cheese and for how hard the farmers work to offer quality products.
The tour began with a short movie about Cabot and the Cabot co-op farmers. After the film, we put on disposable covers on our shoes and we were walked down a busy hallway with windows so you can see the employees making the cheese. As we went down the hallway we were shown the different phases of cheese production: milk, mixing ingredients, separation of curd, testing, storage, and finally, the packaging of the cheese. The tour lasted about an hour.
At the end of the tour we checked out the free cheese sampling room and got a few new favorites: horseradish cheddar and garlic herb cheddar. This was the perfect tour to compliment our wine tours we have gone on in the past. I’m beginning to feel like we are eating our way across the United States.
Did you know? Cheddar cheese from the New England states is generally a light yellow and from other areas around the U.S. it has an orange tint. That’s because cheese from England was a light yellow and when the cheesemaker’s came to the New World they added something to it (thought to be carrots) to give it the new color. However, the cheese makers in the New England area continued to make it the old way since the color does not affect the taste. Cabot Creamery offers it both ways (but uses a special root for coloring) because they found that even today light yellow cheddar does not sell as well outside New England.
Co-Ops and Vermont
I was wondering why I couldn’t find any Vermont farm stores in Yelp and found out that most farms are in a co-op. I was told that years ago the farmers were having a hard time so they banded together for insurance and buying/selling power.
We noticed the culture in Vermont has a pride in their people and their products, the idea that when they work together they can all be successful. I guess this is also why big chains don’t seem to make it in the small towns.
Getting the Jeep Worked On
Well, it was time to have some maintenance work done on the jeep so we thought we would use this stop to get this accomplished. Don got up early on a rainy day to take it in and got a loaner so we could continue to explore the area. As a full-time RVer we never know where we will need to get maintenance work done or if we’ll find a good place but we were lucky this time and Crosstown Jeep in Littleton, New Hampshire was very accommodating and did a great job.
Other Things To Do in the Area:
- Rails to Trail Bike Ride: approx. 13 miles one way – It has a continuous 2% incline going from St. J. to Danville, a little tough going but fun riding back!
- Explore New Hampshire – it’s just down the road
- The Belly Ache Tour
The campground suggested we go on a driving tour called the “Belly-Ache Tour” for obvious reasons. We decided to only do a small part of the tour (just weren’t ready to add even more food stops to our trip) but do list it here in case you are ever in the area:
1-Maple Grove Maple Candy Factory @ 1052 Portland Street, St. Johnsbury, VT
2-The Birdman @ Danville Hill, Cabot, VT (Folk artist – carves birds out of a single piece of green cedar wood)
3-Goodrich Sugar House @ 2427 US-2, Cabot, VT
4-Cabot Creamery @ 2878 Main Street, Cabot, VT
5-Brags Sugar House @ 1005 VT-14, East Montpelier, VT
6-Montpelier – smallest state capitol, only one with no McDonalds
7-Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory @ 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, VT
8-Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Bakery @ 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury Center, VT
9-Trapp Family Lodge @ 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, VT
10-Smuggler’s Notch @ Route VT 108, S State Route 108, Jeffersonville, VT (The resort is @ 4323 VT 108) – Scenic drive and popular ski area/resort
11-Boyden Valley Winery @ 64 VT-104, Cambridge, VT
12-Grist Mill Covered Bridge @ Canyon Road | Jeffersonville, VT
13-Cambridge Junction Covered Bridge @ Cambridge Junction Road, Jeffersonville, VT
14-Johnson Woolen Mill @ 51 Lower Main Street E, Johnson, VT
15-Butternut Sugar House (next door to Johnson Woolen Mill) Johnson, VT
16-Fisher Covered Bridge @ Walcott, VT
17-Rowell Sugar House @ 4962 VT-15, West Danville, VT