Saturday, October 15, 2016

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Today may be the last day of this adventure together but it ain't over yet! We didn't hike today but we made the best of the 8-10 waking hours we had together. Tammy's son, Daryn, and two of his buddies flew over from their military training base to spend the day with us. After stopping at the post office to ship some of our extra items home, for me it was those d--n Mahjong tiles, we headed to the little municipality airport to meet Daryn and his buddies. After that we went to a great little farmers market in Harrisonburg and then to lunch. After lunch we went to a lavender farm in the area. They had chickens, pigs, goats, horses, Lamas, and beautiful gardens.

Then we headed to the Grand Caverns to explore the underground.

After all that adventure it was time for Daryn and his friends to head back and it was so close to our cocktail hour we had to say goodbye. Tonight is the night of Supermoon, so we sat with our wine and watched the most beautiful moon rise in the sky. Then we played a fun game of SpotIt.
Tammy, Melissa, Joanne, and Sue have to get up at 3am to catch their planes out of Charlottesville so we wrapped up our trip by recording our goodbyes and final memories of the trip.
Thank you to everyone who came along with us by reading our blog, we appreciate your comments and we read them all. Just knowing you were sharing our experience made it all that more fun!

Friday, October 14, 2016

We Heard The Banjos Playing!!

We are now in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and looking for our last hike on the Appalachian Trail. After searching the internet for a good trail we took off in the car Tammy rented and headed for that last hurrah. The road that took us to the trail head got narrower and bumpier the further we went. We were deep in the woods of Virginia and as we rounded the next corner we came across an old trailer which was obviously inhabited by someone who did not want to be around society.
The remoteness of the area was starting to freak us out a little but we kept going since it was our last hike. Further up the road we came across a huge pile of garbage along the side of the road.
This is not the same type of trails we experienced in Vermont but still we proceeded. Then we got to the trailhead and again came across a pile of garbage marking the spot. It was a unanimous decision, this was not the trail for us. Not wanting to give up we decided to make the hour long drive to Shenandoah National Park and try to find another trail head. After driving for what seemed like forever, we decided we were too hungry and had to go to the bathroom so changed our plans in favor of wine tasting and lunch. Our Inn keeper told us this morning about the Trump Winery in the area and being the good conservatives we are, the decision was made to support Trump and taste his wine.

We tasted the wine which lead to purchasing the wine and having lunch. Both were a very enjoyable experience since they took the place of our last hike on the Appalachian trail.
When we returned to our Inn we broke out the Mahjong tiles and everyone learned the game on tiles that no-one could read.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

These F-----g Mahjong Tiles!

Getting a bargain is not all that it is cracked up to be. I thought half price was a good deal on Mahjong tiles as they seem to be so popular but they are heavy and I have had to carry them all over the country. Not only that, but they seem to bother the TSA people and every time I have to get searched because of those damn tiles. Plus, we have not even had time to play the game, we are so busy hiking and eating.
We spent most of the day traveling by plane and car to get to Virginia, we are in a beautiful place called "By The Side of The Road Inn" in Harrisonburg, VA. We arrived here just in time to have wine and appetizers then go out to dinner at a Pizza place.
Tomorrow we have found a section of the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park so will head out in the morning for our last hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Experiencing the Boston Strong

Yesterday was a travel day between Rutland and Boston, the skies were clear and the view beautiful as we flew on the nine seat Cape Air flight. We arrived in Boston around 1pm but our condo with Stay Alfred was not ready til 3pm so we got some lunch and killed some time until we were allowed into our condo. Then we walked to Little Italy which was not too far from our place. We found a comedy theater, bought tickets for the show that night, had dinner in a wonderful Italian restaurant. We ordered several appetizers and shared as none of us felt very hungry. The comedy show was at Improv Asylum and was a fun way to spend the evening.
Today we headed to the harbor to get tickets to ride the City Trolly and take a harbor tour.

We visited Paul Revere's house and saw all the sites of the city.
Paul Revere's house

We went to the Old North Church where the two lanterns were hung to show the British were coming by sea.
We had lunch at Joe's and had the most delicious Lobster roll and sweet potato fries.
On our walk home we came across Mike's Sweets and had to stop there to buy our Boston Cream Pies, as well as, a few other desserts.
Tomorrow we are off to Virginia to do some more hiking, we hike because we enjoy it but after all the eating we have been doing it is turning into a necessity!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The End of "A Walk In The Woods" on the Vermont Long Trail/AT

"A Walk In The Woods" is a memoir written by Bill Bryson about his experience thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. A movie was later made starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. It portrays the struggles of two 60 something men not in the best shape while walking the trail.
I wondered if it would also portray our struggles as a group of 60 something women, and our one youngster who is in her 50's. But I was very wrong, we have enjoyed every step on the Appalachian trail and completed this portion with no trouble at all.
We stand strong in our hiking boots on the trail.
Our senses were so stimulated today as we walked on a colored carpet of leaves, listening to the babbling brook flow past as we walked, smelling the rotting leaves beneath our feet, and feeling the cool breeze on our nose and ears.

We walked in solitude for much of the way just taking in our environment and feeling so grateful and alive.


Halfway into our hike we came across this beautiful pond and sat there to eat our lunch.
Then it was time to head back to the Crisanver House, one of the most elegant places we have stayed yet.

Tomorrow we fly out of Vermont and return to Boston for a few days to take in some of the historical places there. We also have to say goodbye to Bonnie as she is headed back to her winter home in Savannah to help her husband get their house in order after Hurricane Matthew blew through. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hidden Gems

This area of Vermont is a hotspot of things to do and see, we just had no idea. We knew we wanted to visit the Vermont Country Store, famous for a huge variety of goods. The weather today was cold, windy with a possibility of rain so we decided it was a shopping and laundry day.
Our Inn owners, Edie and Chuck told us about the Rockefeller Mansion in Woodstock and the Billings Farm, so off we went.

Lawrence Rockefeller became the third owner of the Mansion after marrying Mary Billings, whose father, Frederick Billings was the second owner. The mansion is spectacular and has lots of interesting history. It was dedicated as a registered national historic landmark in 1967 by Lady Bird Johnson.
Across the street is the Billings Farm where lots of activities were going on for everyone in the family.

It was fun to see all the activities but we had to move on to the Vermont Country Store.  We had about a 45 minute drive to get there and could not believe our eyes when we finally arrived. There were hundreds of people crowded in the store. It was an assault on our senses. I think it is because of the Columbus Day weekend but it was overwhelming. We looked around and left, I think a few purchases were made but not many.

We then headed to our new Inn and were so pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful it is. We had a wonderful dinner and are ready to hike again tomorrow.

The Road Most Traveled!

I always thought the Appalachian Trail was out in the wilderness where you could walk for days and be in complete solitude. For most of this hike that has been the case but the hike today crossed several roads, went by a campground, and even some houses. There were lots of families on the trail just taking short walks, groups of Asians asking directions to the trail head as they were parked right beside it, and even some East Indian families obviously excited to be in the woods.

We did a point to point hike so Chuck, the October Inn owner and chef extraordinaire, shuttled us to the trail head after we parked our car at the end.

The terrain was very rough, Sue had to clear a few rocks for us to pass by but we made it and felt today was the most fun so far.

This area of Vermont is a ski area in the winter and at this time of year is heavy with "peepers" coming to see all the beautiful fall colors. If you ever come to Vermont we all would highly recommend coming to the October Inn and staying with Edie and Chuck, they are wonderful and the area has a lot of different things to do.