A friendly lady in the visitor center suggested that we drive on Vermont 12 to Stowe via Lake Elmore and Morrisville for the best view of the leaves changing colors. The drive is very nice and rural and we took some great photos at the beautiful lake. At Morrisville we had coffee and pastries before heading for Stowe where the Van Trapp family lived and farmed; their lodge is now a spectacular hotel, right at the top of a hill – the perfect spot for Maria! A history with photos of the family is prominently displayed throughout the lodge. After the Second World War the family worked the farm and performed choral tours in the USA and Europe.From Stowe we went to a Cabot Cheese shop where about 50 cheeses were available for tasting; we tasted all the sharp and very sharp cheddars and then bought 3 different strong cheeses all made with local Vermont milk. Afterwards we went to the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream plant; took the tour and sampled the ice cream - yummy. Their corporate philosophy is worth a read - in a nut shell - business is to provide work for the people thereby improving their lives and that of the wider community. We are now Ben and Jerry fans. We returned to Montpelier by driving along Route 100 although it was nice it was not for us as good as the Kancamagus trail.
Stowe was hosting its annual Octoberfest starting the next day, Saturday so we rose very early to drive to Stowe in time for the Parade starting at 10am. It was a lovely small town parade, fun with everything including the Mountain Rescue team and with candy and apples freely given to all. After the parade we walked up the town’s recreation trail on the banks of the river to have a crepe breakfast at The Dutch Pancake Café and then walk back to town to check out the shops which was like going back in time. The day was chilly with the sun peeping out of the clouds every so often.An excellent law in New England is that no Bill Boards are allowed; business signs are the same size as the road signs so the beauty of the rural area is not ruined; together with some rain we need a law like this in California.