Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quechee, Vermont & Hanover, New Hampshire

You will remember that a fellow traveler suggested Vermont Route 100 as the best place “in the world” to see the Fall Colors. We changed our journey to travel south on 100 thereby adding about 70 miles to the trip; in all we must have covered 150 miles of Route 100, so was it worth changing our planned route? The answer is a muted yes! So far for us the Kancamagus Trail is the best, followed closely by Vermont Route 12; however, it was good to learn that one can drive an RV safely on 100; the scenery was lovely as we passed through high passes along the Green Mountains of Vermont as lauded on their license plates.

On our way to our RV Park at Quechee we drove through Woodstock, Vermont which was so busy that we thought there must be a festival going on and planned to return the next day. The RV Park was just past Quechee Gorge, a 165ft deep, mile long gorge billed as Vermont’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Woodstock was well worth returning to, it’s a beautiful, prosperous town with great shops and lovely buildings; it features highly as a tourist destination, particularly with fall foliage tourists.
From Quechee we drove to Hanover to visit our friends Caroline and Iain and stayed in their home and, boy were we glad? The weather turned, we had an absolute deluge and high winds, then the temperature dropped to just above freezing; we were snuggled up in a nice warm bed. We had a grand tour, guided by Caroline and Iain, of Hanover (home of Dartmouth College) an Ivy League school. Hanover is a very prosperous student town with 6,200 students (tuition is $60,000 a year); we were intrigued to hear that they all have cars and eat at the good local restaurants, sometimes it’s difficult for the locals to get reservations in the restaurants.

While walking around town Tom spotted a Simon Pearce shop and got very excited saying I think he’s from Cork (Toms home county); sure enough it was the same person, now hugely successful, his glass blowing foundry is in Quechee. We had a quick tour of the Hood Museum of Art which has an eclectic array of artists, including Picasso on display. The history of Hanover is interesting in a way it’s almost the town that never happened! In the 18th century surveyors marked out the boundaries for the town of Hanover and a settlement was established with sheep farming and woolen mills as its base economy. However when Dartmouth College was established about 5 miles south a new town of Hanover was built and the original town was renamed as Hanover Center.
The following day all four of us crossed the Connecticut River into Norwich (pronounced nor-witch) and visited the Montshire Museum of Science where two sets of grandparents had great fun playing with mobiles, cycling to power an elevator, checking weather patterns of the wind and water. Afterwards we hiked from planet to planet along a 3.2 mile trail; to Pluto at one end and the sun near the car park.  On Wednesday evening after having had (on Monday and Tuesday) two gourmet meals cooked by Caroline we went to Ariana’s in Orford, NH a farmhouse restaurant where we had an excellent meal prepared by Chef Martin Murphy. Earlier that afternoon we met the owner at the Hanover Farmers Market when he invited us to visit the barn to view 6 new calves; it was dark when we were leaving so we decided to keep our shoes clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment