I originally wrote this story in 2016. Who knew then that exploring our own back yard would be todays biggest trend thanks to Covid. When this came up in memories last week, I remembered how much I loved this story. I still do and I feel it is worth another share! Enjoy
Every year, during the long Labor Day weekend, our family embarks on an end of summer camping trip.
This year we decided to explore more of our own back yard. We are fortunate to live 2 miles from the border of Vermont and 8 miles from the Massachusetts border. Although we live in such close proximity to this beautiful tri-state area, we rarely stop to appreciate the rich history and the beauty that surrounds us.
Our 2015 Labor Day weekend camping trip was a family run park named Camping on the Battenkill in Arlington VT. It was absolutely beautiful. I had no idea when I made the reservations that the area is famous for tubing, canoeing and Kayaking.
As we always do, we traveled Route 9 from Brattleboro Vermont through Bennington VT. For some reason, this trip felt different; the mighty Green Mountains seemed taller and the Bennington Monument just loomed above the tree tops
I know what you are thinking…Kind of odd for a veteran travel professional with twenty three years of experience to be writing about her own backyard over Labor Day weekend?
It’s true, I love faraway places and spaces, but travel is so much more than that! For those who follow me on Instagram (#fitzgeraldtravelofficial) you know that I always post about domestic travel because travel, at any distance, can be amazing!
On this Labor Day weekend, trees seemed greener and stronger, the mountains here actually reminded me of our recent trip through the Smokey Mountains and the water that lazily traveled down the Battenkill River this weekend was as clear the Caribbean Sea. It was simply beautiful and the source of my inspiration to write about our little corner of New England.
On Saturday, we decided to drive to Stratton Mountain and listen to a free jam fest being held for the holiday. We pulled the driving directions up on the GPS and saw one very large circle and one very small straight line. Each noting that the estimated length of travel time was 50 minutes. We looked at eachother with a raised eyebrow. Choice 1 was 36 miles and Choice 2 was 18. We decided on Choice 2.. the travel time was the same, the mileage was much shorter. We knew this was about to be an adventure.
Our first left hand turn led us up a hill. The higher we climbed, the more beautiful the view. Then it happened. We saw brightly colored orange road that said “This road closed from November 1 to June 1.” followed by the sound of the wheels on our truck leaving pavement as we hit the dirt road! This was going to be fun!
The road was very well taken care of and easy enough to navigate. With each twist and turn there was something new to see. Beautiful old cabins were dotted along the river, a lake off between the trees, narrow wooden bridges for river crossings and huge boulders that served as guard rails. At one point we stopped to view a manmade raised foot bridge leading to someone’s cottage. These amazing things would have never been seen hadn’t we taken the road less traveled.
On our decent we actually came across about 20 cars parked all along the side. That made us quite curious. As we drove closer and could see people, we also could see that it was the trail head/crossing where the Appalachian Trail crosses the Long Trail
Trust your senses and do something spontaneous and adventurous. If we had stayed on the beaten path, we would have never discovered all the secrets this area had to offer (or the delicious little Arlington Dairy Bar where we enjoyed a sweet treat!). Sometimes you just have to take the road less traveled!
I am a lucky lady to have the honor to work side by side with Lisa Collins. Ocean Cruise phenom and lover of all things Ocean Cruising. Together we are the Lisas.
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