As we drove across from North Conway to Stowe up the Kancamagus Highway the colours of the foliage were spectacular. Although the sharp drop in temperatures over the previous couple of days had obviously kick-started the ‘fall’ there were still enough leaves on the trees to put on a good show for our journey west out of New Hampshire and into Vermont.
Stopping for our sandwich lunch gave us a great view back towards a snow covered Mount Washington which at 6,288 ft. is the highest peak between the Rockies and the sea. Scenery aside there isn’t a great deal of interest to see as you drive around this part of the world. Some of the smaller towns are quite pretty and there’s a fair number of well preserved older homes that merit the label ‘historical’ – though inevitably the majority are rather like the woodsman’s axe, having been rebuilt or repaired many times over the years.
Our stopover in Stowe was a little bit of a disappointment. Although our B&B (our only stop not booked through AirBnB) had plenty of ambiance, at 10ft square, and with barely enough room for two commendably slim adults with their modest suitcases, I thought that our bedroom was just a touch on the small side. No matter, it was only for the one night and the roaring fire and the great views from the lounge made up for much.
By the following morning the temperature had once again risen to a respectable level so we stopped briefly to take a few snaps of the Von Trappe family home just outside Stowe before we sang a rousing chorus of ‘…so long, farewell, we’re leaving you, goodbye …….’ and drove south to Brattleboro through the Green Mountains – well, more like the Green Hills really but very pretty nevertheless.
Our hosts for our next overnight stop were touring in Europe but had left their Brattleboro home in the capable hands of a very pleasant lady named Claudia and the family dog called Garbanzo, a very sociable ‘golden doodle’. Perhaps the best thing about AirBnB is that with some stays you get a chance to ‘meet the folks’ and learn a little more about the people and the place you’re visiting. Sitting on the western bank of the Connecticut River in the heart of the Pioneer Valley the old mill town of Brattleboro is pleasant but probably just a little too big to be quaint and a touch too small to be prosperous. The town’s main claim to fame is that Rudyard Kipling lived nearby for several years in the 1890s whilst writing, amongst other works, the Jungle Book – which should really be a cue for another song – Disney really has a lot to answer for!