Warm inside the heated trailer, but cold outside in Burlington this morning! The temperatures were in the low 40s as we were packing up and moving out. We explored Burlington a little bit, without the trailer, then came back to camp, packed up and moved out. The Lake Champlain Chocolate Company had caught my eye, and they offer factory tours, so that seemed like a fun destination on this Columbus Day holiday. John was a great tour guide, and he told the story of Lake Champlain Chocolates very well. Their product is really, really good, but also really expensive. I learned a lot about chocolate!
After the tour, we headed out to spend time at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT. I’ve heard this place described as the “Smithsonian of New England.” We love the Smithsonian, so this seemed like a fascinating place to visit. Our timing was perfect to catch a guided tour of the Ticonderoga, a steamship that used to ply the waters of Lake Champlain. The tour guide was so good, and the tour was so captivating that I forgot to take pictures! I know!
To my surprise, my wife was not as engaged in the tour as I was, and she informed me after about 45 minutes that the 30-minute tour was running over time. She had had enough and wanted – us – to go see other buildings in the museum. Well. OK then. There were some interesting things (beyond the Ticonderoga), including a number of Grandma Moses paintings. I knew virtually nothing about Grandma Moses before this, so that was a great learning experience too.
We had one of the more interesting Harvest Host stops planned for tonight. The Vermont Wildflower Farm is the location, and I had contacted them a month ago to find out if we would be able to stay with them. They responded by telling me that we were welcome to stay overnight, but that they were a seasonal business and would be closed by the time of our visit. So – we had a free overnight location, but we didn’t have the opportunity to meet and talk with the owners in order to get some good blogging material. The place was still beautiful, because of the colorful foliage. But it was a little odd to be parking in a vacant parking lot alongside the highway, with no one around. This was like a night and day contrast with the experiences we had at Morse Farm and Cold Hollow Cider Mill. It made me appreciate the fact that Diana and Chris, the owners of the wildflower farm, are not giving in to the pressure that must exist to get on the tourist gravy train. I feel that we “owe” them for our overnight stay, so maybe next spring we’ll order some wildflower seeds from them. I’ve always toyed with the idea of having a wildflower garden, and this may be just the thing that pushes me to actually do that.
It was great having the telescope with me at this location, because it was remote enough to offer a very dark and very clear night sky. I got a chance to get a great view of Saturn, and the rings were easy to see. Woohoo!
The cold weather continued, however, and I’m pretty sure we were close to freezing before the sun came up in the morning. Again – the trailer’s heater was a godsend.