Road Trip 2021: Vermont

We left New Hampshire and headed to Vermont. While I had been looking forward to the trip as a whole, Vermont was to be one of the highlights for me. Kenn kept asking me what I wanted to see in Vermont and my answer was always “I just want to see Vermont.” What’s not to love? Rolling, tree-covered mountains reflecting the changing of the seasons. Perfection, right? Alas, not so much.

While I enjoyed the scenery, our stay in Vermont got off to a rough start. Our arrival at the campground we selected was a comedy of errors. The directions provided by the manager left a lot to be desired and her gruffness rubbed me the wrong way. I also wasn’t thrilled with our campsite but we were only going to be there two nights so it wasn’t the end of the world.

The welcoming committee made things better
Might you have some bread to spare?

It was an overcast day but we headed out to get the lay of the land. While Vermont was every bit as gorgeous as I expected it to be, I just wasn’t feeling it – not even when the sun came out and the clouds started breaking up.

Of course, we had to stop and take pictures of covered bridges.

My favorite picture from Vermont

Our campground was only a few miles from Stowe, Vermont. A lot of the “iconic” Vermont photos that I have seen were taken in Stowe. We did a drive-through of the town in preparation to spending time there the next day. Once again, I wasn’t feeling it. After two trips to Bar Harbor, I did not have another trip to another touristy town in me. Later that evening back at the camper, Kenn went out to put the satellite dish on the roof and came back in wearing his “I’m injured” expression. (I have become well acquainted with this expression over the years.) When he was coming down the ladder, his wedding ring got caught on a screw; he was lucky he didn’t deglove or lose the finger. It took some work and some of the oil I put on my dry hair but we managed to get his ring off and put it on the necklace he always wears. (It was a couple of months before the swelling in his finger went down enough for him to get his ring back on.)

Later that evening I had to admit that I was done. I was ready to go home. At that point we had been on the road for three weeks and even if we drove non-stop it would still take us another week or so to get home. During the course of our trip our then pregnant daughter-in-law was admitted to the hospital with gall bladder issues, my oldest sister had a stroke, and our youngest son’s girlfriend’s mom died from COVID after several months in ICU. I needed to see and touch my people and know that they were okay. Kenn admitted that he was ready to head home as well so we cancelled the second night of our stay and hit the road home the next day. (In spite of my first impression, the campground manager was nice. She sent us on our way with some extra sharp cheddar cheese and maple syrup, both products of Vermont. We even got a Christmas card from her.)

Next up, New York state. Until then, happy trails!

Reminiscing: Toad Suck, Arkansas and Peculiar, Missouri

It was The Great Road Trip of 2019. We were driving through Arkansas and were getting tired and hungry when we noticed a sign for the town of Toad Suck. After confirming that we did both, in fact, see the words “Toad Suck” we pulled off in Conway and found a restaurant. Our server was happy to tell us about Toad Suck, where to find it, and the fact that there is now a Toad Suck festival every spring. Once we had eaten and were feeling human again, we made the drive to Toad Suck. It should come as no great surprise to anyone that there’s not a lot to see; it truly is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town. (Surprisingly, there is an Army Corp of Engineers campground in Toad Suck.) However, there is a sign perfect for selfies and a convenience store (which was brand new in 2019) featuring Toad Suck themed souvenirs.

Y’all, we seriously suck at selfies
I had to have the shirt

While we were struggling to get a somewhat decent selfie in front of the Toad Suck sign, a battered, older Toyota truck pulled over next to us, and the driver called out through the open window “What in the world are y’all doin’?” I explained that when you see a sign with the words “Toad Suck” you have to stop and take a selfie. He followed up with “Y’all ain’t from around here, are you?” we assured him that we were not and proceeded to have an enjoyable conversation. I know that Arkansas is considered a Southern state but mentally I don’t think of it as one. I have to admit I didn’t expect an Arkansan to sound way more Southern than I do.🤷‍♀️😂

The next day as we motored though Missouri, we came across signs for the town of Peculiar so, once again, we had to pull over and take pictures. I think of Peculiar as a fairly typical older, small town – with an unusual name. As a matter of fact, I didn’t find out how the town got its name until after we got home.

There are so many beautiful and unusual things to see in this country of ours. It’s important to take the time to stop and smell the roses, check out the town with the strange name, and take the bad selfie. (I know, it’s not always easy when you’re towing a travel trailer. During this trip, we weren’t.)

Until next time, happy trails!