Veering into Vermont

October 4, 2012 — Autumn makes road trips a thousand times better. Take last weekend. We drove 13 hours up and down Vermont in a 450-mile Mobius loop that swung close enough to the Canadian border that my cell phone started sending me warnings about international data rates and then south far enough that my GPS got confused around the border of Vermont and Massachusetts.

And we didn’t have to go that far.

We only had three official stops on our itinerary for future OTIS posts—a bizarre puppet museum in an old barn, a small room of curiosities, and Native American carvings of aliens—and we could have traveled to them in half the time it actually took us. But in Autumn, everything is a curiosity, everything is worth pulling over to the side of the road for, everything merits a detour. So we took the long way, traveled the back roads, did the speed limit, and stopped regularly.

From one perspective, it wasn’t ideal weather. We didn’t see the sun once, and it misted and sprinkled on and off for the entire trip, so the constant beauty of rolling hills covered in Martian foliage was marred at regular intervals by the ugly black swipe of a windshield wiper. However, from another perspective, it was perfect weather. There was fog everywhere, no high noon to wash out the foliage, and nobody was on the roads. Vermont was ours for the day.

Usually, on a road trip of any substantial length, and especially one that clocks 13 hours like this one, there are moments of boredom, moments of regret for leaving the warm glow of our television, moments of desire to just be done with asphalt stripes for good. Last weekend, that didn’t happen to us once.

Here’s a sampling of why, in both video and photo essay form:

At the Main Street Museum in White River Junction

Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover.

Coffin liners...complete with coffins and, we think, dug up
from a part of the cemetery that was under renovation.

Native American carvings of "aliens" in Bellows Falls.