The Beast & Dirt Roads
Our campsite is available for another two nights and we’re staying. It was cold this morning. The day was nearly schizophrenic; it was comfortably warm in the sun and downright cold in the shade. We met our neighbor, Jean Franscios, who is an IT guy working for a tech company in Montreal. We chatted with Jean some then headed off to Stowe.
Mountain View Campground, Stowe Vermont
The campsites at Mountain View Campground are nothing special. They are flat with full hookups and a clear view to the south for Sat TV, but they provide little privacy, the bathroom heat is inadequate to the task, there is hot water though I did not use their shower after seeing how water pressure dropped in the morning. The main reason we’re staying is its proximity to Stowe and the surrounding area.
The folks running the campsite are very nice and always available, if needed.
Today we explored side roads north of Stowe. We were surprised when the paved road became dirt, but we drove on. We avoided a dirt road named “Mud City Loop” and turned back when the two lane dirt road we were on funneled into a single nasty looking lane. The roads wound through pastures and farm land between colorful rolling hills. Northern New York and Vermont have an idyllic feel to them in the fall.
Dave had mentioned that “the Mountain Road” was the place to find a restaurant for lunch or dinner. The Mountain Road is the local name for state route 108. After our tour north of Stowe, we drove to the town of Stowe. Three main roads lead into Stowe; 100 North, 100 South, and 108. All three were bumper-to-bumper with slow moving traffic. It’s Columbus Day Weekend and an Arts and Craft Fair drew a crowd. We looked for likely places to park “the Beast” as we crept through town then drove out on 108. We found a small parking lot on the north side of 108 just out of town and parked easily. This is a great place to park an RV. The walk back to Stowe’s town center is short and there’s enough room for a forty footer or two. We had lunch at Rimrock’s Mountain Tavern. Ellen had the New England Clam Chowder and an Apple and walnut salad. I had a Chicken Caesar Wrap with Cajun fries. All the food was great. The Cajun fries were very spicy.
Off the Beaten Path
Central Stowe is quintessential Vermont. it is a very small and easily walkable. The homes around the town are set on acres of land, some set into trees in the rolling hills, others on pastures in the valleys. It would be a tranquil place without the hoards that descend on the weekends. Distances in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are short. It is not unusual for families to drive from Boston to summer homes in Vermont every weekend. Stowe has grown over the years as tourist impact on the town has grown. There are now numerous restaurants serving weekenders. I hope to talk to a few old-time residents and ask how changes in the town have changed their lives if at all. Does the influx of money, economic growth, and higher real estate prices benefit them? Is the traffic congestion “downtown” drive them crazy? Do they live far enough from downtown that weekend madness is not an issue? Lots to consider.
I like Stowe. There’s a home on the market that could easily be converted to a B&B. I would never run a B&B myself. I have no problem considering setting up a B&B as a business; hiring managers/caretakers, setting up reservation systems online, budgeting income and expenses. That could be fun. I took a photo of the property on an iPhone, posted below (sorry about the reflection in the glass window).
It is now the next morning, 10/11. Yesterday was a short day; we left our campsite late and returned late. We missed sunset while getting diesel and restoring our supplies. Luckily it is very easy to setup and tear down “camp”. Often we just connect or disconnect a hose and electric cable, then run down our “pre-flight” check-list. I always take a walk-around to be sure we’re good to go before starting the engine. We’re starting that process now with plans to visit the gondola to the top of Mansfield Mountain and perhaps drive to Smuggler’s Notch.
Here are a few photos we took in and around Stowe yesterday.
Off the Main Road, Stowe Vermont