Vermont Va-K

I had long and busy spring, and was definitely ready for a little vacation.  So, a week ago Friday, I headed up north, with a slight jog out west. Somewhere along Route 17, I passed a crazy day-time fog bank which developed over a river:

I headed up to Palmyra, NY, where I saw the Hill Cumora Pageant (my full writeup and pictures here)

I drove across the Adirondacks towards Vermont:

And stopped for the night in Chester, VT, where my brother and his family have renovated and re-opened the excellent Country Girl Diner (I highly recommend a visit!). 

The next morning, I headed up to start the "Champlain Valley & Islands" bike tour with VBT.  I was looking for an easy tour, since I was pretty burned out, and these kind of tours just allow you to ride, eat, and sleep. We started up in the Hero Islands on Lake Champlain, and rode within 10 miles of the Canadian border, and even did nice, easy kayak trip with True North Kayak on Cary Bay.  The Hero Islands are beautiful, and have interesting forest and maritime influsences, along with a great deal of history.

Lake Champlain had massive flooding this year, and there was evidence of it everywhere:

 

We stopped at the Fisk Quarry, which had some really cool exposed fossils:

We stopped at the excellent Snow Farm Vineyard:

We rode down into Burlington along the very cool bike path, and I had dinner with a friend from college, and wandered around Burlington after:

We rode out of Burlington and down to the very cool Shelburne Museum, with some excellent loops along the way.

We took the ferry across to NY State, and Fort Ticonderoga:

I had a nice chat with excellent artist Norton Latourelle of Norton's Gallery, and bought some ice cider at Champlain Orchards.  After the ride, a small group of us went swimming in a beautiful, spring-fed lake:

And on the last day, we took a beautiful, rolling trip into Middlebury:

It was a great tour, the staff, route, and bikes were all great, and I definitely recommend it!

I drove back down south towards Chester:

And caught the sunset on a lake a few miles north of Ludlow:

More pictures here.