For most of the country Memorial Day marks the start of the summer season and time for enjoying the outdoors. But in Seattle summer doesn’t really start until after the 4th of July. In fact you’re almost always guaranteed rain for the 4th and often into the first half of July. There are even years when it seems to rain regularly all summer long. In our short-lived tenting days we’d make a reservation for a campground in August and even then we often had rainy, cool weather which is what led us to trailer camping in the first place.
Somehow, I thought it would be different in the Northeast. I thought we’d have more sunny spring weather and June would get hot. Well, not this spring. It’s been especially wet, we’re talking flood warning wet, and we’re sick of it. And to make matters worse Seattle has been having beautiful warm weather. Guess that’s what we get for being so smug in our lovely southwest winter sunshine while they were freezing away up there. 🙂
After rain turned our campsite at Keuka Lake into a puddle, and rain kept us inside at the Adirondacks, we were treated to more rain (2 inches in 24 hours after an already wet few days) and another flooded campsite at Crown Point. We were thankful this site had a gravel pad that was slightly elevated, but even the pad was one giant puddle. At least it did finally stop raining and eventually dry out.
Our campground, Crown Point State Park, was near the southern end of Lake Champlain. The lake runs 120 miles along the New York/Vermont border. Crown Point sits on the New York side with beautiful views of the bridge.
After a very wet day in the trailer we decided to get out. Our destination Middlebury, a small college town on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain. Over the scenic bridge and along the country roads we drove. We were barely into Vermont, but already we felt a difference with New York. I’m not sure how to explain it, but somehow it seemed friendlier. Folks smiled more and seemed more accepting and relaxed.
Our first stop was the farmer’s market and we were not disappointed. Unlike some markets we’ve been to this one had actual farmers with lovely looking produce, baked goods (the bread table smelled wonderful!) and a few crafts. There was a steady stream of customers, but selection was still good at 10:30 and the musician was actually pretty good. As a bonus it was Red, White and Blue day meaning free berry shortcake!
Next up we walked through the quaint town enjoying the stone buildings and made our way to the river. This spot has been a quarry and hub of industry because of the power the rushing water provided. Today it’s a scenic park.
We decided we needed food, so even though it was looking like rain, we headed away from our parked truck to a restaurant on the river. As soon as we got inside the rain started pouring down. Funny, the name of the place was Storm Cafe. The food was fabulous. I had the most amazing BLT made with local ingredients. The rain wasn’t letting up so finally we just went for it and headed back to the car with no coats or umbrellas and got soaked. At least it wasn’t cold rain!
Across the street from our campsite was Crown Point Historic park with the remnants of two old forts. First the French occupied this site and then the British. We finally got some sunny weather so we rode our bikes over and had a fun time poking around and reading all the information plaques.
We also walked across the bridge and took our picture while we stood in separate states. Notice I picked the friendly Vermont side. 🙂
There was a cool monument in the campground and one day we found the door open so we climbed the circular staircase to the observation area at the top.
For the 4th of July we headed back into Vermont to the town of Bristol. I just love a small town parade and this one was awesome!
Another day I drove into Vergennes, VT and walked around the small town. The Vergennes Laundry, which is actually a wood-fired bakery, is not to be missed. Their cardamon rolls were amazing and Chuck loved their coffee. It’s from Tandem Roasters in Portland Maine which we’ll have to check out when we’re there.
So far we’re liking Vermont. We’ve got another week here so let’s hope the weather continues to improve!