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USA: Vermont: Manchester, Scenic Route 100, Stowe
Stowe, Vermont, USA: Ablaze with red, orange and gold
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
To see Vermont and the surrounding countryside at its most spectacular, visit Stowe in autumn. Frosty mornings give way to cool, crisp days - perfect for enjoying the outdoors. The colorful hillsides - ablaze with red, orange, and gold - are truly breathtaking. It's a treat for the senses and the soul!
However, to discover Vermont's spectacular fall foliage at its peak is far from an exact science. The timing depends on temperature, sunlight, and rainfall amounts. This makes the timing of the peak a little different from year to year and impossible to predict exactly, although it's the subject of endless speculation in these parts. I was in Stowe on October 8 to be precise. The heavy thunderstorms that hit the region a few days ago did take its toll, but that did not deprive me of the beauty. I like to believe that I was witnessing 100% fall foliage.
I left Jackson post breakfast at about 8:30AM. My plan was to reach Stowe by 3PM. Actually, driving straight would need just about 3 hours. But since I was taking the Kancamagus Highway, I knew I would need more hours. Sure enough, by the time I was at the gates of Trapp Family Lodge (my hotel for the night) it was 2:30PM.
Situated on 2,500 acres, the Trapp Family Lodge is a mountain resort in the European tradition by the von Trapp family that inspired “The Sound of Music”. This unique luxury mountain resort features Austrian-inspired architecture and European-style accommodations. Open year-round, the Trapp Family Lodge offers superb mountain views, old world comforts and impeccable service, along with activities for every season.
At 3PM, Sam Trapp would be taking us around the property. The tour included a documentary film that took us back in history. Sam, just so you know, is the grandson of Maria von Trapp - on her life was the movie Sound of Music made! Maria is buried at the family cemetery located on the lodge property.
After spending an hour with Sam, I was on my own. I had some time on hand to walk around the neighbourhood, visit the Trapp Brewery and soak in the beauty of the mountains around. That evening, I was invited for a drink with Sam at the lounge. Dinner was at the lodge's restaurant.
Early next morning, I made a point to walk around and photograph the mountains engulfed in mist. And because all things must come to an end, I had to pack and depart for my next destination, Arlington - by negotiating the Scenic Route 100.
Just outside of Stowe, in Waterbury is Ben & Jerry's ice cream making facilities. I made it a point to visit them and take a factory tour which happens at regular intervals. The tour takes you through ice cream-making ritual, a film about how it all started and ends with savouring a scoop of the day's special. If you happen to be around, do make a visit.
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