Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Driving Vermont Route 100 (and Getting Lost) [Part 7]

Vermont is known for its scenic routes. There are a lot of them, but the most popular seems to be Vermont Route 100. It's a rural two-lane road crossing the heart of the state. In this post we will take you along for a last countryside drive before we head into New York City. The day started fairly early in Burlington, where we had spent the night before. It was around 9 o'clock in the morning when we left the hotel and rain immediately greeted us. I was a bit sad since it had hindered us the previous day from really exploring, but as it would soon turn out, the rain would be the least of our problems as the day wore on...

Warren Covered Bridge

The first of many little stops on this day was the small town of Warren. We had visited a covered bridge in the previous post, but this one was actually open for cars. The town of Warren is pretty idyllic, but without much to do. We simply stopped for the covered bridge and moved on.

Driving Vermont Route 100

The road is the main thoroughfare for some of Vermont's most well-known resort towns, including Wilmington, Ludlow, Killington, Warren, and Stowe. As such, many of Vermont's ski resorts are located either directly on, or in proximity to it. Vermont Route 100 is a popular tourist route during the fall (for foliage) and winter (for skiing), and can be heavily trafficked during those seasons, but it wasn't on the day we drove it. Despite this, the road retains a rural feel through most of the towns it traverses and is relatively free of development, except for some of the areas around the ski resorts.

Coffee Break in Rochester

As we were driving in the (light) rain, the drive became monotonic so we needed a bit of a break. We stopped in Rochester another small town in Vermont for coffee. By accident we discovered a wonderful bistro called Rochester Cafe. We had some breakfast sandwiches and coffee for a great price I must say, and then moved on with the drive towards Woodstock.

While some were browsing the menu and others catching up on some work, I was gazing out of the window and thoroughly enjoying the small town feel.

Lost in Vermont

Now for the heart stopping part (well at least for us it was). As I have mentioned in part one of this travel series, our GPS had the tendencies to use short cuts, find ways between two main roads and get us "there" quickly. So we didn't think anything when it said that we should turn from the main road, onto a dirt road. It said that in one minute we would connect with another road and all of us thought that that would be another main road. But we were mistaken.

With no where to turn we kept driving the narrow dirt road. In the first couple of minutes we were all amazed at the beauty of the mountain forest here. I even stopped the car and went outside to take (what I think) were some pretty amazing fall foliage shots. We kept driving, the road twined, and the GPS gave us directions, turn left, turn right, turn right, turn left. After 15 minutes of driving it became pretty clear this is not a shortcut. Eventually we came to a part of the road that was completely destroyed with huge rocks sticking out of it. We had luck though, as a house was nearby and three man came to us and explained that this was indeed a road to Woodstock, VT, but that we would never be able to get there with our car (If I haven't mentioned it, I will do so here: People in New England are among the friendliest I have ever met).

Getting back to the main road from which we took the wrong turn proved to be the hardest challenge. We couldn't listen to the GPS any longer, for it kept returning us the wrong way. So we had to rely on the advice of the tree man. They didn't explain it us fully, just that we needed to return to Route 120. It was on us to remember the route backwards. Each turn left of right was a hard choice, everything looked different when we drove back. Our gas was at 1/4 capacity which started to worry me as well. The dirt road became muddy from the rain. I'm not going to lie it was beginning-of-a-horror-movie-scenario. Luckily we could focus backwards and managed to escape the forest. It took some time and sweat though.

The next three shots are screenshots form our GoPro camera which was attached to our dashboard the whole day, filming our trip. And so this horrid part of the drive was filmed as well. :) I attached the screenshots here to show the darker side of this getting-lost-part.

Entering Woodstock

We made it out of the woods to the main road, and after 20 minutes entered Woodstock. This is a perfect little town. Everything is cute and well maintained. The rain subsided for a moment and we could walk around and explore. The Billings Farm and Museum is a local tourist attraction. The land and farmhouse were owned by Laurance Rockefeller and his wife Mary French Rockefeller. The farm and museum include an operating dairy farm and a restored 1890 farm house. After (unfortunately a bad) lunch in the Mountain Creamery we headed outside.

I couldn't really stop taking pictures of the houses here. My travel companions were constantly pointing out to me that I was being a bit voyeuristic and that we could get in trouble, but I took my chances (I didn't step on anyone's property, though came close to it in a couple of moments). It's just that the houses everywhere were so appealing and lovely decorated. The fall foliage didn't help matters either, since it only made things more beautiful. I have a huge collection of house photos from our trip by the way :D

Dusk in Manchester

The last bit of road trip was upon us as we entered Manchester, Vermont around 5 in the evening. Dusk was settling in and we did some last minute shopping in the excellent Manchester Outlet stores. They have factory stores here, like Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, and many others. After a long day we needed a break and some food. We went into town and had pizza (which was really good), and went to sleep early.

We had a great time in these small towns of New England, and saw a lot. But it was time to head out to the big city. The next day saw us driving to New York City. We spend 5 days there and each of them was filled with exciting events. We would return to road tripping in the small towns after that, so this is not the last you will see of small New England towns. Next post is all about us arriving and visiting the Big Apple. :)

End of Part Seven
To be continued...


  1. your photo's prove that autumn is a wonderful season ....all those colours are gorgeous!
    The scenery is too...wishing you lots of fun travelling

    Have a nice ABC-day / - Week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-team)

  2. Hallo Mersad,
    ich bin auch zurück.
    Schöne Endrücke, leider alle Posts von den letzten 12 Tagen werde ich nicht ansehen können.
    Liebe Grüße

    1. Hoffe Du hattest eine schöne Reise, es gab nur 7 Teile der Reise von mir so weit :) Freue mich auf deine Bilder.

  3. Beautiful photos!
    Our GPS has led us astray a few times, too. Glad your adventurous side-trip ending well.

    1. Me too Lea. The GPS was a bit different this year then last when we visted the west coast. But yeah, it can happen to everbody using it.

  4. If I were ever to get lost, I would definitely want to be in Vermont, Mersad! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! You have captured the beauty, the charm and the glorious views! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    1. I haven't looked at it that way :) You're probably right Linda. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. that would be really scary to be lost on that road. and I am thinking if you broke down or ran out of gas the cell coverage might not be there to call for help. you were right about the scary movie scenario. that said Wow and wow on the scenery and all these fantastic photos. so it was worth it in the end and glad you were safe. PLUS you found Coffee and Wi-Fi which is necessary

    1. Luckily we were close by the main road and didn't drift to far away. But these mountain roads really lead deep into the forest. :)

  6. wunderschöne Fotos wieder einmal
    LG susa

  7. Loved the story and the pictures. You sure picked a great time to go. And if I don't get a piece of that pizza in next 5 minutes...

    1. Funny enough the waiter in that particular pizza place spoke our language and was from my corners of the world (which as it turns out is smaller then you'd think)

  8. I remember you and your beautiful photographs. We've done that 'looking for short cuts' in New England. As you have learned, they just end up as logging roads. Thank you for commenting. I'm really hoping I will be able to reconnect with my old blogging friends, so was glad to hear from you.

  9. Beautiful photos of your drive along Vermont's Route 100. I can relate to your 'risky' behaviour re: getting a little 'too' close to get the best possible shots of charming houses, especially when they are covered in autumn's amazing splendour!


  10. Wow - this fall colors are spectacular! I'd say it was worth getting lost over (but of course, you probably didn't feel that way!)

  11. What a wonderful adventurous you are making. The autumn colours are absolutely stunning and the houses in Woodstock are so beautiful but I would not have liked the scary roads that you twisted and turned through the forest and the word was quite an adventure for you

  12. I love Vermont. And I HATE GPS!


  13. Well, you did have an adventure on this day. Those pesky GPS units can sometimes create more problems than they solve. We've learned to keep a map in the car to supplement the GPS. Of course, some of those roads you were on may not have been easy to find on the map. Getting lost can be enjoyable, except when you're on a tight schedule...or running out of gas. This episode resulted in some amazing autumn photos, though. And it's one of those things that, when you look back on this trip, will become a favorite memory. I loved the images of the buildings. A favorite in this post, though, is the one with the picnic table.

  14. Oh wow - the leaves are gorgeous!!!!
    Thanks for sharing at

  15. Sorry you got off-course! We have a nice GPS in our car that warns of construction zones and accidents, but it failed to know that a bridge is closed for construction and tried to direct me across it. I knew from reading the newspaper that it was closed so I did not follow the GPS.
    Your pictures are beautiful!

  16. What a trip! What dazzling foliage! (What a mini-disaster following the GPS down that twisted dirt road.) What wonderful photos of beautiful Woodstock, one of the most picturesque towns in Vermont.

  17. That had to be scary getting lost with gasoline supply limited and all. What a gorgeous place to be lost, though! :)


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