Dear readers,

My last blog from my recent US/Canada trip is from the beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont where I had a brief two-day visit with my friend Lois. We had one day of sunshine and one of rain, but either way the countryside and the places she took me were grand.  So here are some shots and a little commentary about the area around Burlington, Duxford and Montpelier.

A couple of shots out the bus window as we cruised through upper Vermont.

Loved this mother and child on the verandah as we passed through the town of Burlington.

A picnic in the park in Burlington.

A street sign in Montpelier. Don’t really want to talk politics through my blog, but there was no doubt
that this State is the home of Bernie Sanders and one of the more liberal and progressive parts of the US.

A visit to the Shelburne Museum close to Burlington was a great way to immerse myself in the history, architecture and art of the region and we spent a pleasant few hours wandering among the buildings and looking at the art collections.  Shelburne Museum showcases art, design, and Americana with over 150,000 works exhibited in 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.

Dorset House, dating back to 1832

A settler’s house and barn.

Oh no, locked up in the jailhouse. 


An impressive  horseshoe barn with raised entrances at either end (Circa 1940)

I was taken by the beautiful weather vanes that you still see all around the area, particularly on barns and in several of the houses there were displays of them as well as other art, much from the early settlers days.

A wall display of vanes in the Pizzagalli Centre for Art and Education at the entrance to the open-air museum.


A couple of other weathervanes representing Pisces and Sagittarius – perhaps the star signs of the barn owners.

A stunning stair runner with a series of tapestries depicting the landscape and houses.

Couldn’t resist showing this rather unusual rocking goat, a nice variation on the rocking horse.

The Stage Coach Inn (1787) which houses a collection folk art. 

Esther Amelia & Marcella Eusebia White (circa 1836), oil on Canvas by Zedekiah Bellnap.  

A couple of beautiful portraits of women, also dating back to the 1800s. 

A landscape with a rather fanciful view of the native Indian hunters and fishers.

Of course, there had to be a cat!

My guide for the day, Lois resting outside the Old Stagecoach Inn while I explored the artworks inside. 

The first I’ve seen – looking through of one of the famous covered bridges.

Very clear signage on what is and is not allowed on the bridge. We mean it !

Another of the old wooden settler’s houses.

Couldn’t resist doing a few close-ups of the flowers nurtured throughout the museum grounds.

And why not use a little Swiss chard to bring out the colours of the blooms.

In one corner of the museum you can see the lighthouse (1871) moved here from Colchester Reef on nearby Lake Champlain.

And where there’s a lighthouse, there must also be boats.  The ‘Ticonderoga’, a side-paddlewheel steamboat, was built in Shelburne in 1906 and operated as a day excursion boat on Lake Champlain, serving ports along the New York and Vermont shores until 1953. In 1955 it was moved 2 miles overland from the lake to the museum in a remarkable feat of engineering. 

On board, it would have been pleasant to dine in the saloon. 

As part of a longer holiday, it may have been necessary to bring your car on board ready for the next leg of the journey.

Working wagons would also have been carried along with their freight.

Leaving the museum, we travelled southwards towards Montpelier through some lovely countryside, passing bucolic farms with grazing horses, an intersting 10-sided wooden church, charming houses and barns.

The following day, it was raining, but on our way to Montpelier for me to take the bus back to Montreal, for my long journey back home, we explored a little more of the countryside and small towns.

A beautiful old railway station restored and now housing a coffee shop.

Along winding country roads, rain dotted windshield, forested hills and rolling farmland, and then a famous name!

Yes, indeed, that is where the von Trapp family of ‘The Sound of Music’ fame settled after they escaped
from Austria during WW2.  There are now several families of the von Trapps living and working in this area. 

One of the Trapp Family homes, and below, some of the other magnificent houses and barns in the area.

We stopped at this magnificent barn which appeared deserted. But the doors were open so I walked in and shouted hello.
A surprised farmer came out from a sideworkshop to greet me and we had a chat.

He told me he made this replica covered wagon for his kids when they were learning about the Oregon Trail.  I spent a while looking at some of the other Americana he had scattered about the barn, 

We reached Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, in time for a little jaunt about town before my bus arrived
to whisk me back to Cnada, and while we waited we admired the buildings and watched the goings on down the main street.  

The elegant State Capitol building. 

One of the houses, now offices, opposite the Capitol.

The City Hall clad and beribboned in the national colours.

A passing truck with impressive branding along its side. 

Time to say good-bye to Vermont and to a pensive Lois, snapped as she fed the parking meter.

And so endeth my month long sojourn in the United States and Canada.  A really fun holiday and thank you to all the old friends and new acquaintances along the way who were so friendly and hospitable.

My next travel, of a very different kind, is early next month when I will visit the Solomon Islands where I worked 50 years ago as a teacher on a small island.  I thought it time to re-connect with that part of my life, and for sure it will be a little adventure.

I will keep you, my readers, up-dated on that in due course.

All good wishes,