There are few industries as heart-wrenching as the fine art business. It's a six-car pileup at the intersection of art and commerce and the amount of opinion and hyperbole that is somehow labeled as...
My friend Bill, with whom I built
Scorecard system, grew up in Vermont and here's his personal tour. He
actually grew up in Northern Vermont, so there is a bit of a bias in this
Leave Boston via I-93 to I-89. Exit after about 3 hours to Randolph Center and
go north to the wooden floating bridge (over a lake, right in the center of town)
Continue north to SR 64 and go east about 15 miles to Graniteville to visit the
quarries, 19th century granite mines dug by immigrants from Eastern Europe and
Italy. The mountains have been dragged down into huge rock piles that spill into
peoples' back yards.
Make sure that you give yourself an hour to tour the operating Rock of Ages
and then the nearby factory where the Vietnam Memorial was built and
Head into the town of Barre. The city cemetery is a museum of America's finest
granite carving, made by anarchist Italian stone cutters starting just before
World War I. Note: the anarchist history of the town is interesting; Barre was
actually governed by anarchists for three years.
Go north on SR 14 until you see a dirt road leading to Kents Corner and North
Calais (pronounced "Callous"). Kents Corner is a classic three-building New
England farm crossroads. North Calais has a town meeting hall on the edge of the
Proceed north back to SR 14 to Hardwick. My favorite item of Hardwick trivia is
that Jim Fixx, best selling running fitness author of all time, collapsed and
died while running fifty feet north of the Village Motel on US 15. He was 52.
Bill notes that there is an excellent Spaulding Gray monologue on the down and
out nature of the town, but he's not sure how to get hold of it.
Take the back road NE to Greensboro and have lunch at the Greensboro Inn, also
an excellent place to stay (and swim in Caspian Lake). Get a good map and wind
through the back roads to E. Craftsbury, Craftsbury and Craftsbury Common. These
three towns are classic New England villages, the unspoiled version of Woodstock.
Craftsbury Common is a National Historic Site and was the set for the Hitchcock
film The Trouble with Harry.
Take the dirt roads NW to Eden Mills (foliage per se), south on SR 100 to Eden
and go west on SR 118 to Belvedere Corners, then south on SR 109 to Waterville.
Look around Waterville until you find the covered bridge and incredible
waterfalls. Take a back road east to Johnson. Along the way, stop to view Ithiel
Falls on the Lamoille. Go east on SR 15 to Hyde Park and check out the Lamoille
Backtrack on 15 to Jeffersonville and take SR 108 over Smuggler's Notch down
into Stowe. Optional: toll road or gondola to the top of Mt. Mansfield. If you're
lonely for things Austrian, follow the signs to the Trapp Family Lodge, west of
Stowe, a tourist center but a nice town in its own right. Go NE to Hyde Park and
stay the night at Ten Bends on the River (802-888-2827;
firstname.lastname@example.org), Bill's favorite inn.
At this point we lose Bill's advice.
Greenspun says to slowly take SR 100 south to Warren, then west over the
Lincoln Gap to South Lincoln and Ripton. Then cut back over SR 125 to 100 and
continue south. Stop at the Calvin Coolidge birthplace and operating cheese
factory (run by Cal's grandson). Take 100 all the way south to SR 9 and go east
to Brattleboro (worth a stop to see what a livable city is like ).
On your way south from
Brattleboro, stop in Vernon to have a look at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power
plant in Vernon, just upstream from an older, but still operating, hydroelectric
dam. Call (802) 257-5271 at least a week ahead of time to arrange a tour of the