We’ve made it to the USA at last! It feels a bit weird writing a “travel blog” about my home country, but it’s also nice to see it through new eyes. I truly loved getting to show Andy New England, especially since he’d never been before. It’s so much different than most people expect because it’s nothing like the main American tourist hubs of New York, L.A. and Las Vegas. The northeastern states are full of country lanes, farms, forests and apple orchards. Two weeks was far too short a time to spend with my family and friends, but it was wonderful to have even that.
I didn’t take many photos at my home in Bolton, Massachusetts, because I really just wanted to focus on relaxing and enjoying summer in the woods with the people I care about most. When we planned an overnight trip to our family property up in Vermont, though, I knew I’d have to bring along my SDR. I’ve been going to Grafton all of my life, and there aren’t many places closer to my heart. You’ll see why!
This property has been in the family since my grandpa bought it for next to nothing in the 1960s from a man who won it in a poker game. My aunts, uncles, cousins and friends have been coming here for decades. The camp, as we call it, has also hosted dozens of Enders family dogs over the years. If there’s a dog heaven up in the sky, I think it’s gotta be a lot like Grafton, Vermont.
Although we had torrential rain and thunderstorms overnight, we woke to a glorious sunshiny day.
My Jack Russell, Taz, wasted no time and immediately engaged in his favorite pastime, climbing on and searching for rodents in wood piles.
We drove into the neighboring town of Chester for a hearty breakfast (pulled pork omelet for me!) at the Country Girl Diner. Andy especially appreciated the quintessentially American “bottomless coffee.” Afterwards, we explored a bit before heading back to the camp. Although Chester’s small bridge isn’t quite an NZ swing bridge, it’s still pretty beautiful, and nothing beats a good rocky Vermont river.
Once back at the camp, we headed off on a trek through the woods behind our property.
We stopped to enjoy the sunshine and view of the surrounding forest at a nearby abandoned camp.
My Australian Shepherd, Button, had no idea what was going on behind her.
Taz was just happy to get a boost.
Up next, the friendly neighborhood beaver dam!
What a perfect example of quintessential New England architecture.
My mom’s two shadows made sure to get in every shot possible.
Button is the ultimate model dog, especially with her unique different-colored eyes.
The whole crew (minus my bro Aidan), meandered along the road back toward the camp. Vermont is full of back roads like this. They’re wonderful and so much fun to explore, except in the winter or when your GPS tries to take you down a snowmobile path. Lucky for us, it was the middle of an exceptionally warm New England summer, so we had nothing to worry about.
Before turning onto Wright Orchard Road, which leads to the camp, we let the dogs cool off in a small frog pond.
Being dogs, they had to check out this strange new log as if it were some funky creature.
Button dried off by wading through the long grass that lines the road.
Camp, sweet camp!
Come along as we explore the center of charming Grafton… next time!