Back to the camp!
After our walk, we relaxed for a bit before packing up and making our way into Grafton village.
Here’s the main stop in this one-horse town, the Grafton Village Store. It’s recently been taken over by new management, and they’ve made it even better than it already was. We had a fabulous lunch and even got some great craft beers to take home.
Our next stop was Grafton’s famous covered bridge and the site of the old cheese factory. Vermont makes some fabulous cheese and ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s!) since they have so many dairy farms. Grafton has been making delicious cheese since 1892, and in recent years, they’ve expanded to a larger facility in Brattleboro, a veritable urban hub by Vermont standards.
Now, that bridge!
Vermont is also known for its historic covered bridges, a necessity in a place with such harsh winters. This one was constructed in 1960 and is today only open to foot traffic.
Steel yourself for these next two photos, since they make me laugh out loud.
What a lucky dog, that Taz, to get such a view of the world. I’d argue that the scene from the bridge rivals the appearance of the bridge itself – quintessential pastoral Vermont perfection.
On the other side, we wandered through pastures and over to another stretch of the Saxtons River.
It’s a great spot for wading if you don’t mind icy feet. As a kid, I spent many summer days here splashing around with my cousins.
Andy wasn’t at all deterred by the chill river, having grown used to the numbing coastal waters off Wellington. I, on the other hand, knew I’d leap out with burning feet if I gave it a go. Good on him!
Hurricane Irene hit Vermont incredibly hard in August of 2011, and you can still see remnants of the silt and erosion left behind in some spots, as well as the damage done to many homes. In Grafton, the Saxtons River overflowed, and the bridge in this very spot was washed away.
Here’s a photo I took in September 2011 of the very same spot. You can see the remnants of the old bridge on the far side of the detritus-strewn river:
The bridge has since been replaced with a new higher and sturdier one. Check out Tazzy in this photo. What a goof!
We sat down for a break on the opposite side of the river. Button made sure to hop up next to her pack leader.
Not one to discriminate when it comes to a good pat, though, she also gave Aidan some attention.
I figured this was a great time to get a family shot. Thanks to Andy for taking over as the designated photographer!
My brother doesn’t normally have a birdhouse growing out of his back, just so you know.
We visited the nearby frog pond next so Taz could pursue another of his favourite pastimes, frog stalking.
The frogs are usually too quick for Taz, but he occasionally gets them. This time, he got lucky. Once he had finished the job, he laid down next to the frog and started acting really weird. It was hard to know what was going through his little doggy head, but I doubt it was remorse.
After passing through the adjacent farm, we made our way back to the covered bridge and our car.
Once back on the road, we stopped at another great hiking spot for a quick walk and view out over Grafton. Nothing says New England like some birch trees!
We made sure to visit a small local dairy farm on our way home for some ice cream to polish off an idyllic Vermont weekend.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a place that has played a huge role in my life. I can’t think of many other spots that I’d rather be than the camp with my family. Having Andy there was just icing on the cake, and I can’t wait for our next visit.
Coming soon, join Andy and I as we venture north of Boston to Plum Island for some exploration of the New England seaside.