A quick trip in to Bennington on a Saturday morning afforded us the opportunity to check out downtown and their farmer's market which included a guy with his guitar. And the requisite vegetable porn now follows.
Right? I came home with two big bunches of carrots, some apples being sold by the local homeschool co-op, and some vanilla and cookies from Vermont Vanilla which I plan to use tomorrow to make some pumpkin whoopie pies and pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Why all the pumpkin recipes? I discovered 6 cans of pumpkin in the cupboard when I was digging around in it today, 2 of which are technically expired. Apparently I buy a few cans every fall intending to do stuff with it and then don't. If I fall in love with the vanilla I plan to order more from the lady's etsy site, she was very nice and has other extracts besides vanilla as well.
A lot of folks seemed to be there for the flowers, they were selling so many of them that they were soon going to be out! But, you know me, I was there for the baked goods and the jam, including the brownies and whoopie pies from Nana Kay's Bakery below that had a maple fluff filling. You should have heard the moaning when that hit my taste buds! It's why I'm making my own whoopie pies tomorrow, complete with that maple fluff! I got some great spiced pear jam from Vermont Tiny Kitchen too, everyone got a few dollars from me, I was throwing dollars like I was at a strip club!
|Nana Kay's Bakery|
I'd like to come back to the area again but would not stay at the state park in Woodford again. Most reviewers seem to like Greenwood Lodge and Campground in Woodford, but there is a KOA near Brattleboro also which would give more access to Wilmington and Brattleboro exploration too.
|Quite the hairdo - downtown Bennington|
After leaving Bennington we drove past the campground and explored Wilmington a little also. Not as much going on there, but Dot's Restaurant served up some delicious lunch including a spicy homemade black bean burger and downtown has a free wifi hotspot which we were happy to take advantage of. In addition to a couple of other high quality restaurants for such a small town there are a number of hiking trails available that start here, but we just didn't have the time unfortunately.
|Lovely bridges and trails in downtown Wilmington|
After all that wandering we went back to the state park to run the generator for our allotted two hours, and while Wayne relaxed with a drink at the site I took the truck and drove a few miles down Hwy 9 to a trail in the Green Mountain National forest area. The description for the USFS trail to Little Pond is a little misleading, so I'll tell you what I did.
The sign on Hwy 9 is easy to see and when I pulled in to the lot provided for parking there was a sign that said it was 3 miles to the Little Pond trail on a gravel road. Well, that means I could drive in and so I did, passing a few driveways and a shark out of water.
From what I can tell the USFS is giving the trailhead as starting somewhere around the fork in the road that goes to the left where it immediately gets narrower and rougher. This first section is actually the roughest and I had to go very slowly in four wheel drive, it reminded me of those roads in Utah. It didn't last long though, but after a little while the ruts were so water filled that I was getting concerned and luckily there was a turnout where I decided it was time to park and walk. This was smart as there were no other turnouts further in.
Walking on the road was nice, just enough obstacles and incline to get my heart rate up as I clipped along at a steady 3 miles per hour. I kept an eye out for moose since they are in the area but didn't see any nor their tracks or scat.
Mostly I saw woods, but there was a couple of spots where some wildflowers were blooming.
When I got to an intersection I got a little concerned, but I kept going straight ahead, rightly deducing that the cross trail was a snowmobile trail and not to the pond. There are rocks across the Little Pond trailhead to keep ATVs and snowmobiles out.
Somewhere between this spot and the pond there was apparently a separate footpath that will lead southwest to the AT after about 1/2 mile, but I didn't see that. The last 1/4 mile of trail suddenly slopes down to the pond where a rustic campsite was located with a view of the pond.
The rain started right when I got there so I only used my zoom lens to see if any animals were around the lake edge but all I saw was a beaver dam on the other side. I turned around and made my way back, getting back to the truck at just under 4 miles roundtrip and again timed it for when the rain started to really come down. I'm guessing this area is gorgeous in another week or two when fall color hits...anyone want to check it out and send me the pics? I did see moose in Bennington, but they were of the painted variety! You know I took pics, I'll share them tomorrow.