I know we didn’t give Vermont and New Hampshire their due time, but the little bit we spent driving through was beautiful and, well, it tasted good! See the video here!
New Hampshire ($0)
We had spent more days than originally planned in Maine and we were getting the itch to travel. We had our sites set on Canada. We planned a route that would take us west through New Hampshire and Vermont. We read some blogs about New Hampshire and they were pretty consistently all about the waterfalls. We read that the Kancamagus Highway that runs through the White Mountain National Forest is home to several so we went that way. Now I will confess, we did not see a single waterfall. This was due to (probably) poor navigational skills (by me, of course – seriously, I could get lost in a paper bag) and because the turn-offs we did see didn’t accommodate our big ol’ rig. But let me tell you, the one place we pulled over to explore better TOOK OUR BREATHS AWAY. Even the older kids were like, “whoa! This is beautiful!” That is not something you hear from preteen and teen boys very often. We just found a turn out and traipsed about 30 feet through some pine trees to come out on the edge of the Swift River. We stayed for over an hour climbing over rocks and exploring. I think we took 100 pictures or more. There are a lot of trailheads and several campgrounds off the highway and throughout the National Forest. If you ever have the chance, take the drive, park (or camp), and just walk. You won’t regret it. And if you see a waterfall, share a picture with us please! Ha!
Vermont ($4/adult + $150)
As we left New Hampshire we planned to head to the Morgan Horse Farm at the University of Vermont. Summer is foal season and for a small fee you can check out the farm and learn about the Morgan horse. We changed our plans due to potential rainy weather, the extra couple hours of driving, and an unexpected meet up! A family that was full time traveling for the summer reached out to us as they realized we were close. We had an impromptu meet up and were fortunate to make some new friends!
We were in need of refreshments after all our river frolicking and friend making. When hungry in Vermont, you eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! It is easy since the factory is right off the highway! For $4, ages 13 and up and free for everyone 12 and under (<—— not a typo!) you can tour the factory, learn about the good deeds of the company, and get a fair sized free sample of the flavor of the day. There is RV parking, a playground, a flavor graveyard, crafts (extra fee), and just a fun atmosphere overall! I mean seriously, who can be sad or grumpy at an ice cream factory?!
Our last stop before hitting Canada was the ECHO, Leahy Science Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT. It is located right on Lake Champlain and has some amazing views from its grounds, windows, and balcony area. It caters to the kid-scientists in all of us with several hands on activities and weird reptiles. Our kids spent almost an hour playing in the kinetic sand watershed simulation! Mike fully geeked out on looking at this and that through the high powered microscope. You can learn about the mystery of Champy (think Loch Ness Monster of the US) and how pollution affects the lake.
We bought the large-family museum membership for $140. That got us into the museum and we became ASTC members. TOTALLY WORTH IT! Blog post is coming! If you want to see all the museums we got into for free since purchasing it check out our Instagram!
We parked the truck and camper down the road a bit at Perkins Pier for $10. No overnight parking allowed.
After we left the museum we walked across the street to The Skinny Pancake and had a yummy late lunch/early dinner of crepes. A little pricey for our budget but it was super delish!
Where we stayed: we boondocked in both states in either Walmart or Cabelas parking lots. We roll like that.
Next time: we will visit Morgan Horse Farm, do a syrup farm tour, and ride bikes in Burlington. There is a nice bike trail that takes you on a self guided tour of the area!