Sunday, November 29, 2015

Maine or bust--Getting there

Highest point in New Jersey

A few years ago, Hyrum started writing a bucket list for while we are in Pittsburgh.  One of the things on that list was driving through New England.  We both really wanted to do it since I had great memories of being there are for a visit as a small child and Hyrum just loves seeing new places and doing new things.  We had time this past summer so decided it was time to go for it.  We planned a trip to Maine with a few stops along the way.  It was two and a half weeks of really great fun.  We saw neat things, had interesting experiences, and just enjoyed being together.

FDR Home, Hyde Park, New York

We decided to take several days getting to Maine.  We stopped at the highest point in New Jersey, stopped at FDR's house in Hyde Park, and the Joseph Smith birthplace in Sharon, VT.  Our biggest challenge on this trip was keeping Ben moderately clean.  He loved eating the dirt.  

Gardens at FDR home

Foundation of one of Joseph's grandparents' homes

Our family and the obelisk

Yummm, dirt.

We spent a couple of nights in Vermont and the day between them, hiking the highest point of Vermont and eating Ben and Jerry's ice Cream.   The hike was pretty exciting.  In the northeast, there are no switchbacks.  You hike up over whatever is in the path.  We found some pretty gnarly boulders in our path. After handing the kids up and hoisting myself up, then seeing iron rings in the rocks, Charlotte, Spencer and I decided we'd wait for Hyrum and the older kids to come back.  We waited for a while, enjoyed our snacks and pointed the way to people who came after us.  Most made some comment about me hiking with the three littlest kids.  Hyrum and the kids made it back to us by the time we started to hear thunder at regular intervals. 

Gondola ride up the mountain.

This was our trail.

At the top

That was the little corner we hung out in while we waited and the iron rung.

We descended the path and enjoyed our lunch just before it started to drizzle.  We'd come halfway up the hill on a gondola ride.  The lift was shut down what it started to rain and thunder.  We waited, mostly patiently, for a couple of hours. Just before we were ready to start the steep and long hike down they started it up again to get everyone off the mountain.  We got to the bottom and the sun came out and it was several degrees warmer.

Our next stop was for some Ben and Jerry's.  It was super busy.  We bought our tour tickets and then hopped in line for some tasty treats.  The tour was fun and the samples at the end were good too.  It is a fun little stop I recommend, especially for little people.

Ben and Jerry's, great reward for our hard work!!
This was one strategy for keeping Ben clean while we broke camp.

I just loved this sign while driving through Maine. 

The next day we headed into New Hampshire.  We stopped at the Cabot Cheese Creamery where we enjoyed lot's of really good cheddar cheese.  Then we followed that up with a stop at the King Arthur Flour Campus in Norwich, VT.  It was a really neat place.  There were wonderful flours, pans and other wonderful baking implements.  I was a happy girl : )

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