Woke up early (7:28, to be precise) to go to the Maple Valley Country Store for breakfast. No one should ever have to wake up that early when on vacation, but the theory was that we needed to beat the Sunday brunch rush, and the food was worth it. Excellent raspberry pancakes! And it was a fun place, blue sky walls with Haitian paintings on display and plants lining the stairs up to the attic.
Said a sad farewell to Berta, Wally, Marge, and the dogs (Zoe the poodle and Max the corgi, for those who are interested). Went to have another maple creemee at Bragg’s — I highly recommend having second breakfasts on vacation.
Drove out toward Burlington, with a quick stop to peek in at the Round Church in Richmond. Hiked up Camel’s Hump along the Burrows trail, the shortest route to the top. Good weather for a hard hike (it was cool enough that I could see my breath partway up, but Prescott assured me that I am not a dragon — or a train, for that matter). A fairly steep, woodsy hike, in the forest for all of the first 2.2 miles. Incredible views at the top, panoramas from the White Mountains to the Adirondacks, with Lake Champlain stretching out in front of us. Stayed up on the rocky top for a while, lunching and taking photos, then slogged our way back down.
Made our way to Middlebury, where we checked in and napped at the Swift House Inn. Dinner at the Storm Cafe — a great choice, as it turned out. We sat by the river and had halibut and ravioli. Then we wandered through town (all five blocks of it) to get back to the Inn. Middlebury feels a lot different than Montpelier, preppier and a bit more spruced-up.
Went out to see Murph McManus, a friend from Baltimore, who is staying at a cottage on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury. We sat out by the lake (risking losing a great deal of blood to mosquitoes in the process), drank wine, and talked about literature and Breadloaf and music and all manner of silly things. Saw a huge owl on the tree overhead — the closest I’ve ever seen an owl. Lots of fun. (The button in the last picture says “I love my husband,” which I do. But it’s worth noting that Murph’s husband made it for her to wear so she wouldn’t end up hooking up with all of the cute Breadloaf undergrads.)