Monday, August 19, 2013

Adventures Along Route 2

2013 August 10

Adventures Along Route 2

On Saturday, August 10, we decided to take a little day trip. We were to venture off to Essex Vermont, mainly because there is a CVS pharmacy there and I needed to pick up my prescription refills. I suppose we could've transferred them to someplace local for the month, but since we wanted a brief road trip, anyway, we opted to continue with CVS. It turned out to be a great choice.

We also used this opportunity to try out our newly downloaded, turn by turn, Google Maps directions app. That also turned out to be a good choice. Whoopee! we are on a roll!

We left the Campsite and headed east, then north on Route 11, through Champlain and Rouses Point, both in New York, both charming small towns. As we crossed a bridge over the far northern reaches of Lake Champlain, we entered Vermont, along Route 2. We followed this road through Alburg and Alburg Center. In one of these two towns, I forget now which one, we stopped in an unassuming brown frame building, which had signs promising souvenirs and such. I stopped because I had been wanting to send a few postcards to Nicky and Anamaria, as well as to my Dad, and had yet to find anywhere near us selling postcards. The little store I stopped in did indeed have postcards. The woman proprietor was very helpful and friendly and told me that the Boston Globe had described her store as "quirky". She had an assortment of things you might expect, like tee shirts, maple syrup and candy, and cards by local photographers. But, in the rear of the store was something I didn't expect to find. She had a large room, designated as a "Civil War Museum". Very interesting and totally unexpected!

We continued our journey south on Route 2, through South Alburg, into North Hero. As luck would have it, North Hero was celebrating its annual Arts Festival. And just as serendipitously, the local Library was having its annual Book Sale. While we didn't buy anything at the Arts Festival, we did load up at the Book Sale. Raymond and I each spent $5.50 for our separate reading materials, but because I bought mostly paperbacks, I definitely made out best! I even stumbled across a book I had recently decided to read after seeing several minutes of the movie based on it, "The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood". North Hero seemed like someplace we could live, if only for the summers, filled as it was with friendly folks, some of whom seemed like old hippies like us.

View to the west from the causeway
Periodically, along Route 2 you catch glimpses of Lake Champlain, sometimes on your left, sometimes on your right, as Route 2 bisects the area known as "Grand Isle", which sits in the middle of the northern section of the lake. Crossing over from one island to another, there is a causeway and the views are beautiful. Lake Champlain immediately in front of you, on the left and right, with the muted colors of the mountains off in the distance. Lovely, just lovely.

A 9/11 memorial erected by the people of Vermont

 We continued along, into the town of Grand Isle, followed by Keeler Bay, and South Hero. We then crossed another bridge onto the Vermont mainland. Amazingly, in the area we drove through, there were at least six state parks. I'm guessing we aren't the only ones who find the Grand Isle area charming.
Looking east across the lake from the causeway

We made it to Essex, picked up my drugs, and also discovered a little mall nearby with a book store. Some people blow their budgets on restaurants, some on touristy things. For us, it's usually the book stores that get us in trouble.

While we enjoyed The Phoenix Book Store, we were careful, since we had already purchased lots of books at the Library sale. So, instead of books, we bought their last two orange cranberry scones (my favorites!), and a silly little 3D giraffe card for my friend, Janet, who loves giraffes.

We talked about trying a different route back, but because we loved the towns and vistas along Route 2, we went back the way we had come. All in all, a lovely day trip.

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