Friday, October 31, 2008

Rocky Hill, CT.

Storrs, CT.

This area on the campus at the University of Connecticut in Storrs really leaves you feeling like you're actually in the heartland of America. Rolling pastures, cows, pigs, chickens, horses and plenty of open sky to enjoy. These cows were just as interested in us as we were in them, and they were close enough to get themselves some nose rubs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

St. Johnsbury, VT.

One of the things I love most when I'm vacationing in Vermont is getting up early in the morning, getting a coffee, and just watching the mist slowly dissipate off the hills and mountains. The gray fall mornings eventually turn sunny and clear.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Groton State Forest, Vermont

This state park, located in a larger state forest, was a brief stop on our road trip for that day. We originally stopped for a quick look and to let the dog out of the car for a few minutes. While there were many people in other parts of the forest, we were very much alone in this area, until we attracted the attention of a trail guide who works in the park during the open season. He was quite passionate, and knowledgeable about the whole forest, and thanks to him, and a map he gave us, we were able to explore much more of the landscape than we had originally planned.

Groton State Forest, Vermont

Groton State Forest, in northern Vermont, is home to several state parks, and is a great place for hiking and walking along wooded trails. Just driving along Route 232 was beautiful with all the yellow fall leaves, brilliant in the late morning sun. I really enjoyed riding along with the car window open so I could take in all that color and the earthy forest air. The combination of so much yellow foliage and the deep blue sky was a striking sight. We both rode, and walked, on this trip, and we passed horseback riders, dog walkers, a few serious hikers, and many avid photographers along the way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Destination: Duck Pond Rd., Lower Waterford, VT.

Duck Pond Road, in Lower Waterford, is like many Vermont roads, it starts out paved but eventually the pavement runs out and becomes something like packed dirt. Where this road ends is a mystery to me, but on every trip north we make time to visit this pond and enjoy some authentic back road solitude. I always walk along the road from one end of the pond to the other so I can enjoy the view, and to remind myself that my feet are firmly planted on a woodsy back road that's more than 200 miles north of my own neighborhood. The air was cool enough for us to feel that fall is definitely in the air, and best of all, was the deep pine smell that I've come to associate with the Northeast Kingdom.

Lower Waterford, Vermont

There wasn't much color on this back road because it's mostly pine trees, however, it's still a beautiful spot. The trees were reflected almost perfectly in the still water. The sun was a deep, late afternoon gold, and the only sound we could hear was the slow trilling of the crickets.

Lower Waterford, Vermont

Because of the mountains and hills around this region the sun can be setting in one area while it's still fairly bright in another, and at this time of the year, as soon as the sun disappears there's a noticeable dip in temperature. Although the sun was still shining when we pulled off the road, it quickly set and left us standing in a peaceful twilight.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back Road Destination: Bolton, Connecticut

Bolton, Connecticut

A great local back road ride is along Birch Mountain Road, off Route 94, in East Glastonbury. This narrow road winds through beautiful dense woodland, and as we drove along during the mid-morning hours we were able to see the changing leaves at their best. Orange and russet leaves were scattered across the pavement and many more drifted slowly down from all the trees closely lining the roadway. At some point we passed the Bolton town line, and the road was now called Villa Louisa Road, a stark contrast in names.

Shortly past the Bolton town line is a small pond set at the edge of a wild meadow. In the summer we enjoyed walking around the pond because it was so peaceful and quiet, the only sounds were buzzing insects and the gentle breeze rustling the thick grasses and weeds that surround the pond. Now, in the fall, we enjoyed the crisp morning air and the crunch of dry leaves beneath our shoes, along with bright colors that could be seen on some of the trees that sit at the edge of the meadow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Destination: Route 17, South Glastonbury, Connecticut

One great back road stop is a place called the Old Cider Mill in South Glastonbury, Connecticut. We recently visited there to enjoy some autumn atmosphere, feed the goats and look over the pumpkins. I especially love the view of the orchards and farmland that can be seen rolling out beyond the barn and animal pens where the visitors park and walk the grounds. The Cider Mill is on Route 17 in South Glastonbury, a road that is lined with farms, orchards, and plenty of farm stands. It's apple time so we stopped by one of our favorite stands, Draghi Farms, which is closer to the Portland end of Route 17, and bought plenty for apple pie! It just isn't fall in New England if you don't get some apple pie!

Purple Mums

Fall is the time when mums of all colors bloom and they're a very common sight here in New England. My personal favorite are the yellow mums.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back Road Destination: Tryon Street, South Glastonbury, CT.

Here's a typical New England sight down in South Glastonbury, Connecticut. This barn sits near the corner of Tryon Street and Route 160, and people can see it as they pass by going to, or coming from, a nearby ferry landing. By the way, if you're looking for a short walk then park at the ferry lot (just turn down route 160 and take it straight to the ferry landing) and follow the trail into the woods. You can't get lost because it's circular and loops right back to the parking area.

South Glastonbury, Connecticut

Tryon Street, designated as a scenic route in South Glastonbury, is a great place to take a short drive, ride a bike or walk the dog. It runs along rolling farmland, woods and the Connecticut River, and if you're paying attention you'll find this unique sign along the way, which I thought made a great picture! Just follow Route 17 into the center of South Glastonbury and you'll easily find Tryon Street.

South Glastonbury, Connecticut

Back Road Journal, a virtual reality rest stop where you can view, and read about, off-off the beaten path locations around New England. Fall has brought its magic to the Northeast and this is the perfect time to grab a camera and find some back roads in your local area, or you can just come visit here at Back Road Journal!



About Me

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Hi, and welcome to my blog! In my working life I'm a cook, and in my personal life I'm married and have two daughters, plus a Chihuahua named Minnie. I am also a culinary school graduate with a degree in pastry arts. When I have a day off the first thing I think about is getting my camera and hitting the road. I've always loved road trips and I've been carrying a camera since I got a 110 Instamatic for my birthday when I was a kid. So, we get in the car and travel all over seeking out new back roads and new places to visit. At least twice a year we head up to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont and take in some of the best scenery New England has to offer, and we get to New Hampshire, too. We also do some shorter trips to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and sometimes even New York state (although it's not in New England) and once in a blue moon, we get to Maine. When I'm not on the road I'm right here at home reading, writing, watching some classic television like Andy Griffith, or Minnie and I are out strolling in the cemeteries enjoying the art and remembering the people.