Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
We slept well, but didn’t have any moose sightings as we had hoped before taking US-4 west to US-7 south towards Branbury State Park. There were some beautiful views around Lake Dunmore as we arrived. After getting directions to the trailhead from a park employee, who also happened to be originally from the same neighborhood which I worked at back in Maryland, we made our way to the parking lot for Rattlesnake Cliffs Trail.
To get there, we had to take several other connecting trails, starting at Silver Lake to Falls of Lana Trail, which had scenic waterfalls. After crossing the bridge, we worked our way up the mountain along Aunt Jennie Trail. If Aunt Jennie weren’t a trail, but an actual person, she’d be the type of aunt who tells you you’re starting to get a bit chubby while you’re mid-bite into a chocolate brownie, or farts on your nose while you’re sleeping, or who wreaks havoc on your uterus once a month (sorry guys, but it happens). Aunt Jennie was an asshole.
I guess I’m partially to blame since I made the wise decision to wear jeans on a hike, but eventually the trail connected to Rattlesnake Cliffs, which had some of the most amazing views overlooking Lake Dunmore and Silver Lake. Normally in late spring and early summer, this overlook is blocked off from the public to protect the peregrine falcon nesting area along the trail. According to the signage, it wasn’t a successful nesting season, however we still saw peregrine falcons and ravens flying around above us as we took in the views.
After making our way down the mountain, we took US-7 north back to Middlebury, VT to reward ourselves with some brews from “Otter Creek Brewing Co.” I started off with the ‘Overkill Pale Ale,’ which wasn’t available back at home, and we split the ‘Old School Nachos’ and ‘Deep Woods Panini.’
We chatted with a local named Bruce about the Vermont brewery scene, and he suggested that we stop by Waterbury to eat and drink at “Prohibition Pig.” We drooled over the merchandise at the brewery, then wandered around the shops downtown before heading towards Burlington, VT.
Upon arrival, we parked out front of “The Vermont Pub & Brewery,” the first independent brewery founded in Vermont. We drank a couple mediocre brews there (the ‘Bombay Grab IPA’ and ‘Grand Slam Baseball Pale Ale’), before heading down the hill to check out the gorgeous view of Lake Champlain. We worked up an appetite wandering around all the shops downtown, before grabbing a bite to eat at “Thai Dishes.”
Then, we watched some street performers amongst the nightlife, which reminded us a little of Boulder, CO.
Before heading out, we took one more look at Lake Champlain, then took I-89 south to crash out at a Walmart parking lot in Williston, VT.
Jump Back to Part 3: Broken Cargo, Flannels & Happy Homo Sapiens
Jump Ahead to Part 5: Dreadlock Rugs, Silverware & A Dog Chapel
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Highway Robbery, Festivals & A Kiddie Pool