Caught on the wrong side of the Gorge

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
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Trip End Jun 26, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Vermont
Friday, March 30, 2012

Daybreak peeps over the eastern horizon and it is time to arise, pack and leave our home of the last 7 nights. We throw open the curtains and a white spectacle greets our squinted eyes. The snow has fallen furiously during the night and as according to Murphy, the day we leave is the day we should be skiing.
We scoff off the last of our breakfast food, pack the car and head west for our next adventure.

On the road we pass some interesting sights. I have set the GPS to scenic again (thought I would give it a second chance) and all is going well. An hour or so into the drive on our way to Quechee Gorge we are given the instruction to make a left turn from the highway up a mountain pass road. Not a problem I thought, expecting this short cut over the ranges to be a scenic drive through the trees. The road was narrowing, climbing, twisting, turning and changing from asphalt, to dirt, to stone, to rock. The houses had all but disappeared and on occasion we would pass a shack with a junkyard out front where I could envisage a bearded, toothless male coming running out to try to stop us in our tracks. "Make a sharp turn right then continue left" came the command from our instructive lady who resided in the little gadget on the dashboard of the car.
There was no right turn, there was no left turn and the track in front of us had a great big timber barrier that indicated that we could go no further. At this point we were at the top of wherever we had come and the view was spectacular. I reasoned 'that was worth coming to look at!', however like the proverbial fish that got away, I was not going to get out and take a picture of my prize vista, lest that imaginary man akin to the one out of Deliverance appear.
 
I wheeled around my red rocket and backtracked to the highway as fast as I dared drive. After another hour or so of the GPS trying to take us up a variety of mountain passes I had had enough. I studied the settings on the program and whilst the brain was ticking over I suddenly had an AHAA!! moment. If you set 'scenic' and allow 'highways' it would make sense that mountain passes would not be on the itinerary of 'scenic' unless it was a last resort to move forward.

Life was now a whole lot less stressful. 

We pass a Maple products roadside hut. It works on the Honour System. Take what you like and leave the money in a box. We bought some maple syrup candy (just to support the local trade!). We saw our first Vermont covered bridge and lots of nice timber cottages along the way.

We arrived into Quechee Gorge and followed the Ottauquechee River meandering through the Quechee Gorge State Park. The Gorge is 162 feet deep with jagged chunks of schist rock which protrude from the walls. 
It was always the intention to cross back onto the highway side of the river over the Taftsville Covered Bridge, and then continue our journey to Woodstock (in Vermont). It was definitely Murphy's day today. The bridge was out for repairs. The choice was to return about 5 miles back to the highway at the start of the State Park, or continue along a dirt and rock track by the river until the township of Woodstock was reached and a river crossing could be made. By this stage I am thinking how bad could it be - certainly no worse than a mountain goat track with snow on it. We propelled our rocket forward and in no time could see the outline of a bridge coming into view.
 

  
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