the weather in boston early this morning was exceptionally good, a clear blue sky with not a single cloud in sight. i knew it was only the clarity that comes with mornings, and wouldn't be indicative of the eventual weather we'd be having today, which i expected to get much cloudier. after getting some food at the cafe, my father and i took jawei and drove west then north to vermont to do foliage watching. the closer we got to vermont, the more clouds we saw in the sky, until eventually it became completely overcasted. our first stop was erving (massachusetts), at the french king bridge overlooking the connecticut river valley. it was windy on that bridge, with the sun still occasionally glimmering through, but enough to add some life to the leaves in the mountains, still not yet peak. there was a small farmstand nearby and i bought a medium-sized pumpkin (to make a pie and a jack-o-lantern). we continued driving north into vermont.
after a brief stop at the brattleboro rest stop, we pulled over somewhere in dummerston to check out the first of several covered bridges we'd see throughout the day. it was still a working bridge, just wide enough for a single car to pass through and a pair of tight pedestrian walking lanes on either side. next we visited a flea market. by then it'd started to rain, and a lot of vendors were packing up their stuff, figuring there'd be a low customer turnout (it wasn't a great flea market anyway, most of the stuff were junk).
we were hoping to make it to townshend state park, but they were closed for the season. a trail leads up to the top of bald mountain, but because of the wet conditions, it wasn't a good option. we drove in the car down a wooded canopy road, and came across the occasional roadside waterfall, roaring to life from all the recent rain. if i was alone, i wouldn't mind hiking up to the summit. it'd be miserable and i'd be soaked, but i like being out in the elements. despite the cold rain (the temperature dropped down to 46 degrees at the higher elevations), i still managed to find a ladybug clinging to life on a fern leaf. no luck seeing efts though: the lesson i learned from the f. gilbert hills state forest in foxborough (last weekend) is that efts don't come out if the temperature drops below 60 degrees.
further down the road we came upon the scott bridge, the longest (277 feet) wooden covered bridge in vermont, build in 1870. because of it's length, several attempts were made to strength the bridge over the years (from wooden laminated bow arches to concrete piers), and now it's only open for foot traffic.
we visited the townshend lake recreational area. just like the campsite/park, it was closed for the season, it's gate closed with a padlock. though you can't drive through with a car, you can still walk inside, and we went down the stretch of access road until we came to the lake. literally, the water level in the lake had risen so much that it swallowed up the rest of the road and there was no way we could go any further (other than by boat). we went back to where we parked and had lunch (tuna sandwiches) by one of the covered picnic tables. there was nobody else around, although in the distance we could see cars parking on the opposite side of the lake, folks coming out to grab a snapshot of the foliage before moving on.
later we drove to the opposite side of the lake as well, where the view was much better. there was a good view from a metal bridge, down a gorge, with the scott bridge just a speck off in the distance. if only the sun was out, the place would've looked absolutely amazing. alas, it's my second year of leaf peeping and once again, the weather isn't cooperative. not like waiting for next weekend will matter much either, i hear it's going to rain as well. all i can do is to make a mental note of this place and hopefully come back next season with better weather.
with the rainfall getting heavier, we decided to head home. coming back we stopped at hogback mountain to take in the scenic vista. even with the rain and the strong winds, it was sort of impressive, the mountains dotted in green, orange, yellow, and red. i wanted to get my hands on some maple syrup candy at the gift shop but it's still too expensive, even the second time around. as we left vermont back to massachusetts, the weather started to clear up again, until finally the sun came out.
i had dinner at my parents before my father gave jawei and i a ride back to cambridge. i ran into my next door neighbors, who wanted to have a pot luck dinner either this week or next week, so they can see my travel photos.