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Jean

Vermont Walking tour - day 1

There was an overnight frost and the lawn was glistening in the sunshine. Great day for a walk. We went downstairs at the Old Colonial House Inn in Weston and joined other walkers for coffee in the living room. It’s a very cozy space, with overstuffed furniture draped with the owner’s quilts, a gas fireplace, cats and a dog.  Pretty charming.

The Inn is one of four B&Bs who’ve joined together for an inn-to-inn walking tour of Vermont. We chose to begin in Weston, home of the original Vermont Country Store, which we visited on arrival day. The store is amazing. Have you seen the catalogs? Everyone has at one time or other. It’s one of those places that sells everything, I mean everything.  Penny candy, maple syrup, kitchen utensils, sheets and comforters, hiking boots, winter jackets, cheeses, beer, Christmas ornaments, and old fashioned kids toys.  Well, I am in heaven. I could have filled bags with things I absolutely can’t live without, but left to return another day.

The Old Colonial House Inn has 11 rooms, 5 in the main house and 6 kind of motel rooms in another building. Owners Jeff and Kim are friendly and helpful and very good hosts. Dinner was Yankee Pot Roast or grilled salmon and delicious. Kim’s brother is a well-known baker in the area and he provided breads and delicious desserts.

It’s a self-guided walking tour, you pick an inn to start and walk in a circle to each of the four inns, ending up where you began. Dinner and breakfast is included, along with a map and written instructions for the day, and snacks to keep you going.   

Today it was suggested that we skip the first 2.5 miles as it’s all uphill, so we were driven to a ridge known as Popple Dungeon. Popple comes from Poplar trees and they grew up and then together like a tunnel, making it dark like a dungeon.  

I was under the impression that we walked inn-to-inn, but not true in all areas. We drove for about 20 minutes along country roads get to the drop off. While there are 6 of us traveling the same route, we are not a group, just 3 sets of 2. And we all took off at our own pace. We were told it was 8.5 miles to the next inn in Chester (would have been 11 total if we’d included the uphill), but according to my jawbone, I would say not much more than 5.5 miles.  It was mostly downhill and along dirt roads, here and there paved, but pretty easy walking. The directions were well done, but some way-finding marks would be helpful. Pretty cabins and farms along the way, leaves just barely changing color. Very peaceful. And we walked right to Inn Victoria, on the main street in Chester.

This place looks like a classic New England B&B and our room ‘Helena’ is a beauty. King bed with heavy wooden head and footboards, clawfoot tub in the room, a lovely patio with hot tub, gas fireplace, thick terry robes, and spacious bathroom with dual head shower. Quite nice. 

I was in need of new foot inserts for my sneakers and this little town sells antiques and fudge, but there is no pharmacy in sight. The innkeeper offered her husband to drive me to Springfield to a Rite Aid, but then the owner told us that Dollar General had just opened here, and handed me her car keys and told me how to get there! . Kinda surprising as you remember, this is the only state with no Walmart!  And Chester is one of the quaintest villages in New England. They told me that many in town did not want the Dollar General, but there was nothing in the local laws that prohibited it, so here it is. Let me say, it's the nicest Dollar General you'll ever see. Not one of those big cement buildings, but a nice shingled building, rather fits in with the town. And the owners are so nice!