Monday, April 18, 2011

Vermont Vacay

Liquid Heaven!
Brett's mom Taryn really wanted to see as much of the countryside during their visit, so we made plans to hit Vermont & Massachusetts while they were here.  Plus, their souvenir list included taking home some authentic Vermont maple syrup!  Luckily, we found a few things in Vermont that turned out to be picture-worthy too.

First stop:  Bennington, Vermont.  This sleepy little town of less than 16,000 is actually the largest town in Southern Vermont.  (The whole state only has about 630,000 people!)  It's also home to the Bennington Battle Monument...which, you guessed it, is the tallest structure in the state!

306 feet tall!
Bennington Battle Monument
The monument features an observation deck at 200 feet (which was closed when we visited) that can only be reached by elevator...that's right, no stairs.  Folks tell us that on a clear day, you can see New York and Massachusetts from up there!

The monument commemorates the Revolutionary War's Battle of Bennington, which happened way back when in August 1777.  In those days, Brigadier General John Stark, with 1,400 New Hampshire men, defeated two detachments of the British army.  The fight is called the Battle of Bennington, but it actually happened about 10 miles away in NY at the Bennington Battlefield.

Someone should tell Dean they shoot Redcoats in these parts 'round here.
Construction on the Bennington Battle monument began in 1887 and the last block was laid in November 1889.  It's amazing that it's more than 120 years old!  The grand total to build the Vermont skyscraper...$112,000!  

Guess who took this crooked picture?
Vermont really has a lot of Kodak-Moment photo opportunities, so we took the camera away from Dean and went looking for them.

While we were in Bennington County, we also went bridge hunting...covered bridge hunting to be exact.  Turns out, not all bridges are in Madison County!  We found a couple of really cool ones, but really liked the Burt Henry Covered Bridge the best:

Pretty cool, huh?  The bridge, located just off of Route 67A, was actually built in 1840 and was actually restructured in 1989 by the Vermont  Agency of Transportation.  Today, it measures 117 feet long, nearly 12 feet wide and is just under 9 feet high.    

Ever wonder why covered bridges are covered?  Turns out, wooden bridges with exposed super structures are vulnerable to rot so covering and roofing them protects them from the weather, allowing them to last longer.  Plus they make for really cool potential Christmas Card photo backdrops!