Bonafide Farm

Massachusets to Middlebury, VT

October 19th, 2012 § 2

On Wednesday afternoon I hit the road again headed up Route 7 through Massachusetts. The town of Sheffield was packed with intriguing-looking antique stores, but I didn’t let myself stop to browse. I was trying to conserve funds and itching to eat up some road miles. Next time…


I did stop at a gardening store because I saw these chairs from the road. These look like the Wave Hill Chair, which came to my attention through one of my favorite blogs, Margaret Roach’s A Way to Garden. Read more about them here. I love the look of them, especially painted like Margaret’s are, and had always wondered if they were comfortable. After sitting a spell in one of these, I confirm they are and I would like to try making one some day. You can buy the chair plans from Wave Hill, which beats the $295 price on the chairs above!

I blew through the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and before I knew it I was crossing the state line into Vermont. VT Sign

Ever since my roadripping college days I’ve dreamed of driving through Vermont. It was a dorm room crush freshman year that piqued my interest—this particular boy, who embodied the Vermont of my imagination, was a combination of exotic and practical, hardscrabble yet affable. Pure catnip. His tales of skidding his VW Bug through the snowy hills, headlights shining under the moose crossing the road, made something as simple as driving to high school sound like a manly endeavor.

Anyway, fifteen years on and I am finally in Vermont. And it’s pretty neat, just as I suspected, and full of interesting people. After the pristine Litchfield Hills, which though they are lovely felt inaccessible to a person of my means and interests, I was feeling more like these may be my kind of people—the kind who walk their sheep on a leash.


As I drove further north up Route 7, along the Green Mountains, I noticed changes outside the window. The homes took on the look of hardscrabble farms, some of them, with driveways filled with cut fire wood and roof edges lined with metal, I presume to spare the shingles from the effects of snow and ice. Certain areas looked a lot like Wasilla, Alaska, with heavy equipment, gravel pits, and tiny log cabin for sale crowded near the road.

It was dark when I pulled in to Middlebury, home of one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious liberal arts universities, Middlebury College.

I’d managed to snag a dog-friendly hotel room at the Middlebury Inn. After checking in I walked down to the Two Brother’s Tavern, where I ordered a Vermont IPA from Fiddlehead and french onion soup.


As I ate my dinner, I overheard the conversations at the tables on either side of me and felt as though I’d been dropped on a foreign planet, one of academic and emotional pretension. Exhibit A, to my right, from a stunningly beautiful afro-haired student to a Benetton ad of dining companions: “I’m doing my thesis on pleasure-centured sex ed. I may try to get into…the only human sexuality masters program in the country, but ideally I’d like to go to France.”

And Exhibit B, to my left, from a Birkenstock clog wearing lady: “It’s a political, highly charge situation, but I have a different energy that I’ve gotten to about it.” This comment seemed to depress her dining partner, so then clog woman patted her friend’s back and said, “Is this okay? You did this to me once, but I’m always afraid to do this to you because of the symmetry coming out of my arm.” The distressed friend buried her head in her hands as her dining companion removed several full-size bottles of vitamins from her bag and proceeded to take her supplements. In a restaurant.

These two tables kept me fully entertained through my main course and a nice chat with my server about foxhunting. And then I settled up and settled in at the hotel for a long, deep sleep.

On to explore Middlebury in the morning, and find out if my dinner experience was just a fluke or if the entire town really was filled with earnestly in-touch freaks.

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§ 2 Responses to “Massachusets to Middlebury, VT”

  • SavvyChristine says:

    This. Your restaurant eavesdropping is why I love Vermont. It’s like what you would get if Massachusetts and New Hampshire had a baby. Will you be heading down the Boston way?

  • Bonafide Farmer says:

    Hi, Christine! I love your comment about Vermont. I am purposefully trying to avoid the major East Coast cities, so though Boston is a great town I probably won’t be passing through on this trip!

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