Welcome to the ongoing adventures of the Traveling Totes! You may be expecting Miss Rosie to join us on our adventures today, but she has gone into hibernation for the cold months and will return in the spring, sporting her pretty green handles.
But don’t worry! I am truly a bag lady, and I have the perfect tote for every occasion. I’ve been popping about New England, enjoying this glorious fall weather, accompanied by two of my other totes, Miss Poppy, whom you have met before, and our new friend, Miss Posie, who is dressed in pretty purple handles, perfect for fall fun. She is not just Miss Rosie with a change of handles (as I’ve let Mr. Fun believe), but her own girl with her own ideas about where we will go.
Our first trip was up to northern New England, where Lake Champlain borders Vermont.
I haven’t been here for such a long time ~~ the last time was September 1988 ~~ it was very, very hot and I was very, very ready for Charlotte to be born, and I floated around in this lake on my back, feeling like a whale and thanking the heavens for a place to cool off.
It is just as beautiful as I remember.
The foliage was beginning to turn, and I was happy to see cattails still growing along the edge, as invasive species have really eliminated them from many marshy areas.
These birds chose a perfect day with a brilliant blue sky to start their journey south.
Along the way we met a few friends. These three were standing outside Shelburne Farms and were dressed better than we were.
Mrs. Scarecrow wanted to try my Miss Posie.
The museum is filled with American works of art, but not what you might expect. There are covered bridges, quilts, decoys, weathervanes and an assortment of interesting things. This is a steamboat from 1906, the Ticonderoga, which steamed up and down Lake Champlain carrying people and goods from New York to Vermont. Fort Ticonderoga, a French star shaped fort from the 1700’s, is at the southern tip of Lake Champlain.
Of course there are the views, too ~~
~~ with the Adirondack Mountains in the background ~~
~~ purple mountains majesty ~~
~~ and the constantly changing sky was so perfect again!
This flagpole marked the entrance to the museum and a round barn.
~~ I brake for barns, do you? ~~~
Miss Posie and I sat and contemplated the views, the history, and the colors.
(I was sure to check out the gift shop, and it was pretty great, too. 🙂 I’ll have to take you there another time!)
After hearing about Miss Posie’s adventures, Miss Poppy wanted to have an outing too, and luckily I knew of a place nearby where we could hop aboard a steam train and ride a riverboat while enjoying the fall foliage along the Connecticut River.
The Essex Steam Train is a steam locomotive from the 1800s. It pulls 1920 Pullman cars, running from its original depot in Connecticut just above Old Saybrook on the Connecticut River!
Miss Poppy hopped right aboard.
But someone else was even more excited. Do all little boys want to be an engineer when they grow up?
The Pullman cars were really fun to ride in, although I was keeping my eyes wide open. If I saw Poirot or Miss Fisher I was going to pull the cord and jump off. We are fans of their murder mysteries and it seems that lots of action takes place on these very Pullman trains from the 20s!
After a pleasant and uneventful journey during which we were offered various spirits and coffee based beverages, we hopped off and headed to the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a trip up the Connecticut River.
The sky was constantly changing. This is not unusual here. The weather can change in an instant, which makes open water travel a little bit, um, well let’s go with “exciting!”
Blue sky to black clouds and back again, within a very short time.
But look at that view!! While some of the Connecticut River coast has homes, the laws on development are very strict. Much of the land is Selden Neck State Park, without electricity, accessible only by boat, and permits are needed just to visit.
Looking up river: do you recognize the castle on the hill?
Yes, it’s Gillette Castle, where Miss Rosie and I took you for a picnic!
Different sections of the foliage lit up as the sun drifted in and out from behind the heavy cloud coverage.
The weather was changing quickly, and the wind was whipping the state flag on the riverboat.
But we weren’t worried because the Captain pointed out the location of the life vests overhead. I thought they made an interesting ceiling. Every space on a boat is useful!
We docked and reboarded our Pullman car for the trip back to Essex. Upon our arrival there Miss Poppy noticed an old steamer and asked to sit on the seat. She had quite an audience as I snapped her picture. Someone guessed that she was in a contest to see where the bag had been. I just smiled and snapped away before Mr. Conductor could come and investigate.
Little did I know that the real danger was right behind me!
The witch weathervane from the old Witch Hazel Works factory!
Witch Hazel was once a popular medicinal and beauty product, and was produced here from the witch hazel bush with a recipe early settlers in the area learned from Native Americans. The factory had fallen into total disrepair, but has been restored and is now home to various business. But the witch still keeps her post on top of the chimney, overlooking the train depot and unsuspecting travelers.
The skies were quickly darkening again, so I grabbed Miss Poppy and Mr. Fun and we sprinted to the car. It had been a glorious day and we did not want any trouble, from Miss Witch Hazel or from the thunder gods!
please be sure to visit the other Traveling Totes and their owners:
~~ Miss Merri Mac is having a giveaway which you will not want to miss ~~ visit Sarah for details ~~
MISS POSIE, MISS POPPY AND I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED OUR ADVENTURES
AND WE WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY HALLOWEEN!