Vermont (State #29) – Green and Graceful

I spend a lot of time thinking to myself, and every once in a while all that tilling, seeding, and watering of my mental landscape produces fruit.


As I drove north through Vermont I repeated the name Vermont” over and over in as many different pronunciations as possible – Vear-mont, Ver-mount, Ve-monte – and then it happened. One unimpressive piece of knowledge (my fleeting command of the Spanish language) clipped the rear-end of another (knowing the Vermont state slogan to be “The green mountain state.”) and they both went careening out of control, crashing headlong into my consciousness which had been innocently occupied listening to all the absurd “Vermont” iterations my mouth could produce.


And out of the wreckage of that mental crunch a novel realization stood fused and steaming.

  1. “Montaña verde” is “green mountain” in Spanish
  2. “Montaña verde” diced and rearranged is “Ver-Mont.”
  3. Spanish ≈ French. And the Vermont area was probably part of the French colony at some point.
  4. Ergo, the name “Vermont” is some sort of derivative of its slogan “The green mountain state”! (Or vis versa..?) Not bad, right?!

I guess you had to be there..



The drive up Highway 100 is stunning, easily in the top 10 that I’ve driven so far.


The state parks to the west have waterfalls that can be seen from the road, and every 5 or 10 miles there were one lane dirt tracks that wound up the hillside. The one I took didn’t go more than a mile back, but it was cool to see a little of what the interior of the forest looks like.




Vermont charmed the hell out of me.


I stopped at a farmers market and bought some potatoes, an onion, and some local rye whiskey. There were high school aged string musicians on a small stage playing ye olde time folksy music.


Farmers Market near Waterbury, VA.


I stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory and took the $4 tour. It makes me happy when I can look at some industrial process (in this case ice cream production) and feel like I have a decent idea what’s happening at each step/station.


Free* samples at the end too!


Any land not maintained is reclaimed by the forest.


Later that evening I cooked up dinner next to some impressive wood carvings of animals in the parking lot of the Jay Country Store. Later in the evening I read and wrote under a small gazebo which I suspect was made by the same hands.


Wood carvings at the Jay Country Store. They gave me permission to sleep in their parking lot.


Top marks for Vermont.


This was a roadside memorial to a motorcycle accident.

2 Comments on “Vermont (State #29) – Green and Graceful

  1. Vermont gets its name from the French word Verde for green and Mont for mountains; Vermont. The state was discovered by the French explorer Samuel D Champlain, hence the name of the lake. Also the picture of the bike is actually a memorial to a horrible motorcycle accident.

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