September 6, 2018 Quechee, VT (Day 3)

The day started out sunny with a temp of 87 degrees.  We completed our morning routine and set out on a short 8 mile drive to Sugarbush Farm.  Sugarbush Farm is set high on a hillside in Woodstock.  I did some research and found that this was the place to go for cheese and Vermont maple syrup in the area.  We followed Quechee Main St. through Quechee Valley.   This cute food truck caught my eyes at this intersection.  Looks like a freaky tiki!
We followed the road along the river and up the into the hills to the top of the bluff and found Sugarbush Farm.
We entered the building where the cheese was being processed.  
These ladies were putting the wax coating on the cheese.  The cheese is coated with wax, two coats of white and one coat of colored wax to protect the cheese so it doesn’t have to be refrigerated.  
Sue greeted us at the door and gave us a taste of any of the 16 cheeses that we wanted.  Bob and I tasted about 6 of them and then I did the maple syrup tasting.  There were 5 varieties of maple syrup to taste from mild to strong flavor.  I tasted all 5 to check out the difference.  I stopped to watch the ladies put wax on the blocks of cheese.  The different color waxes help them to know what type of cheese is inside.

While the cheeses are not made at the farm, the cheeses are selected from local co-op cheese
makers, aged up to 6 years, and then hand cut into various sized bars.  While I was tasting the maple syrup, Bob had gotten a head start at the tastings in the back room–candy, pickles, jams, hot sauces, and other items.  
We bought some aged cheddar cheese, strawberry-rhubarb jam, and Amber Maple Syrup with a rich taste.  Can’t wait to try it on pancakes or waffles.
After purchasing our items–jam, syrup, and cheese, we walked out back to the sugar house where they make the maple syrup.
The barn was a wealth of information about making the maple syrup and other things.  We checked out the machinery and learned all we could about their operation.  It takes 4 1/2 buckets full of sap to boil down to one quart of syrup.
We watched an 8 minute video of how the maple syrup is made on the farm and got a better appreciation of what goes into the process.  150 maple trees are connected to this sap line.  In the spring when temperatures are below freezing at night and warmer during the day, the sap will drip and run down to this tank which is emptied daily.  Deep in the woods, there were several much larger tanks and up to 4000 trees that are all connected and run into a much larger “sap house”.
From there we went to the barns to check out the animals.  These 3 Belgian horses were beautiful.
These cute guys were Dwarg Goats from Nigeria.  There was Peanut Butter, Nibbles, and Kibbles.
We got a great view of the countryside from up on the hills of Sugarbush Farm.
On the ride back, we got a better look at the ski hill on the hills opposite the country club.
We passed the covered bridge in Quechee on the way home along the river.

We decided to take a ride into the town of White River Junction, just 4 miles down the road in the other direction.  It is very industrial and much larger than we thought.  We drove downtown before turning around and heading back to the campground.
We saw dark clouds and the radar told us that we might have rain soon.  We got back to the trailer as we heard thunder in the distance.  Bob, Auggie, and I sat outside until we felt the raindrops fall.  We went inside as the rain came down.  Bob and I took the opportunity to do some trip planning while we had the chance.  The rain finally stopped and Bob sat outside with Auggie while I made dinner tonight.  The campground filled up with many campers all afternoon and seemed pretty full tonight.  We gave Auggie his evening walk and relaxed with some football on TV. Tomorrow, we plan to hike the Quechee Gorge.  

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