Trip to the No’thard, Part the Fourth, On Blue Highways.

The Islanders had promised themselves some shunpiking. So after leaving Burlington, they drove north a while, before taking a blue highway zigzag southeast, for their return trip to Montpelier.

The old Hunter Farm, with a very long barn.

One of the first surprises was extensive corn fields.

To the north and east of Burlington here were acres and acres of bottomland, put to maize. A New England dairyman with much corn this year is a happy farmer, what with skyrocketing grain prices caused by drought in the distant midwestern corn belt heartland. Although right now the fields are so wet they might have to wait until a hard freeze makes driving possible on this sodden, squishy ground. Where harvest had been attempted, wheel ruts were a foot or more deep. That’s not a good way to treat your soil.

Pasing through the Town of Westford, we saw some history.

Boston? These buses are not likely, anytime soon, to be taking passingers anywhere.

Soon after seeing the old buses, on the other side of town, we saw some older history, from when Westford was a large, and more self-contained town.

In 1850, Westford’s population reached about 1500 souls. For the next hundred years the town was in decline, and in 1950 hit a low of 691. The explosive growth of Burlington has caused population increase throughout NE Vermont. Westford now has over 2,000 people.

We passed some classic farmhouses.

Vermont’s fall has been warm and well-watered. Grass, hayfields, and cover crops are full, bright green.

Except for the oddly placed gable end door, this is as classic an early nineteenth century farmhouse as you might ever hope to see.

Wouldn’t this be a nice place to call home?

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