Location: Bennington, VT
Written by: DJ Doran
TAKE NOTE: This post was written while DJ & Joey were on their RV roadtrip across America. Sadly, their trip ended before it really got started. No worries, Shelly & Lucia are taking the Connextions Out n About Roadtrip to new heights, exploring one RV park at a time!
Joey, Priscilla and I arrived in Bennington, Vermont to stunning foliage colors. As we entered into town we could see a beautiful white church straight ahead of us surrounded by a cemetery and a line of cars parked out front. I eased Priscilla around the bend of the road and we parked right in front. It was nice to be stopped for a rest surrounded by trees filed with leaves of bright oranges, pale yellows and vibrant reds. We decided to make a light lunch before stepping out and walking around the church and cemetery. I love fall in New England and sitting there aboard Priscilla amongst the trees I felt calm and happy. After a few minutes of lunch and chatting, Joey and I were ready to begin exploring our first stop in Bennington. We decided to walk around the cemetery first, and it was amazing to read the headstones of the people who were buried there dating as far back as the mid 1600’s. We took some stunning photographs of the trees, leaves and headstones as we walked up and down aisle and aisle of headstones, careful not to walk directly across the graves out of respect for those buried there.
We came across a map of the cemetery and saw that the Poet Robert Frost was buried here! We made our way across and down toward his burial site and stood there briefly remembering the contributions that this man had given to the world through his poetry and writing. I had noticed when we first got there that there were coins of every denomination sprinkled upon the flat gravestone and I reached into my pocket and placed a penny between his first name and last name. After a few more moments reflecting about his life we walked back up toward the The Old First Church. The Church was dedicated to the separation of Church and State and was first congregated in 1762, fourteen years before the beginning of the American Revolution. We walked inside and you could feel the history of the building and its occupants surround you. The interior was starkly beautiful and everything was painted white. There were no icons decorating the walls or altar and when I asked why the curator told us to look up. Within the domed ceiling was a large box cross design with a hanging chandelier in the center. I thought to myself how subtle that was until it was pointed out to me. Now I could not get away from the enormity of it, very clever. It was also explained that the founders of the congregation did not want any glaring religious décor for fear of reprisals so this was their way to honor God without it being “ In your face” so to speak, I know a few people who could take a lesson from that.
We walked through the church and marveled at the boxed seating areas on either side of the pews before taking the staircase to the balcony. The view from the balcony was amazing and I could imagine a full congregation in Colonial dress in my mind. As we departed the church we purchased some maple leaf candy and took a few more photos before we boarded Priscilla for town.
We entered the town and drove down main street looking for a large enough place to park Priscilla. After a few circles down the narrow streets we settled on a wide parking area next to the local doggie park. With a few short snorts and hisses Priscilla was safely parked and secured. It was a gloriously sunny day and about 70 degrees as we began our exploration of Bennington. Like any other New England town at this time of year there was no shortage of tourists. We started our walk when Joey and I noticed that we had forgotten to charge our iPhones and that would be a disaster! So we walked into the first coffee shop that we came upon which happened to be South Street Café’ www.southstreetcafe.com and proceeded to order some hot spiced apple cider while we charged our gadgets. Joey and I chatted and sipped our cider as time slowly went by. We watched the people come and go and the baristas make small talk with the tourists and a few locals. After what seemed like hours we were charged and ready to go. We said our goodbyes and thank yous and began walking up Main Street. Bennington is such a quant little town with an ornate clock on the corner and cute shops lining both sides of the street. We walked and talked about how cool it would be to have a place here and even looked at some window listings at the occasional realtors office as we walked by. As we headed back to Priscilla we commented on the beauty of the town and the friendliness of the people. We have found that Vermont in general is a very tolerant state and you can be free to be yourselves, which is why we love Vermont and look forward to coming back soon.
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