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Tracking fall foliage in the Connecticut River Valley - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Tracking fall foliage in the Connecticut River Valley

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WEST FAIRLEE, Vt. -

So what happens if the day you picked to go on a foliage tour turns out to be a wet, gray, chilly day? You go anyway, of course!

Photographer Bob Davis and I know these recent rains and wind storms have taken some of our fall foliage down, but we thought we'd head to the Connecticut River Valley to see what was still there. Taking Route 302 through Groton, it is still pretty with pops of bright color, but there are a few twigs showing as well.

I saw on the map, there is a pond called Ticklenaked Pond. And well, we had to check that out!

Baley-Hazen Road was one of the first roads built in Vermont, a military road during the Revolutionary War.

Ticklenaked Pond is pretty, but we saw no tickling or nakedness going on.

Continuing on Route 302 across the Connecticut River, you find yourself in the town of Bath, home of the Brick Store, the oldest continuously operating store in America. It's been in business since 1790. Mike and Nancy Lusby have been running it for the past 22 years, after moving cross country.

"It was just the right change. We were both from California, both from the corporate world."

Now, Nancy makes the fudge that people come from miles around to get.

"I make 160 different flavors."

Fudge and smokehouse products are their most popular lines.

It's a place for old friends to reunite, and for tourists to stop during foliage season. When Nancy isn't making fudge, she's advising people on where to find the best foliage.

"Right now the lakes region is probably peaking, it's all beautiful. I think it's stunning this year. One of the best in a while."

We did finally get some breaks of sunshine, and that does make the scenery that much prettier.

Getting off the main roads is always a good idea. We thought River Road sounded like it might have potential for good scenery and we were right.

Back across the Connecticut River and we were in Vermont heading south to Newberry. Continuing to Fairlee, we stopped at Chapman's Country Store and met Aletta Traendly. Her grandfather started working in his store in 1897 and bought the store in 1927. It's been in the family ever since, and Aletta is working with her daughter now.

"It's definitely an interesting combination of things, but it works. No matter who walks in here, there's something here to make them happy."

The store has evolved over the years; the guns her father sold are no longer here, although she still carries everything from fly fishing equipment and paddle boards, to wine and children's toys.

Most of Aletta's customers are local people, but when visitors stop in, she does have suggestions on where to go for the best foliage.

"I like going up into the hills on the side roads because you are going to see a lot more pockets where there are going to be pockets of color."

We continued on to Lake Fairlee, which turned out to be one of the prettiest spots of the day. It was mild in the afternoon sun; a loon was paddling and diving. And still some beautiful fall color. The season is not over yet.

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