Hop aboard the van and hold on tight because this is the most unusual tour you'll probably ever take.
"Every tour I'm on, I intend to knock people's socks off," Kelly Socia said.
Socia's Backroad Tours take people places seen by very few Vermonters; from covered bridges to barns, even the back yards of strangers.
"I might drive right out to a farm, right into a barn and stop and get out and pet a bull or something. I've done that before," Socia said.
The connecting theme, of course, is back roads.
And the bumpier the better.
"It was an adventure," said Laura Tuttle of Ludlow. "I felt like I was in a little bit of a theme park coming up the roads."
A featured stop on this tour-- an $800,000 home.
Kelly Socia hadn't met the owner until today.
"It seems a little strange, but it's interesting. It's something I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to do hadn't I been on Kelly's tour," Tuttle said.
Passengers climb up a ladder to the top of the roof to take in the surrounding scenery.
Then it's back into the van and on down the road.
"People don't have to worry when they're with me about busting a spring or breaking down. If we break down on a tour that's my problem," Socia said.
Next stop-- the Green Mountain Sugar House.
The sugar house was build in 1968 and produces between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons of maple syrup every year.
"Not a lot of sugar houses use steam, but it's a pretty efficient way to boil syrup," sugarmaker Doug Rose explained.
"I was born, raised, and brought up on a farm, so I know the culture. I know the history and they have a learning experience," Socia said.
The learning continues, as does the tour.
And this leg of the trip includes a little bit of luxury-- a paved highway.
"The trouble I've had with people is if they go on a trip with me they don't want to take the back roads to get there. I can take them on back roads for 20 miles and they say, let's get on a main road," Socia said.
The last stop of the night is the Weston Museum.
An 18th century home-- one of the oldest buildings in the town.
"Fabulous house. Everything's right there and not behind bars or velvet ropes," said Jean Lindaman of the Weston Museum.
The museum represents life centuries ago, long before automobiles or paved highways.
The perfect stop on a back roads tour.
And at the grist mill next door flour is being produced, the same way it was done more than 100 years ago.
"I've had people actually look at me and say, and we pay you to do this?!! And yeah, it's a kick," Socia said.
A tour like no other...
"This is different, but I think we'd certainly do it again," said Darren Williams of Ludlow.
...and one guaranteed to leave you dreaming of another road trip on the back roads of Vermont.
No two tours are ever the same.
Kelly Socia says he's constantly changing the route and stops along the way depending on the season and time of day and what his passengers want to see.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 4:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 20:59:02 GMT
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