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Visiting Vermont, Part Seven

Perhaps I should more appropriately title this post "The Stuff Around the Inn That I Stayed At" as today's pictures are going to be from two places just up and down Darling Hill Road from The Wildflower Inn.

Wednesday, March 3rd, dawned - but just barely!  The sun was trying mightily to shine over the mountains that could be seen from the back door of my room but alas, it wasn't really having much luck.

I wasn't doing such a good job of rising and shining myself either as I awoke with a slightly upset stomach and had a couple of Pepto Bismol tablets for breakfast rather than going over to the farmhouse for a nice breakfast of pancakes and fresh Vermont maple syrup.  I still had the local covered bridges to scope out as well as a couple of other stops I wanted to make along the way home so I convinced myself that minor intestinal trouble wasn't going to keep me from getting some pictures as I managed to get myself checked out and on the road around 9:30 or so.

My first stop was just up the road on Darling Hill to take some pictures of a lovely Vermont-farm-turned-inn that I had passed on my way in the first night.

In case you can't read that second sign, it says: "This farm was established in 1883 by Elmer A. Darling (1848-1931), a native of East Burke who became part owner/manager of the world famous Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City.  After the hotel closed in 1908, Mr. Darling retired to the life of a gentleman farmer and raised prize-winning Morgan horses and Jersey cattle. The farm also produced the choice "Darling" brand of cheeses and butter.  At its zenith, his prosperous Mountain View Farm included Burke Mountain and extended over 7,000 acres."  Can you imagine owning 7,000 acres and a mountain??

Burklyn Hall, as mentioned on the first part of the sign, was this amazing house that stood high on a hill closer to the Wildflower Inn.  Apparently it's a private residence though I can only imagine how much money you'd have to have in order to maintain a mansion like that!

Isn't it just gorgeous?  Can you imagine waking up there every morning?!  Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle! Not that I'd want the electric bill, though!  At any rate, I wish the Inn had been open as I would loved to have toured the grounds but alas, there was nary a soul around except for what looked like a couple people down at the barn tending the horses as the Inn at Mountain View Farm is only open from May to October.

The rest of the farm is down the road and across the street from Burklyn Hall, from which I'm sure Mr. Darling had a commanding view, and it's not too shabby itself with quite a few impressive buildings.

I would loved to have walked down to this beautiful barn and taken some closer pictures but I didn't want to be trespassing someplace I wasn't supposed to be so I stayed on the road and took pictures from there of the creamery, the piggery, the dairy, and the other buildings.  One of the things that I really loved about Mountain View Farm was that every building had its own cupola which really added extra character.

I'm afraid the weathervane with the "D" for Darling was in a bit of a need of repair though as it looked like it was listing to the west a little bit!

Oh, and lest I forget this is the mountain view that Mountain View Farm is named for - I can only imagine how much nicer it looks on a day with some sunshine and autumn foliage.  I bet it takes one's breath away.

Burke Mountain has an elevation of 3,267 feet with 15,826-acre Victory State Forest located on its western side where you can find Darling State Park which is made up on some of Mr. Darling's 7,000 acres that he gave to the state of Vermont.  Apparently it's a popular location for hunting, hiking, camping, and spotting wildlife like red fox, moose, black bear, and white-tailed deer.  Had I been on a wildlife photo expedition rather than covered bridges, it probably would have been a good place to go though I'm pretty sure I could do without any close encounters with moose and/or bear!  I just don't run that fast!

Before taking my leave of Darling Hill Road there was one more stop I wanted to make and that was at a small chapel that I could see from the Wildflower Inn. The Chapel of the Holy family was built over a two year period and was completed in the summer of 2007 as a promise kept to Our Lady by whose intercession the owner's business flourished after it was consecrated to her.

The business in question is the Meadow View Farm owned by the Downing Family which borders the Wildflower Inn.  The Downings raise Belted Galloways, also known as Belties.  Chances are good that the cheeseburger I had my first night in Vermont came from the Downings' herd but truth be told, I'd rather not know where my cheeseburger originated as then I feel really guilty about it.  The farm also has Beltie Pigs and from what I understand it's a popular spot for families in the summer to bring the kids - as long as you don't tell the kids that's where their next meal may be coming from I'm sure!  Sometimes I guess I can understand how/why people become vegeterians ...

Anyhow, The Chapel of the Holy Family is open daily to visitors according to the sign by the road so even though I'm neither Catholic nor a big fan of organized religion due to previous life experiences that I won't get into here, I do believe in God and I love going to churches and chapels and the like as I find them to be very uplifting. The chapel rather reminded me a bit of a modern-day version of the old missions in California.

It really was a lovely chapel and very peaceful and calming - as a matter of fact, I even forgot that my stomach was bothering me while I was there enjoying the quiet organ music that was playing as I took in the beauty of the stained glass windows and the simplicity of a place that was obviously built from love and devotion. 

Taking my leave from The Chapel, I made my way down Darling Hill Road in search of Lyndonville's covered bridges - a post that I will hopefully get to tomorrow before I forget all of the places that I went!

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