2018 Vermont Foliage Rally Recap
Sep 23-27, 2018

Dates: Sep 23-27, 2018
Location: Lazy Lions Campground
281 Middle Road
Graniteville, VT 05654
Hosts: George and Sue Boley
Ron and Bobbie Warmbier

Thirty one (31) Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club members came in 16 coaches from 10 states to the Lazy Lions Campground in Graniteville (S. Barre), VT to attend the 2018 Vermont Foliage Rally. The Lazy Lions Campground is a quiet and relaxing campground with beautifully landscaped campsites and gardens and a cozy warm and inviting rustic club house in which to gather for social functions. This early fall Northern New England foliage rally took place in the Green Mountains of Vermont in season typical cool temperatures and under generally partially cloudy and rainy skies. The changing colors of the leaves now just starting were showing a hint of the magnificent Vermont autumn splendor yet to come. This activity packed rally was wonderfully hosted by veteran rally planners George & Sue Boley and Ron & Bobbie Warmbier.

Our Rally hosts graciously greeted everyone at the Sunday four pm wine and cheese social. Hosts George and Ron gave an update on activities to come during the four day rally. Additionally, brief presentations were given for the upcoming 2019 National Rally & 20th Anniversary Celebration (May 19-23) Amana Colonies, IA and the 2019 Leap'n Lions Return to Canadian Maritimes Caravan (June 1, for 39 days).

Everyone was up bright and early Monday morning and on a bus headed to the famous Hope Cemetery. This cemetery was established in 1895 and is nationally known for its unique Vermont granite gravestone artistry and craftsmanship. During the cemetery tour our guide pointed out many of the numerous unique and artistically designed granite gravestones including those carved into the images of: an airplane for a pilot, a race car for a race car driver and a soccer ball for a soccer enthusiast. There are many more such artistically designed granite gravestones in this 65 acre cemetery which includes approximately 10,000 gravestones and memorials. Then we were off to a guided bus tour of the Rock of Ages Corporation's (founded in 1885) quarry and finishing room including a visit to the gift shop. Next we lunched at the quaint Millstone Hill B & B Lodge which also included a brief talk on the history of this picturesque facility by the proprietor. The evening found several attendees in the homey campground club house playing lively rounds of cards for fun and bragging rights.

Tour of Rock of Ages Granite Quary

Tuesday we were off on a bus bound for Burlington's Shelburne Museum. Founded in 1947, it is one of the country's finest and most diverse collections of art, design and Americana. This 45 acre museum includes the 1906 steam ship Ticonderoga (side paddle wheeler, 220' long, weighed 892 tons, and carried 1,070 people), a 1901 large round barn, and about 30 colonial buildings fitted with yesterday's treasures. Next, we stopped at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company where a bear ambassador led us through the bear creation process and we each got to hold a number of the little furry toys. We learned that the small cuddly bears are guaranteed for life and if they ever have a problem, yes, they have a bear hospital where Bear Dr. Nancy will fix them right up - no questions asked. By the way about 500,000 of these cute bears are born at this place each year.

Tour at Vermont Teddy Bear Company

Wednesday started with a very tasty pancake and sausage breakfast and then it was free time to just relax or to explore local attractions as you wish such as: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, the Cider Mill, Cabot Cheese, Trapp Family Lodge or many of the other local attractions. One couple drove a few miles and hiked on a small section of the Appalachian Trail. Evening found everyone in the cozy rustic club house enjoying the pizza party and celebrating Fred Nelson's birthday with a slice of cake and a loud and lively round of the traditional happy birthday song. Again, some of our night owl attendees finished the day in the club house playing several spirited rounds of cards.

Attendees were up early Thursday morning preparing their coaches for departure and partaking in a scrumptious continental breakfast. After breakfast everyone thanked George & Sue and Ron & Bobbie for hosting such a great rally. A good time was had by all.

Group Picture at Graniteville

Submitted by Dee Dee and Nick McClain.