Route 125, also known as the Middlebury Gap Road, is a scenic road through Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest. Every fall I take a drive on this 16-mile stretch between Middlebury and Hancock.
Just east of Middlebury is the tiny town of Ripton (pop. 556), home of the Ripton Country Store. The shop has everything you would expect from a country store, including hot coffee, homemade baked goods, and the local newspaper. With an antique woodstove, rocking chairs, bottles of maple syrup and a wall display of deer antlers, the store’s atmosphere is classic Vermont.
Beyond the store is the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, Wayside Area and Cabin, where the poet lived for 23 summers. Nearby is the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English, where Frost taught until the early 1960s.
This breathtaking campus also hosts the annual Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference (remember The Simpson’s Word Loaf episode?). The area is hard to miss — all of the historic buildings on campus are a bold yellow-mustard color with dark green shutters.